Some Fear New Protections Against Risky Loans May Stop Some Home Buying

By NBC News

Published 01/10 2014 04:11PM

Updated 01/10 2014 04:12PM

President Obama heads to Phoenix, Arizona to talk about his plan to help the housing market recover faster.
President Obama heads to Phoenix, Arizona to talk about his plan to help the housing market recover faster.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The new rules started today that are intended to protect home buyers from losing their homes to foreclosure. But some loan officers say the regulations will make banks overly selective about who gets a loan.

Before offering a loan, lenders must now confirm a buyer can afford it. So called "qualified mortgages" limit fees and prohibit risky features like interest-only payments.

Nara CEO Bruce Marks worries about unintended consequences. He helps low- and moderate-income people qualify for loans.
"You're going to see it extremely difficult, almost impossible for many working people who don't have a big down payment to get a mortgage," he said.

Richard Cordray is in charge of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau responsible for enforcing the rules. And he disagrees.

"Our rules essentially, again, they're just telling the lender what responsible lenders have always done," he said.

Lenders are not necessarily required to follow these new rules. But if they don't, they could be subject to legal liability if the loans go bad.

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