Last week closed with the long anticipated ability-to-repay and qualified mortgage rules coming into full effect. The rules, meant to ensure that borrowers will be able to repay their mortgage, are intended to prevent businesses from lending abuses and other deceptive practices. These rules mark the beginning of even more changes to the housing market as Mel Watt takes the reins at the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the Senate Banking Committee continues to debate housing finance reform, and more rules from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) are expected to make changes to the mortgage market. Even as the rules took effect, minutes from last month’s Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) meeting indicated that though members agreed that the taper was appropriate, it is possible the housing recovery could be impacted.Also closing out the week was far lower than expected job estimates for December. Although analysts were largely predicted a month of strong job growth, with the consensus estimate hovering around 193,000 jobs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that the economy added only 74,000 jobs. The Administration and Wall Street have both downplayed the low number and the expectation is that the BLS will revise the numbers… Read full this story
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