New mortgage rules may crimp lending, but should build investor trust

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While some say new mortgage rules scheduled to take effect on Jan. 10 could crimp lending, the rules are key to building private investors' confidence in the secondary market, according to a white paper released today by real estate data and technology firm CoreLogic. "Setting the rules and boundaries for consumer mortgage loans is one of the first steps needed to encourage more private capital investment in the housing finance system," the paper said. "Uncertainty of investor appetite for credit risk and litigation risk under the new rules persists, but the new rules provide a foundation to build investor trust in the system over time." Under "ability to repay" and "qualified mortgage" rules first announced earlier this year, mortgage lenders will be required to ensure borrowers don't take on more debt that they can afford by evaluating them on eight underwriting factors, including current income and assets, credit history and monthly payments on the mortgage. Amendment...