Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Homebuyers Assistance Act Will Not Help Homebuyers, But These 64 Dems Still Voted for It.

Today, the House voted on the so-called Homebuyers Assistance Act. Does it help homebuyers? Of course not.

What it does, however, is delay a rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau:
H.R. 3192 would delay, until February 1, 2016, enforcement of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) integrated rule regarding disclosures that mortgage lenders must provide to homebuyers in an effort to make them simpler and more consumer friendly.  The CFPB’s new rule known as the Truth in Lending Act – RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID), became effective on October 3, 2015.  The CFPB was directed as a part of Dodd-Frank to make documentation available in a timely manner so homeowners would be able understand and weigh the terms and conditions of their mortgage.
As Maxine Waters (CA-43) and Carolyn Maloney (NY-12)--the top ranking Democrats on the Financial Services Committee--explained in the committee mark-up, the bill is a mix of the unnecessary and the harmful:
Clarifying and combining the required disclosure forms for the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act has been a shared goal of the mortgage lending industry and consumer advocates for many years. The Dodd-Frank Act required the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to use its expertise to solve this problem, and create a unified form that would work for consumers and the industry. Everybody agrees that the CFPB has succeeded in that goal.
When the CFPB promulgated its Ability-to-Repay rule and defined the terms of Qualified Mortgages, CFPB Director Cordray assured the industry, and especially smaller banks and lenders, that the Bureau would not aggressively enforce technical mistakes, and that they would strongly consider good-faith efforts to comply with the new rules before bringing any actions.
Similarly, in the implementation of the new disclosures, Director Cordray has made many comments to assuage industry concerns. He has assured lenders, service providers and Congress that good faith efforts to comply with the new rules will be an important consideration under the enforcement regime for several months into next year. The Bureau has also extended the deadline for implementation by two months in order to provide industry with a chance to modify its compliance operations. The CFPB's website also has numerous materials to assist small businesses in training their employees and adopting new compliance practices. The Bureau has indicated in every way possible that it intends to work cooperatively with industry to meet the shared goal of adopting shorter, simpler, easier to understand disclosures for mortgages.
For these reasons, it is unnecessary for Congress to micromanage the CFPB's supervision and enforcement decisions, which is one of the goals of this bill.
H.R. 3192 would also have a detrimental impact on American homebuyers. The Truth in Lending Act provides borrowers an opportunity for recourse through the courts if a lender acts in bad faith and fails to disclose or obscures important information to the borrower. These rights are crucial for protecting consumers that likely are making one of the biggest financial commitments of their lives: buying a home. This bill would eliminate that right for all borrowers during the hold harmless period. Stripping back this consumer protection could have a profound impact on consumer safety, mortgage applications, and the broader economy.
The Truth in Lending Act already provides limited liability for disclosure related violations and allows lenders to cure errors made in good faith. While most lenders are acting in the best interests of the borrower, there are a small number of bad actors who can have an enormously costly impact on their victims. A small but important amount of private litigation is brought under TILA protections in these cases, which promotes trust in the mortgage lending system.
Removing these important protections for all loans originated in the proposed period could discourage all borrowers, potentially stalling the nascent recovery in housing markets.
Obama has already expressed an intention to veto the bill. 
Despite that, it passed 303 to to 121, with 64 Democrats joining the GOP.

Here are the 64:

Pete Aguilar (CA-31)
Brad Ashford (NE-02)
Ami Bera (CA-07)
Don Beyer (VA-08)
Earl Blumenauer (OR-03)
Brendan Boyle (PA-13)
Julia Brownley (CA-26)
Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
Tony Cardenas (CA-29)
John Carney (DE-AL)
Gerry Connolly (VA-11)
Jim Cooper (TN-05)
Jim Costa (CA-16)
Joe Courtney (CT-02)
Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
Pete DeFazio (OR-04)
John Delaney (MD-06)
Suzan DelBene (WA-01)
Elizabeth Esty (CT-05)
Bill Foster (IL-11)
John Garamendi (CA-03)
Gwen Graham (FL-02)
Janice Hahn (CA-44)
Denny Heck (WA-10)
Jim Himes (CT-04)
Bill Keating (MA-09)
Dan Kildee (MI-05)
Derek Kilmer (WA-06)
Ron Kind (WI-03)
Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01)
Annie Kuster (NH-02)
Rick Larsen (WA-02)
Dan Lipinski (IL-03)
David Loebsack (IA-02)
Alan Lowenthal (CA-47)
Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01)
Ben Ray Luján (NM-03)
Sean Maloney (NY-18)
Patrick Murphy (FL-18)
Richard Neal (MA-01)
Rick Nolan (MN-08)
Donald Norcross (NJ-01)
Beto O’Rourke (TX-16)
Ed Perlmutter (CO-07)
Scott Peters (CA-52)
Collin Peterson (MN-07)
Chellie Pingree (ME-01)
Jared Polis (CO-02)
Mike Quigley (IL-05)
Kathleen Rice (NY-04)
Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02)
Tim Ryan (OH-13)
Adam Schiff (CA-28)
Kurt Schrader (OR-05)
David Scott (GA-13)
Brad Sherman (CA-30)
Albio Sires (NJ-08)
Mark Takai (HI-01)
Dina Titus (NV-01)
Norma Torres (CA-35)
Niki Tsongas (MA-03)
Juan Vargas (CA-51)
Marc Veasey (TX-33)
Tim Walz (MN-01)

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