June 26, 2015

In Case You Missed It: A Look at Recent National Housing Policy News

New housing policy foundation breaks silence on housing crisis
The J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting more effective national housing policy, is launching its inaugural initiative to bring housing policy issues to the forefront as the 2016 presidential race gets underway.  The Foundation wants to bring the "silent" housing crisis of rising rents and diminished access to homeownership into the national conversation.
Housing and mortgage finance reform remain backburner issues for too many policymakers, who are content to tinker around the edges or grandstand with empty rhetoric. This lack of reform has a measurable impact on the housing and finance industry, as well as the economy in general and millions of potential homeowners in particular.

CFPB Announces Delay in Integrated Mortgage Disclosure Rule Effective Date 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced yesterday that it will delay the effective date of its Integrated Mortgage Disclosure rule by two months.  The rule, which combines disclosure requirements from the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, was originally scheduled to take effect August 1, 2015.  CFPB Director Richard Cordray stated that the CFPB will issue a "proposed amendment" which will delay the effective date of the rule until October 1, 2015.

Yellen: Fed Looking for Ways to 'Improve' CRA Rules

Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen said Wednesday that the agency is examining ways to improve its implementation of the Community Reinvestment Act amid concerns that regulators are letting too many poor communities go unserved by banks.  Speaking at a press conference following the Federal Open Market Committee's two-day meeting, Yellen said that the central bank takes CRA compliance "very seriously" and added that regulators frequently meet with community organizers to seek out ways to meet their financial needs. But she added that the Fed is examining whether the rules implementing the law need to be improved.  "We take CRA very seriously and … for those banks that we supervise, we have a set of guidelines and are very conscientious in attempting to evaluate CRA performance," Yellen said. "But we are looking at CRA and will continue to look to see whether there are ways in which implementation can be improved."

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