On January 10, 2013, the CFPB issued the long-awaited ability to repay/qualified mortgage rule and, while the devil will be in the details, it appears that cautious optimism for the mortgage industry is warranted. The industry fought hard for the creation of a safe harbor for qualified mortgages and the rule includes a safe harbor for lower-priced qualified mortgages. The final rule is effective January 10, 2014. The CFPB also issued concurrent proposals to address particular concerns under the final rule. Comments on the proposals are due February 25, 2013. Please see our alert regarding the final rule.

We note, the CFPB held a public hearing to address the final rule at Westminster Hall in Baltimore, MD, which is the site of Edgar Allen Poe’s burial place. According to unconfirmed reports, during the portion of the hearing when the CFPB was explaining how the rule would prevent mortgage loans being made without regard to repayment ability, a raven was heard to say “never more”.