With the January 10 effective date imminent, the CFPB has issued what it labels a “fact vs. fiction guide” on its ability-to-repay/qualified mortgage rule.  According to the CFPB, the guide is intended “to help dispel some of the most common misconceptions about what this new rule actually means for consumers.”  

It appears that the primary “misconception” the CFPB seeks to dispel is that the rule’s requirements, which the guide describes as “basic guidelines that lenders can follow,” will make it more difficult for consumers to obtain credit.  In the guide, the CFPB shoots down various “fictions” with “facts” designed to show why lenders should not find the rule’s requirements particularly burdensome and will continue to have wide leeway in their lending practices.  Thus, the CFPB’s presentation appears to portend the defense the CFPB plans to use should the rule prove to have a materially adverse effect on credit availability—namely that any such effect was the result of lender overreaction to the rule rather than the requirements of the rule itself.