No-fee mortgage option is on the way

  @CNNMoney August 17, 2012: 3:41 PM ET
richard cordray

Richard Cordray, who runs the consumer bureau, announced new rules Friday that would limit fees on mortgages.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

Lenders would have to offer potential home buyers an option to get mortgages with no fees, under a rule proposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Generally, homeowners pay fees and points in exchange for lower overall interest rates on mortgage loans.

"Consumers have a hard time comparing loans when they are dealing with a bewildering array of points and fees," said Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in a statement. "We want to provide consumers with clearer options and enable them to choose the loan that they believe is right for them."

In the Dodd-Frank Act, Congress wanted to clean up the process of getting a residential mortgage, which was criticized as a contributing factor to the financial crisis. The idea was to ensure consumers understand the mortgage loans they're offered, as well as all the accompanying fees.

Related: 'I was denied a bank account!'

While good news for consumers, the mortgage proposal is actually easier on lenders. Lawmakers banned extra fees and points on mortgage loans in cases when the originator makes a commission -- which happens with most mortgages.

Under this proposed rule, the bureau would allow lenders to keep offering consumers options to reduce their mortgage interest through fees and points, as long as those fees and points actually reduce the overall interest rate on the mortgage. Lenders must offer the no-fee mortgages as well.

Related:

Most (and least) affordable cities

A senior official with the consumer bureau explained that the rule was a balance between a blanket ban on fees and the current origination process, which has no rules for mortgage fees. Consumer groups and those in the lending industry weighed in, saying it would be better to keep giving consumers the opportunity to lower interest rates by paying more up front.

What is the CFPB?

The bureau will now collect comment on the rules and finalize them to take effect by January. To top of page




Join the Conversation
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.36%4.24%
15 yr fixed3.39%3.26%
5/1 ARM3.36%3.27%
30 yr refi4.34%4.22%
15 yr refi3.38%3.24%
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
Find Homes for sale
  • Property Type
  • Find a home in:
    New York | Atlanta | Chicago | Los Angeles
    Washington D.C | Houston | Philadelphia | More options
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.