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Legislation introduced to force CFPB to hold small business panel on QM rule

Bob Corker

Several senators have introduced a bill that would force the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to hold a small business review panel hearing on its “qualified mortgage” rule before its finalization.

Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) introduced the bill, S. 3571, PoliticalNews.me reports.

The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act requires that the CFPB hold a small business review panel before it issues a rule proposal. The small business panel would meet with representatives from directly regulated financial institutions, and these individuals would have an opportunity to give the CFPB regulatory advice to minimize the burden on small businesses.

The CFPB, however, cited a technicality, saying that the agency does not have to convene a review panel before issuing its finale QM rule.

“The CFPB is sending the wrong signal that it doesn’t value the small business panel and its role in crafting rules that impact small businesses,” Crapo said, according to PoliticalNews.me. “The [QM] rule is one of the most important rules that the CFPB will write, as it will have a significant impact on the ability of every American to purchase a home. To help minimize unintended consequences, this legislation fulfills Congressional intent by requiring the CFPB to conduct a small business panel on the [QM] rule before it can go forward with a final rule.”

Shelby said that the bill will ensure that the CFPB complies with federal law, adding that the CFPB “believes that it can play by its own rules,” PoliticalNews.me reports.

Corker said that requiring the CFPB to identify the potential impact of its rules on small businesses is an important oversight measure.

“There is real danger that a QM regulation that ignores the impact on smaller lenders would adversely affect Americans’ access to mortgages needed to purchase homes,” Corker said, according to PoliticalNews.me.