March 2, 2021

Letters: Too Many Rules for Home Loans, or Too Few?

To the Editor:

Re “Some Bankers Never Learn” (Fair Game, July 31), which described the mortgage banking industry’s opposition to a proposed rule that aims to reduce the number of risky loans in the wake of the subprime debacle:

I was touched by the warnings from the Mortgage Bankers Association president, David Stevens, regarding the proposed requirements for down payments and debt-to-income ratios in order for a home loan to be considered of high quality. He called such requirements “unnecessary and not worth the societal costs of excluding far too many qualified borrowers from the most affordable mortgage loans to achieve homeownership.”

But I say this: Let the mortgage bankers make loans without down-payment and ratio minimums out of their own money, not mine. Peter A. Amster

Milwaukee, Aug. 1

To the Editor:

The answer to housing’s ills is not to overregulate the mortgage process and make it harder for working families to buy homes. The fact that alliances of civil rights, real estate, labor, mortgage, consumer advocacy groups and lawmakers have taken a stand against the proposed Qualified Residential Mortgage rule should be checkpoint enough.  

The column did not mention the damage that the rule  would do  to homeownership for the masses. The rule, which would require the safest loans to have a 20  percent down payment, would exclude many first-time homebuyers, many of whom are Latino. Indeed, minorities have suffered great losses. But making it impossible for minority buyers to achieve homeownership would add insult to injury. 

We need a housing system that makes homeownership safe, attainable and sustainable. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater makes no sense. Attracting new homeowners back into neighborhoods is key to healing America. Carmen Mercado

Farmingville, N.Y., Aug. 1

The writer is president of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals.

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