Cordray's reassurances appeared in an opinion piece which ran in the March 11 National Mortgage News under the headline “Credit Unions, On Whole, Are Responsible Lenders.”
“I know that complying with our new regulations is a worry for many of you. So allow me to make a few points clear,” Cordray wrote. “First, the criteria for qualified mortgages are intended to describe only the least risky loans that can be offered to consumers. But plenty of responsible lending remains available outside of the qualified mortgage space, and we encourage you to continue to offer mortgages to those borrowers you can evaluate as posing reasonable credit risk. Those that lend responsibly – like credit unions – have no reason to fear the ability-to-repay rule.”
Cordray also wrote that the agency understood that credit unions might be cautious about making housing loans outside of qualified mortgage loans, but he urged credit unions to be confident of their own operations.
“Of course, we understand that some of you-or your boards or lending committees-may be initially inclined to lend only within the qualified mortgage space, maybe out of caution about how the regulators would react,” he added. “But you should have confidence in your strong underwriting standards, and you should not be holding back.”