A House Republican has introduced legislation to block the Biden administration from imposing higher fees on mortgage borrowers with relatively high credit scores to subsidize home buyers with lower credit scores.

Rep. Andy Biggs, Arizona Republican, introduced the Responsible Borrowers Act, which has more than 30 GOP co-sponsors. The measure seeks to block a rule by the Federal Housing Finance Agency that will go into effect on Monday.

“The FHFA — led by a President Biden-appointed director — is punishing financially responsible mortgage borrowers,” Mr. Biggs said in a statement. “Their agenda of equity over equality defies common sense and will endanger the stability of the housing market.”

Mr. Biggs said he hears complaints regularly from constituents about the high cost of housing, “which has been exacerbated by the insane interest rates imposed to combat Biden’s skyrocketing inflation.”

“If implemented, the latest FHFA fee change could result in thousands of dollars in additional fees for lower-risk homeowners over time, while encouraging and rewarding financial irresponsibility,” he said. “My legislation prohibits the new fees from going into effect and I’m grateful for the support of more than 30 of my House Republican colleagues.”

Congressional Republicans have urged the FHFA this week to rescind the proposed fee changes. Sen. Roger Marshall, Kansas Republican, said the rule will “invert the common-sense risk financing structure” at government-sponsored entities and mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

SEE ALSO: GOP slams good-credit penalty for homebuyers, demands reversal of higher-rate rule

The fee changes will go into effect as part of the FHFA’s push for affordable housing, and they will affect mortgages originating at private banks across the country. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will enact the loan-level price adjustments, or LLPAs.

“Higher-credit-score borrowers are not being charged more so that lower-credit-score borrowers can pay less. Some updated fees are higher, and some are lower, in differing amounts. They do not represent pure decreases for high-risk borrowers or pure increases for low-risk borrowers,” the FHFA said in a statement.

Mortgage industry specialists say homebuyers with credit scores of 680 or higher will pay, for example, about $40 per month more on a home loan of $400,000. Homebuyers who make down payments of 15% to 20% will get socked with the largest fees.

“The Biden administration’s latest effort to enforce equity in the housing market is offensive and un-American,” said Adam Brandon, president of the conservative FreedomWorks. “Borrowers with excellent credit should not be punished for doing right and be forced to bear more financial burdens due to the fiscal irresponsibility of others. Unelected bureaucrats in Washington should not have the ability to impose such regulations on hardworking American families, and this Administration must be held accountable for their authoritarian actions.”

Ryan Walker, vice president of government relations at the conservative Heritage Action, said Mr. Biden is “attempting to force Americans with low-risk credit scores to subsidize lower rates for high-risk borrowers.”

“This is a gross overreach and will ultimately contribute to the growing inflation problem we have in this country,” he said.

Mr. Biggs said if the new rule is implemented, it “could result in thousands of dollars in additional fees for lower-risk homeowners over time, while encouraging and rewarding financial irresponsibility.”

Among the House GOP co-sponsors of the legislation are Reps. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Matt Rosendale of Montana, Chris Stewart of Utah and Byron Donalds of Florida.


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