A new rule designed to protect consumers from unfair mortgage practices goes into effect on April 1.
Known as Regulation Z, the rule targets types of compensation that prompt mortgage brokers to steer consumers to more expensive loans, said the Federal Reserve in a prepared statement.
Regulation Z prohibits mortgage brokers from receiving commission-style payments from lenders based on such terms and conditions as interest rates and financing costs. Brokers may receive compensation based only on the size of the loan.
Brokers traditionally earned higher commissions on mortgages with higher interest rates and points. They say the new rules remove incentives for brokers to work on more difficult loans and may ultimately make it harder for people with poor credit to buy a house. The costs of complying with the new regulations may also drive up mortgage costs.
The rules do not apply to Home Equity Lines of Credit or purchases of land that do not involve a dwelling.