MBA ‘Call to Action’ Urges Senate Approval of Non-Traditional Mortgage Access

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s grassroots advocacy arm, the Mortgage Action Alliance, issued a Call to Action yesterday urging support for a Senate bill that would increase mortgage access for non-traditional borrowers.

S. 3401, the Self-Employed Mortgage Access Act (, addresses challenges in documenting ability to repay for borrowers with non-traditional forms of income. Introduced by Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Mike Rounds, R-S.D., the bill would:

–Expand access to mortgages for the self-employed, gig workers and other creditworthy individuals with non-traditional forms of income without jeopardizing consumer protections.

–Allow the use of existing underwriting standards such as those found in the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Seller/Servicer Guides or FHA, VA and USDA Handbooks as alternatives to Appendix Q.

–Allow lenders to responsibly qualify borrowers with legitimate, documented income sources such as rental income, retirement income or income from self-employment, thus validating ability to repay.

The bill incorporates a series of recommendations made by MBA in a letter earlier this year.

“Small business owners and the self-employed, who represent up to 30% of the labor force (and growing), should not face unnecessary obstacles to homeownership,” said MBA Senior Vice President of Legislative and Political Affairs Bill Killmer. “As the industry develops new, innovative, responsible methods of underwriting that are supported by technological advances, a more dynamic regulatory framework is needed to keep pace. This bipartisan legislation hits the problem head on and our industry needs to help grow support for it.”

The Call to Action urges the Senate to take up the bill before it adjourns before the November elections.

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