Mortgage definition could restrict options

By Marcie Geffner - Bankrate

Government regulators are about to define a "qualified residential mortgage," and their definition could determine the types of loans homebuyers and homeowners will -- and won't -- be able to get.

Some experts see no upside for borrowers. Others hope that the definition will help borrowers get home loans that are less likely to result in hardship or default.

"The whole purpose" of the new definition, says Ellen Harnick, senior policy counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending, speaking from the Washington, D.C., office, "is to encourage responsible loans and discourage the types of loan we've seen blow up."

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