CFPB Publishes 2014 List Of Rural Counties

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On July 2, the CFPB published a final list of rural and underserved counties for use in 2014. Several of the CFPB’s new mortgage rules include provisions and exceptions related to creditors who operate in predominantly rural or underserved counties, including the ability-to-repay/qualified mortgage rule and the TILA escrows rule. The CFPB notes that the list has changed based on 2010 census data such that some small creditors will lose eligibility for certain mortgage rule exemptions. Based on those changes and extensive feedback the CFPB has received about the definition of rural and underserved counties, the CFPB reminded institutions that it (i) recently revised its ability-to-repay rule to extend the ability to originate balloon QMs to certain small creditors that do not operate predominantly in rural or underserved areas during the period from January 10, 2014, to January 10, 2016, (ii) recently proposed to extend the same treatment to these small creditors for purposes of the high-cost mortgage balloon exemption, and (iii) proposed to extend eligibility for the rural or underserved exemption from the escrow requirement to creditors that operated predominantly in rural or underserved counties in any of the previous three years.