WASHINGTON — The House approved a bill Monday evening to modify the calculation of certain "points and fees" under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's qualified mortgage rule.

The Mortgage Choice Act, introduced by Reps. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich, and Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., would exclude insurance and taxes held in escrow and fees paid to affiliated companies from the points and fees tally, which is limited by the rule to 3% of the mortgage cost. The House agreed to the measure by voice vote.

"This legislation is narrowly focused to promote access to affordable mortgage credit without overturning the important consumer protections and sound underwriting required under Dodd-Frank's 'ability to repay' provisions," Huizenga said during a floor speech before the vote. "These common-sense changes will promote access to affordable mortgage credit for low and moderate income families and first-time homeowners by ensuring that safer, properly underwritten mortgages pass the QM test."

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