WASHINGTON — Regulators' plan to unite two separate mortgage standards mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act is deepening the focus on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's ever-expanding role in the mortgage sphere.

Dodd-Frank established two distinct classes for safe mortgages: the "Qualified Mortgage" and the "Qualified Residential Mortgage." The designations have different objectives — QM is designed to boost underwriting standards while QRM exists to provide investors with a class of ultra-safe loans — yet they are often discussed in the same breath in part because of similar nomenclature.

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