The other day we learned that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is probably going with a middle way on the safe harbor vs. "rebuttable presumption" debate in the forthcoming "qualified mortgage" rulemaking by giving lenders safe harbor from ability-to-pay lawsuits in all QMs except for loans with high interest rates.

Everyone happy now? No such luck.

"The agency, according to sources, is also considering a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 43% for meeting the QM definition, which is a lower threshold than the industry had sought," reports American Banker's Kate Davidson.

"If lenders do not get a safe harbor, and you give a 43% DTI and the borrower goes to default, there's nothing stopping a borrower from filing suit in a state saying I should not have qualified and the lender should have known," says David Stevens of the Mortgage Bankers Association.

"The safe harbor is a very blunt tool, and while we want to encourage lending, there is a real risk of providing immunity to a lot of unaffordable loans, and actually taking a step back from what the statute was trying to do," says Mike Calhoun of the Center for Responsible Lending.

For the full piece see "CFPB May Offend Both Sides in QM Compromise" (may require subscription).