One of the biggest points of contention in the forthcoming "qualified mortgage" standard has been: Will lenders get safe harbor or will there be a "rebuttable presumption" for considering the borrower's ability to pay?

In short: if you're a lender it's much preferable not to have your presumption rebutted. And many have cried that anything short of a full safe harbor will unduly restrict access to credit.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is to set the final rule on the standard, is said to be looking at middle way. It may give safe harbor to loans that meet all the standards, except "for a smaller category of loans that still meet the 'qualified mortgage' guidelines but carry higher interest rates—a group similar to 'subprime loans,'" reports the Wall Street Journal.

For the full piece see "Home Loans May Get Shield" (may require subscription).