New Year, New Mortgage Rules

In January 2014, new regulations take effect aiming to protect consumers from taking on more home loan debt than they can handle.

If you'll be applying for a mortgage in 2014 or later, you will be entering a changed landscape -- and might, in fact, have more trouble qualifying for a loan than borrowers did in recent years.

Your "ability to repay" will now become a greater-than-ever consideration in applying for the loan, with particular scrutiny given to your income, level of other debt, and credit history. For more, see Nolo's article, "New Mortgage Rules on "Ability to Pay."

If you'll be taking out a so-called "high-cost mortgage" (in which the interest rate, points, or fees are above certain amounts), you'll want to know about new protections you'll get from the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA). And you'll need to receive financial counseling! See Nolo's article, "New Protections for High-Cost Mortgages."

The new year also comes with "New Restrictions on Reverse Mortgages."

Nolo will continue to add articles and updates as details emerge.