Finally some snail steps towards progress on defining what a “qualified mortgage” is. There is very little mortgage origination going on, which people don’t fully comprehend because it is overshadowed by the enormous amount of refinancing. It is essential that there are clear and strong regulations on mortgages but it is really important for these regulations not to stifle lending. The United States needs a robust mortgage market to facilitate demand for housing and to foster growth. Collateral values are low meaning that current new mortgage originations are likely to be some of the best loans written. Unfortunately due to a lack of clarity the banks are hardly lending, particularly for FICO’s under 680 which require additional capital.