They were a hallmark of the U.S. housing crash: Mortgages that required little or even no documentation.
During the boom, they were called “stated income” loans, but advertised as “low-doc” or “no-doc” loans. When the damage was done, they were deemed “liar loans.”
Both Lenders and borrowers alike would write basically anything on the mortgage application to get the deal done. Now, nearly a decade after the financial crisis began, a new version of the stated income loan is making a comeback.
“Lite Doc.” That is what Quontic Bank, an FDIC-insured community lender in New York City is calling its product. It requires only verification of employment and two months worth of bank statements. For self-employed borrowers, it requires documentation of one year of profit and losses. The Lite Doc loans are five-year adjustable-rate mortgages with interest rates in the low- to mid-5 percent range, according to the bank. Thirty-year fixed-rate loans, which when fully documented can offer rates in the high-3 percent range, are not part of the offering.
But how can that be? Aren’t lenders suppose to comply with the strict new “ability-to-repay,” (ATR) rules established in the wake of the financial crisis under Dodd-Frank?
The Quontic loan does not have to comply with strict new “ability-to-repay,” or ATR, rules established in the wake of the financial crisis under Dodd-Frank legislation, due to a little loophole: Quontic is designated as a community development financial institution, or CDFI, under a small U.S. Treasury program which funds economic revitalization in low-income communities.