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CA Bank Going Off QM Grid

Bank of the West to offer IO loans

Jan. 6, 2014

By Mortgage Daily staff

A financial institution out of California says that it will continue to make interest-only home loans even after Qualified Mortgage rules go into effect.

Bank of the West announced Monday that it will continue to offer interest-only mortgages after the new QM rule takes effect.

The QM rule was issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and goes into effect on Jan. 10. Loans with interest-only payments or balloon payments will not receive the QM designation - which offers lenders a shield from liability.

Borrowers who opt for an interest-only loan will need to meet the bank's underwriting criteria.

Bank of the West said it has reviewed its underwriting requirements to ensure borrowers' have the ability to repay after the interest-only period expires.

Customers who benefit from interest-only products include those who or self-employed and those looking to maximize cash flow.

Interest-only mortgages are held in the San Francisco-based company's investment portfolio.

"We extensively reviewed the CFPB's rules and found them broadly consistent with how Bank of the West has always done business," Bank of the West Senior Executive Vice President Paul Wible said in the announcement. "At the same time, we know that interest-only loans can fulfill the mortgage needs of many of our customers. Therefore, even though they do not fit the CFPB's definition of a QM, we will continue to offer them as before."

Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has nearly 200,000 employees in 80 countries.

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