Currently, balloon payments are prohibited for HOEPA-covered loans having maturities of less than five years.
For example, a consumer may not understand that a loan with affordable monthly payments will not amortize the principal or that the consumer may have to refinance a balloon payment at additional cost.
The Board and HUD join in two recommendations to protect consumers who obtain HOEPA-covered loans; one addresses balloon payments, and the other addresses single-premium credit insurance.
These loans are made to appear attractive by monthly payments that are kept low, but they are often accompanied by a large balloon payment that the consumer must then refinance.
Of all of the provisions in section 2 of the bill, the substantive limitations on balloon payments, negative amortization, and prepayment penalties seem particularly focused on the problems associated with high-cost mortgages.
When the "dust settles," these borrowers may find that they have paid a high number of loan origination and broker points (often financed in the borrowed amount) and have agreed to a loan with an interest rate at the highest levels in the market--sometimes with monthly payments that even exceed their monthly income and often with a balloon payment due.