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Habitat for Humanity International
Strategies for getting a mortgage amid tougher federal rules

WASHINGTON — The verdict was nearly unanimous at a recent hearing on Capitol Hill: The new federal "ability to repay" and "qualified mortgage" regulations that took effect Jan. 10 will make obtaining credit tougher, not easier, this year, and potentially force large numbers of creditworthy home buyers to defer or cancel their plans. What nobody addressed at the hearing, though, was the elephant in the room: OK, we've got a problem. But what, if anything, can buyers who find it difficult to meet the new standards do about it? The testimony came from mortgage, banking and credit union leaders — even the head of a nonprofit Habitat for Humanity...

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