Higher-priced mortgage loans are generally defined as mortgages that exceed prime offer rates for comparable transactions published by the Fed by at least 1.5 percentage points. The CFPB emphasized that the rules do not prevent the borrower from challenging a lender for violating any other federal consumer protection laws. The CFPB proposes to exempt certain nonprofit creditors that work with low- and moderate-income consumers to the rule and would also make exceptions for certain homeownership stabilization programs; such as those that offer loans made in connection with the Making Home Affordable program; which help consumers avoid foreclosure. The proposed amendments would also provide Qualified Mortgage status for certain loans made and held in portfolio by small creditors, such as community banks and credit unions. -- Written by Shanthi Bharatwaj in New York.