Alternative Mortgage Transaction Parity Act (AMTPA) Definition

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Alternative Mortgage Transaction Parity Act (AMTPA) Definition

What Is the Alternative Mortgage Transaction Parity Act (AMTPA)?

Congress passed the Alternative Mortgage Transaction Parity Act (AMTPA) in 1982, overriding several state regulations that prohibited banks from originating house loans other than traditional fixed-rate mortgages.

Because to the Act, new “exotic” mortgages including adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), option ARMs, interest-only mortgages, and balloon payment mortgages are now readily available.

Key Takeaways

  • The types of house loans that banks were allowed to issue were addressed by the Alternative Mortgage Transaction Parity Act of 1982, or AMTPA.
  • The Act allowed these financial institutions to create more so-called exotic mortgages by superseding several state rules that aimed to restrict the kinds of loans a bank may write.
  • Exotic mortgages included balloon payment mortgages, interest-only mortgages, option ARMS, and adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMS).
  • The Act was seen as having contributed to the sub-prime mortgage crisis of 2007, which occurred when years of readily available credit and loose lending criteria generated a massive housing bubble that eventually burst, devastating the American and worldwide economies.

How the Alternative Mortgage Transaction Parity Act (AMTPA) Works

The sub-prime mortgage crisis of 2007 is often attributed to AMPTA, which is seen as a classic illustration of the price of good intentions. Prior to the passage of AMPTA, the majority of states had laws that prohibited banks from issuing house loans other than traditional fixed-rate mortgages. These limitations made it difficult, if not impossible, for low-income families to buy houses, especially in light of the era’s double-digit inflation and interest rates.

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The second legislative effort to solve the housing affordability issue was AMPTA. State usury laws were repealed in 1980 by the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act (DIDMCA), an act approved by Congress. The housing market grew as a result of banks’ ability to impose higher interest rates on customers with bad credit. However, the statutory limits on the types of mortgages permitted were not addressed by this statute. That’s exactly what AMPTA did two years later. The two legislation worked together to create new mortgage packages.

The Unintended Consequence of AMPTA

Deregulation had the unexpected effect of causing many borrowers in the early 21st century to get mortgages they did not fully comprehend.

For instance, ARMs start off with a low “teaser” interest rate that gradually floats with market rates and may rise significantly over time. When a balloon mortgage’s debt is due, a sizable payment is necessary. For the first few years, interest-only mortgages offer reasonable monthly payments; but, when the rate ultimately resets to include principle, the costs may soar.

Option ARMs let the borrower to make short-term underpayments, but the unpaid sum is added to the loan principal and, in certain situations, prevents the borrower from increasing their equity in the property. In addition, banks approved loans based only on a borrower’s capacity to make the first low monthly installments, disregarding the borrower’s ability to make the subsequent, larger payments.

New Laws AddressAMPTAProblems

House values started to fall as borrowers lost their houses as a result of defaulting on their mortgages, making it even more difficult for individuals to refinance their properties into more manageable payments.

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Congress introduced new laws in 2007 requiring lenders to base their mortgage underwriting decisions on the fully indexed rate. The Dodd-Frank Act effectively eliminated AMPTA in 2010 by requiring even tougher requirements and lender accountability. Dodd-rollbacks Frank’s in 2018 focused on “stress tests” for banks rather than the Act’s mortgage regulations.

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