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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) introduced legislation that would improve access to mortgages for those working in the “gig” economy, including independent contractors and the self-employed. 
Those with non-traditional forms of income have long found access to mortgage products more onerous to obtain, even though these borrowers are often equally as creditworthy. 

The Self-Employed Mortgage Access Act would allow access to mortgages for those receiving steady forms of income by allowing lenders to verify an applicant’s income using additional forms of documentation. Under the Qualified Mortgage standard, borrower income must be documented using an outdated set of requirements that do not appropriately account for sources outside of an employer’s W-2 form. These restrictions apply to any loans that are not eligible for federal backing – either through insurance from agencies like FHA and VA, or purchase by entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. 

“America was founded by innovators, and no one embodies that spirit more than the self-employed. These individuals should not suffer unnecessary obstacles because of their dedication to create a better life for themselves and their family.” Said Emmer. “They deserve to own a home and build their American dream, and needless government regulation should not stand in their way.”

This bipartisan, common sense legislation co-sponsored by Representative Bill Foster (D-IL) would allow lenders to use widely-accepted documentation standards – standards that have already been approved by federal agencies – to underwrite income earned through self-employment or gig economy work. 

“As the way people work evolves, an increasing number of Americans are making a living through self-employment and the gig economy,” Congressman Foster said. “We need to ensure these people aren’t being unfairly disadvantaged from homeownership because they don’t have the same income documentation–like paystubs or W-2s–as people with traditional jobs. Simply put, this legislation levels the playing field for creditworthy consumers to pursue homeownership.” 

The bill has the support of the Mortgage Bankers Association, Consumer Federation of America, and The Milken Institute.

Read the full text of the bill here.