SAN ANTONIO -

Some new mortgage rules are out requiring lenders to make sure that those borrowing can repay their loans.

The new rules took effect on Friday and are aimed at reducing the risk of defaults and foreclosures, as well as protecting the borrower.

Under the new rules, lenders must now determine that a borrower has the income and assets to make payments throughout the life of the loan.

"What it's offering is some more definition on how do you define if a borrower is qualified," said Linda Rudd, senior loan officer with Legacy Mutual Mortgage. "Every lender may look at that differently. So, by specifying, everybody is going to have a rule book to follow."

Rudd said the extra process may cause some delays for people looking to buy homes.

"Our company, being local and being very committed to be ahead of these changes, we're ready for it," said Rudd. "But I can tell you the industry as a whole is not ready for it."

Danny Charbel, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty, said they are also expecting longer contract times and probably a few delays in the beginning, but that at least here locally, the demand for homes is still there.

"We are going to see folks who are turned down, people on the fringes whose debt to income levels were really close to 50 percent," said Charbel. "Those people are going to have to be doing a little more saving, maybe a bigger down payment will get them into a house."

To determine if a borrower has the income to afford the life of a loan, lenders must now take a close look at a potential home-buyer's paycheck, credit card debt, car payments and other expenses.