New rules launching early next year designed to make mortgages safer may result in fewer choices for borrowers, CNNMoney reported. The problem: Small banks may drop out of the business because of the cost of tougher regulations. Beginning Jan. 10, banks have to ensure that monthly mortgage payments are affordable, a result of the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The failure to do so carries strict penalties. Under the new rules, lenders must determine that borrowers have the ability to repay their loans. That means, for example, that the banks can't lend to anyone whose total debt payments would exceed 43 percent of their income. Lenders must carefully examine and double-check pay statements, bank records, tax returns and other paperwork provided by borrowers.