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New standards for mortgage lenders

Jeremy Hobson Oct 24, 2007
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Doug Krizner: Deceptive lending practices appear to be the core of the mortgage crisis. The issue is being addressed at hearings in the House today. The Financial Services Committee is considering a Democratic-sponsored bill to set new federal standards. Lenders say it would increase costs and decrease choices for consumers. Jeremy Hobson reports.


Jeremy Hobson: Congressman Brad Miller is one of the democrats who introduced the bill. He says if the legislation had been in effect earlier, the mortgage crisis could have been avoided. And, he says, he wants it passed whether lenders like it or not.

Brad Miller: This is not going to be by permission. They have made loans that have resulted in millions of American families now facing losing their homes to foreclosure.

The legislation would bar mortgage lenders from getting incentive fees for signing people up with pricey loans. It would also require brokers and loan officers to be licensed by the government.

Roy DeLoach with the National Association of Mortgage Brokers likes that part of the bill. He says some other parts are overreaching.

Roy DeLoach: Have we abandoned the free-market principles that have actually put United States at the highest homeownership level in our history?

Lawmakers will be weighing that question, along with the high number of foreclosures, as they try to pass legislation by year’s end.

In Washington, I’m Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

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