Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Regulation On The Way For Mortgage Industry?

From Contra Costa Times:

“The bill, passed Thursday evening by a 291-127 vote, garnered support from 64 House Republicans. No Democrats were opposed.

Many other Republicans, though, echoed banking industry criticisms, calling the bill an overreaction to the mortgage market's woes and warning of a flood of lawsuits if it becomes law.

They also said the mortgage market has already pulled back from lax lending practices common during the tail end of the housing boom.

‘Have no doubt, this bill will limit credit availability and options for thousands of Americans who want to grab their share of the American dream of homeownership,’ Kieran Quinn, chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association, said in a statement. The American Bankers Association said it has ‘serious concerns’ with the bill, arguing that it would add more regulations for banks.”

From The Wall Street Journal:

“Rep. Frank's bill creates a national registry for mortgage brokers and bank employees who originate mortgages. The bill stops loan originators who get in trouble with authorities in one state from setting up shop in another. It also sets standards for states to apply in licensing mortgage brokers. In addition, the measure makes investment firms that create mortgage securities liable if they fail to take reasonable steps to ensure that the loans they acquire comply with the law.

Trade groups for home lenders opposed the bill, arguing that it is too vague and exposes lenders to bigger legal risks. They also are unhappy because the bill doesn't set a national standard that would pre-empt states from passing their own tougher legislation.”

From CQ Politics:

“Still, the lending industry, many Republicans and the White House have concerns about the bill. They argue that increased federal oversight could hurt borrowers if it further dries up already tight credit. Critics also say the industry would be forced to deal with a patchwork of state-by-state regulations because the bill would not pre-empt tougher state mortgage laws.

On Wednesday, the White House said in a statement of administration policy that the measure would ‘unduly restrict access to credit for potential homebuyers and reduce refinancing opportunities for current homeowners.’”

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