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Congresswoman Clarke Supports Mortgage and Predatory Lending Reform

CaribWorldNews, Washington, D.C., Fri. May 8, 2009: Caribbean American Congresswoman, Yvette D. Clarke, has come out in support of the Mortgage Reform & Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2009

Congresswoman Clarke on Thursday voted in favor of H.R. 1728, which aims to curb abusive practices and predatory lending in the mortgage industry. It also outlaws many of the industry actions that marked the subprime lending boom and led to the nation’s highest foreclosure rate and worst economic crisis in decades. It marks a key step in the overhaul of the nation’s financial regulations, said the congresswoman.

`This bill will finally put a stop to the abusive and predatory lending practices that have contributed to our nation’s highest home foreclosure rate in 25 years,` said the congresswoman on the House floor.   `In recent years, some homeowners were deceived and some homeowners received more expensive loans than they could afford. In response, this bill would ensure that mortgage lenders make loans that benefit the consumer– and would bar lenders from steering borrowers into higher cost loans.`

She added that it will prohibit lenders from offering `reasonable sounding mortgages,` only to hide huge fees, rising interest rates and junk insurance in the fine print. 

`No longer will lenders be able to `get rich` at the borrower’s expense. The Mortgage Reform & Anti-Predatory Lending Act prescribes a simple standard for all home loans: institutions must ensure that borrowers can repay the loans they are sold, before they sign on the dotted line. Under this measure, lenders and the secondary mortgage market who don’t comply with these standards would be held liable by consumers for rescission of the loan and the consumer’s costs for rescission, including attorney’s fees,` said Congresswoman Clarke. `This would encourage the market to move back toward making fixed-rate, fully documented loans.` 

Addressing the mortgage foreclosure crisis, said Clarke, is one of her top priorities.  Additionally, earlier this year, she introduced H.R. 1848, the Foreclosure Prevention Act, which authorizes an appropriation of $100 million dollars to Neighbor Works America for foreclosure mitigation activities and mortgage counseling. 

`I am very pleased that the principals of my bill were adopted into the Mortgage Reform & Anti-Predatory Lending Act,` she added.