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Well-written code of ethics can go a long way

Guest perspective: Moral clean-up in lending should focus on problem source

In his testimony, Jim Nabors, president of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers, advocates financial literacy programs in middle school as one way to address predatory lending. (See Inman News story, "Education key to fight predatory lending.") With utmost respect to Mr. Nabors, we think that this is like arguing for similar programs in medicine, law, accounting, real estate, and so forth. While it is true that it is harder to cheat an informed customer, we believe that moral clean-up efforts should focus on the source of the problem and not its victims. While we believe that consumer education is an excellent goal, we also believe that we should take a closer look at some of the roots of unethical behavior in the industry itself. In our article here, we'd like to address only one source of the problem of predatory lending, as well as prolegomena about the solution. To our knowledge, there is no well-defined code of ethics in the mortgage-lending industry with effective enforce...

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