"The Associated Press recently ran a story about how the mortgage crisis was leading the federal government and states to tighten licensing and other requirements for operating as a mortgage broker. Will this have a material effect in curbing the abuses that led to the crisis?" No, because mortgage brokers played only an incidental role in the crisis. Blaming the crisis on brokers makes as little sense as blaming it on greed. Brokers have been with us for decades; greed has been with us forever; and neither suddenly caused a financial crisis. I hasten to add that I believe that mortgage brokers should be licensed and required to pass a competency examination, for the same reason that plumbers and morticians are. They all provide important services to the community, which has a stake in their being performed effectively at reasonable cost. Licensing and examination weed out some of the worst players, and encourage professionalism and self-restraint by the rest. But...
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