Borrowers suffer disclosure overload

Part 1: Poking holes in mortgage reform
Published on May 25, 2009

Editor's note: This is Part 1 of a two-part series. Read Part 2. Reading proposed legislation designed to "reform" the mortgage market is usually a depressing experience for me. Most of the proposals would take us further away from, rather than closer to, a competitive system that works for borrowers. This is certainly true of HR 1728, called the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act, which was winding its way through Congress when this was written. Virtually every section of HR 1728 bears the fingerprints of consumer groups and/or mortgage lenders. Legislators and their staffs operate under the illusion that by adjudicating between these groups, they can achieve a balance between the interests of borrowers and those of lenders. This is an illusion because most of the policies espoused by consumer groups further the interests of consumer groups, not those of consumers. Consumer groups look to entangle lenders in a maze of complex rules and potential lia...