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New standards for predatory lending protection

Federal agency issues guidelines against abusive real estate lending

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The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which oversees national banks, has issued residential real estate lending standards as an additional step to protect against national banks becoming involved in predatory, abusive, unfair or deceptive residential mortgage lending practices.  "The OCC is committed to ensuring that abusive lending practices do not gain a foothold in the national banking system," said Julie L. Williams, acting Comptroller of the Currency.  The new guidelines incorporate key provisions and central principles of the OCC's February, 2003 advisory letters alerting national banks to practices that may be considered predatory or abusive and advising national banks on measures to avoid such practices. The advisories addressed national banks' mortgage origination activity, as well as purchases of loans and use of third-party brokers to conduct mortgage lending. National banks are expected to implement anti-predatory lending standards consistent with a...