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Top FDIC official calls for national anti-predatory-lending standard

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Congress should pass legislation spelling out a national anti-predatory-lending standard requiring lenders to analyze borrowers' capacity to repay loans and prohibiting misleading marketing and disclosures, a top federal bank regulator advised lawmakers Tuesday. FDIC chairman Sheila Bair, testifying before members of a House subcommittee conducting hearings on mortgage lending, said she recognizes the benefits of providing home loans to consumers with "less-than-perfect" credit. "This does not mean, however, that lenders should make loans that borrowers will inevitably have difficulty repaying, or impose terms that will exacerbate borrowers' credit problems," Bair said in her prepared testimony. Bair said predatory lending includes not only fraud and deception that conceals the true nature of a loan from an unsophisticated borrower, but making unaffordable loans based on a borrower's collateral instead of the ability to repay or inducing a borrower to refinance many times in order to ...