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Next subprime wave brings more bad news

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Because the worst of the option ARM loans begin to mature through the last half of 2007 and all of 2008 there is more bad news coming. Real estate professionals could be punished if Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass, has his way. He wants to let delinquent subprime borrowers sue the investment bankers who bought the loans and turned them into securities. A major sea-change in mortgage lending would follow. Big secondary market players like Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch have largely escaped a full-blown consumer assault on them through the Tort Reform Act. A legal maneuver called "implied cause of action" has provided some protection. Congressman Frank would take the protection away and the trial lawyers of America would be forever grateful. Mortgage brokers and many wholesale lenders don't have the deep pockets the plaintiff's bar needs. If delinquent borrowers are allowed to sue their way out of foreclosure, you can bet the loan terms for marginal borrowers and first-time ...