Maine's anti-predatory-lending bill targets high-cost loans

Critics say states creating patchwork quilt of regulations

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In the latest example of state lawmakers beating Congress and federal regulators to the punch, Maine has adopted a strong anti-predatory-lending measure that an advocate for mortgage brokers says will have the effect of “wiping out subprime lending in the state.”

Legislation passed unanimously by state lawmakers and signed into law Monday by Gov. John Baldacci broadens the definition of high-cost mortgage loans, places new restrictions on their use, and allows for criminal prosecution of violators.