Congress debates lending crackdown vs. hands-off approach

Restrictions on lenders could help -- or hurt -- borrowers

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Lawmakers must weigh the potential impact on housing and financial markets as Congress debates whether to impose new restrictions on mortgage lenders and provide additional help to troubled borrowers.

With more than 1.5 million homeowners facing interest-rate resets by the end of next year, some legislators are opposed to clamping down too hard on mortgage lenders, saying tightened underwriting standards have already created a credit crunch.

“A comprehensive consumer advocacy driven predatory lending bill is not the answer,” Rep.