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House passes controversial anti-predatory-lending bill

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The House of Representatives Thursday approved controversial legislation intended to combat predatory lending, amending some provisions to address criticism that the bill could worsen the credit crunch, but strengthening others. HR 3915, the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2007, would create a national licensing system for mortgage loan originators and require lenders to determine that borrowers have a reasonable ability to repay a loan. The bill would also create limited liability for companies that bundle mortgages for sale to Wall Street investors. Although the Bush administration opposes many of the bill's provisions (see Inman News story), HR 3915 received bipartisan support in the House, where it was approved in a 291-127 vote. Whether some of its more controversial provisions are embraced in the Senate remains to be seen. Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., is expected to introduce legislation with similar goals, but which may not incorporate all of the new restr...