Industry NewsMortgage

Sweeping lending bill under fire

Real estate industry seeking amendments

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A bill aimed at removing incentives for mortgage brokers to put borrowers in risky loans while requiring lenders to retain some "skin in the game" could hurt the very consumers it's designed to protect if it further constricts mortgage lending, real estate industry critics say. At a recent hearing on the bill, some consumer advocates -- and state banking regulators who stand to lose some of their authority if the bill is passed -- said the bill's language is too weak to accomplish its lofty goals. Staking out a middle ground in the debate, the National Association of Realtors is endorsing several of the bill's provisions, while warning lawmakers to strike "an appropriate balance" between safeguarding consumers and preserving access to mortgages at a reasonable cost. HR 1728, the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2009, addresses several aspects of the loan origination, securitization and servicing process. The bill was debated Thursday a...