Consumer protection plan worries some

Mortgage disclosures, prepayment penalties eyed

Among the Obama administration’s proposals for Financial Regulatory Reform (FRR) is one for a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA). It is designed to replace the existing system of consumer protection where authority is fragmented among different federal agencies plus 50 states, where some nondepository firms are regulated loosely or not at all, and where regulators generally give higher priority to protecting the solvency of financial firms than to protecting consumers.

I have a strong predisposition favoring this proposal because I view it as the best and perhaps the only way to make mortgage disclosures useful to borrowers. The major shortcoming of existing mortgage disclosure rules is that critical information that borrowers could use often is not disclosed …