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Financial reform bill moves forward

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Legislation in play in the Senate would create a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau within the Federal Reserve that would take over the enforcement of two major laws governing real estate professionals and mortgage lenders -- the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (SAFE).The sweeping, 1,177-page financial reform bill passed by the Senate Banking Committee on Monday will be subject to further debate and attempted amendments.The Mortgage Bankers Association, in a letter to the Senate Banking Committee Monday, expressed "strong opposition" to provisions of the bill requiring that companies that sell products like mortgage-backed securities retain at least 5 percent of the credit risk. The new requirement is intended to ensure that companies that securitize loans "won't sell garbage to investors, because they have to keep some of (the risk) for themselves," according to a summary of the bill iss...