Mortgage

Why lending standards won’t get better

No consensus means no relief

Anybody who works with young homebuyers today knows the definition of heartbreak. It's when young couples with good jobs and dreams of homeownership can't overcome the barriers to getting financing that have been erected since 2006. Of all the players still on the field today -- lenders, politicians, regulators, brokers, GSEs -- they are the only innocent ones. They were in high school or grammar school when the bubble burst, and today's first-time buyers are paying the price for the mistakes, greed and outright fraud that contributed to the worst housing crash since the Depression. Today's lending standards were written to protect lenders and federal budgeters -- not to help renters become homeowners. Despite pressure from the public, including the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, who embarrassed the banking community when he was personally turned down for a refi loan, lending standards probably won't change much more in the foreseeable future than they alre...