The House this week voted 291-127 to pass the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act, Congress’ first major attempt to prevent a recurrence of the ongoing subprime meltdown. The bill, supported by every Democrat and 64 Republicans, stabs at the heart of the meltdown by:
- Establishing a national licensing and registration system for mortgage lenders;
- Establishing the Office of Housing Counseling within HUD to help borrowers avoid foreclosure;
- Banning loans that a borrower cannot reasonably repay;
- Banning lenders from steering borrowers towards loans with predatory characteristics;
- Making banks that securitize mortgages liable for violating lending laws.