AARP Supports Additional Protections for Reverse Mortgages in FinReg

While the House and Senate have yet to vote on the financial reform bill that made it out of the conference report last week, AARP is voicing its support for the piece of legislation.

“AARP is pleased that members of Congress, on both sides of the aisle, have worked together to create more transparency and accountability for consumers and investors as they navigate the financial marketplace,” said Nancy LeaMond,  AARP Executive Vice President in a statement.  “This legislation will help ensure that consumers know what they are buying and that if scammed, they know where to turn for help.”

If signed into law, the bill a would create a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau housed in the Federal Reserve which has the authority to enforce rules pertaining to consumer lending in mortgages, credit cards, and other financail products.

The burueau would also be required to conduct a study on reverse mortgages to determine any deceptive or abusive practices within one year of passage.  The study would also determine whether suitability standards are necessary, as well as safeguards to protect consumers from being sold reverse mortgages to fund inappropriate annuities, investments, and other financial products.

“New rules of the road will be established that help prevent consumers from buying a mortgage they can’t afford or being hit with hidden fees, and strengthen protections for reverse mortgages,” said Leamond.

Passage of the bill is expected in the House on Tuesday but the Senate is a differen’t story.  The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that the death of Senator Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia) could push the Senate vote back until after July 4.  Additionally, Sen. Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts) said he will vote against the bill due to concerns over a $19 billion assessment on the nation’s biggest banks and hedge funds which he feels amounts to raising taxes.

Brown was one of four Republicans who supported the bill the first time in the Senate and it’s likely his vote will be needed in order to pass.

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