House OKs Mortgage Reform
The House of Representatives today voted 300-114 in favor of HR 1728, the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act, which calls for tighter lending rules to promote affordable mortgages for borrowers with a reasonable ability to pay and who receive more transparent disclosures at the time of closing. "Insisting on responsible borrowing and lending and ensuring that borrowers enter into mortgages they can repay or refinance will help families protect their most valuable asset -- their home -- and guard against another financial and housing market meltdown," responds speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to the announcement. "This legislation represents a key piece in Congress' initial efforts to revamp the nation's financial regulations to restore integrity and common sense to our nation's economy," she adds. Other provisions of the bill include the prohibition of "steering" borrowers into risky or unaffordable loans and the formation of a safe harbor for lenders that make full documentation loans often considered safer than other nontraditional loans. 60 House Republicans joined the 240 House Democrats voting for the bill, while three House Democrats voted against it. Write to Diana Golobay.