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Position:Portfolio - Predatory lending legislation details - Brief Article

LAWMAKERS IN THE STATES HAVE PUT PREDATORY LENDING HIGH ON THEIR LIST OF things to do this year. Through the summer, four states had enacted comprehensive new predatory lending statutes. Seventy-four predatory lending initiatives were introduced this year, according to Robert Lotstein and Stephanie Shaw of Lotstein Buckman LLP, Washington, D.C., who authored one of our cover stories this month titled, "Georgia and Beyond: A Predatory Lending Update."

But that's not all that's going on. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Mel Martinez stunned the skeptics by actually getting a sweeping new Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) proposal published in the Federal Register in July. Now the mortgage industry will have to study its groundbreaking proposals and send in comments by Oct. 28.

Beyond that, Washington didn't waste any time in passing a new law cracking down on accounting fraud and corporate malfeasance. In the wake of Enron, WorldCom and Tyco misdeeds, all corporate accounting is going to get more scrutiny from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), bank regulators and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, against this backdrop, quietly agreed to abide by the corporate disclosure regimen of filing 10 Ks and 10 Qs with the SEC just like all other publicly traded companies. And some well-known publicly traded mortgage companies were...

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