Regulation is now “Personally Offensive”

In Laws & Regulation, US Politics on June 9, 2006 at 3:47 pm

The Charlotte Observer, the hometown paper of Bank of America, reported on Tuesday that two mortgage lending bills in the House, long ago introduced, are now being quietly negotiated.

Bill #1: The The Prohibit Predatory Lending Act (H.R.1182) sponsored by Democratic Reps Miller and Watt of North Carolina would provide strong and meaningful protections for mortgage borrowers throughout the country.

Bill #2: The industry-driven H.R.1295 (analysis, pdf) is being peddled by PA Democrat Paul Kanjorski and ensconsed-in-scandal Ohio Republican Bob Ney.  It would not only weaken federal protections for mortgage borrowers, but would put a sleeper hold on most state laws that provide any level of protection above and beyond what federal law provides (PDF).

In a strange, but growing, Republican push to undercut state law with weak federal provisions on everything from clean air to health care, states would no longer be able to provide protections for mortgage borrowers in their state. This is just one aspect of this strange role reversal, that is seeing Democrats increasingly pushing for stronger states' rights.

Alabama Republican Spencer Bachus, member of the House Financial Services Committee, and large recipient of bank money, is supposedly the neutral arbiter of these federal mortgage lending bills. And why, you may ask, is an arbiter necessary? Because the industry's feelings have been hurt by irresponsible, meany-head consumer advocates, of course…

[Negotiations] would be the first of many steps required to change the law. It will be difficult not least because the discussion is brimming with emotion.

For many loan sellers, the idea that discrimination is widespread — and that they require additional regulation — is personally offensive. The industry has argued that borrowers are responsible for educating themselves, and for shopping around to find the best rate.

"The only discrimination that occurs in the mortgage industry is against the lazy," Kyle Killian, a Charlotte loan seller, wrote in an e-mail.

The part I don't understand here is whether the calls for regulation of this industry (which still has obvious discrimination issues) are only now becoming "personaly offensive" to the bankers, brokers and lobbyists, or if these accusations "brimming with emotion" have been causing them to cry themselves to sleep every night for years on their fat beds of money.

The poor babies; I'll shed a single tear for them the day after a meaningful law is signed and immediately enacted by the president. Don't even bother to hand me a Kleenex in the meantime.

Until that day comes, write your representative and God help the American mortgage borrower hopeful to find a breath of fresh air with this Constitutionally-challenged administration still in power.

UPDATE 5:47pm: TPM Muckraker has the latest dirt on Ney's connections with Jack Abramoff.

  1. […] Rep Bob Ney of Ohio, facing a toss-up race in Ohio’s 18th District, is attempting to pull himself in such  distant directions that even Stretch Armstrong would be envoious.  Ney’s introducing a bill that purports to raise the minimum wage (the bill, H.R. 3414 is still not listed on Thomas). This bill will not move, that is the only thing here that will be able to be taken to the bank. This is election year B.S. As for Ney’s bank-dealings, here is an old post about his disgusting pandering to financial scum preying on those poor. […]

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