Senate mortgage reform bill out

    Dec. 14, 2007 – A Senate counterpart to the House-passed H.R. 3915 was introduced late Wednesday by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., on behalf of Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd, D-Conn., and a dozen more panel members.

    The bill, S.2452, would revise the Truth in Lending Act to include a definition of “high cost” mortgage—governed by added disclosures under the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act—in a manner similar to H.R. 3915, introduced by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and cleared by the House Nov. 15.

    S.2452 includes consumer protections against yield-spread premiums, bars steering prime borrowers to more costly subprime loans, creates a fiduciary duty for mortgage brokers on behalf of borrowers and requires good faith and fair dealing by all lenders.

    The measure, unlike H.R. 3915, also includes limited liability for holders of a mortgage made in violation of law, whether the violation was by the original lender or later by an investment trust. The borrower would be able to go directly to the mortgage holder to seek rescission and modification of loan terms.

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