Capitol Hill testimony: Greater certainty and federal standards needed in mortgage lendingMortgagePress.comHouse of Representatives,Richard F. DeMong,mortgage lending Mortgage loans are available to more Americans at lower interest rates than ever before, but regulatory uncertainty threatens to reverse this positive trend, according to University of Virginia professor Richard F. DeMong, who testified before two House of Representatives financial services subcommittees. Dr. DeMong told the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee and the Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee that non-prime mortgage lending has helped expand homeownership over the last decade, and that average interest rates on these loans have steadily declined in relation to other types of mortgage products. However, new state regulations are creating uncertainty that could undermine the non-prime mortgage market. As an example, Dr. DeMong cited New Jersey's Home Ownership and Security Act of 2002. By creating uncertainty about the lending and mortgage investment climate in the state, the law caused non-prime mortgage lending to decline by two-thirds within only two months of its implementation. Dr. DeMong said that a well-crafted federal law that regulates non-prime mortgage lending and protects consumers on the national level is the key to avoiding further disruption in mortgage lending.