Congressional agenda may include mortgage fraud and predatory lendingMortgagepress.comfraud, predatory lending, Title XI, Congress
The Democratic takeover of Congress will likely place a key
issue of concern to the Appraisal Institute - mortgage fraud and
predatory lending - near the top of the agenda for several
congressional committees, according to Bill Garber, director of
government affairs for the Appraisal Institute. Garber offered the
following insights on how real estate appraisal issues might be
addressed during the 110th Congress.
In the House, the Financial Services Committee is set to be
chaired by Rep. Barney Frank, an experienced veteran of banking and
real estate-related issues, according to Garber. Frank has
expressed concerns about predatory lending and mortgage fraud, both
of which were heavily discussed and debated in the 109th Congress
in the Financial Services Committee, but not resolved. "The
Appraisal Institute has long held that any attempt to address
predatory lending should also address weaknesses in the appraisal
regulatory structure established by Congress," Garber stated.
"While problem appraisals are only a small component of the
mortgage fraud problem, regulatory weaknesses are contributing to
the problems we see in the market today."
The Senate Banking Committee is slated to be chaired by Sen.
Christopher Dodd, who co-wrote Title XI of the Financial
Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act, which set forth
state licensing and certification requirements for appraisers in
1989. According to Garber, Dodd is expected to address key credit
card reform issues early in the 110th Congress, but like in the
House, the issues of predatory lending and mortgage fraud are
likely to be elevated in the committee's priorities. In addition,
Sen. Jack Reed, who is likely to chair the Senate Subcommittee on
Housing and Transportation, is expected to be a key leader on
appraisal issues. An attorney by trade, Reed has long been a
champion of homeownership issues and has a great deal of
familiarity with real estate appraisal legislation, having been
involved in a Title XI oversight hearing in 2004.
Another legislator likely to weigh in on this issue is Sen.
Barack Obama, who recently introduced legislation to combat
mortgage fraud and provide state appraisal regulators resources to
conduct oversight over appraisers.
For more information, visit www.appraisalinstitute.org.