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NAMB announces policy agenda for 2008MortgagePress.comabusive lending practices, mortgage reform, financial literacy for consumers Mortgage reform, consumer protection and FHA loans on top list of key issues The National Association of Mortgage Brokers has unveiled its policy agenda for the year, revealing a plan that targets abusive lending practices, addresses the need for mortgage reform and continues NAMB's commitment to financial literacy for consumers. "2007 was a difficult year for many Americans," said NAMB President George Hanzimanolis, CRMS. "We saw some of the nation's largest lenders close their doors and cease operation, and we saw a record number of homes go into foreclosure. Clearly, something must be done to better protect consumers and ensure that these protections are real and not illusory. [NAMB's] 2008 policy positions are crafted to protect consumers, improve loan disclosures and ensure that all mortgage originators meet the same high standards of education and professional ethics." The four-page policy agenda covers a range of issues including mortgage reform, Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act and affiliated business arrangements reform, Federal Housing Administration and government-sponsored enterprise reform, bankruptcy reform, homeowners insurance reform, Federal Reserve Board Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act, Veterans Affairs reverse mortgages, and consumer privacy and data security. Three major new policy positions for 2008 are: •NAMB calls for an independent, government-sponsored study/investigation of consumer disclosures that may be contributing to or enabling deceptive sales and marketing practices in the mortgage industry. The study should focus on whether there are disparities in current or proposed consumer disclosure requirements that could confuse or increase costs to consumers; •NAMB will promote efforts that ensure direct and/or indirect compensation received by any originator, regardless of distribution channel, is treated equally and in similar fashion to avoid competitive inequities and consumer confusion; and •NAMB supports the establishment of a nationwide registry which mandates the inclusion of all loan originators to provide tracking control and strengthen the industry and consumer protection. NAMB also supports the establishment of professional standards for all mortgage originators that will mandate minimum pre-employment and continuing education, testing and complete criminal background checks. A copy of the complete NAMB 2008 policy agenda can found online at www.namb.org. "This industry has many parts, and given the current crisis, we must each do our part to correct mistakes and offer solutions," Hanzimanolis said. "NAMB's 2008 policy agenda reflects our commitment to protecting consumers and restoring faith in the strength of homeownership." For more information, visit www.namb.org.