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NAMB Responds to Sen. Clinton’s Remarks about Mortgage Industry

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RISMEDIA, August 9, 2007–The National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) responded yesterday to Sen. Hillary Clinton’s criticism of the mortgage brokerage industry. Sen. Clinton made the remarks during a speech she delivered on abusive mortgage lending practices yesterday in Derry, N.H.

NAMB regrets that Sen. Clinton has chosen to single out small business America in a problem that encompasses everyone. The entire mortgage system needs to be examined from stem to stern – from the home shopping phase, bankers, brokers, and lenders, all the way to Wall Street and the rating agencies.

NAMB welcomes Sen. Clinton’s proposal to create a registry database, but it needs to go one step further – it should be applied to all mortgage originators, not just mortgage brokers. All consumers should be protected, regardless of whether their loan comes from a bank, lender or mortgage broker.

Bad actors should be removed from the mortgage industry, but that is only one piece of the puzzle. In addition to the registry, NAMB has consistently called for an increase in professional standards, education requirements, and criminal background checks for all mortgage originators.

To facilitate clear communication with consumers, NAMB has also called for mortgage disclosure reform. The Federal Trade Commission has already highlighted in two separate studies that our entire mortgage disclosure system is broken and it needs a comprehensive fix.

The Association invites Sen. Clinton to join NAMB in our long-standing efforts to enhance consumer protection through the creation of a federal national registry that will generate funds for enforcement and financial literacy activities; industry standards that cover education and criminal background checks for all loan originators regardless of who they work for; and an improved disclosure that requires every originator to disclose what they earn on a loan and the nature of their relationship to the consumer.

We look forward to meeting with Sen. Clinton and her advisors at the earliest possible moment, so that we can ensure consumer protection for all Americans, not just those who select a mortgage broker for their home loan.

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