House Passes Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act As 60 Republicans Ignore Their Own Leadership And Join The Democrats
Today the House passed Brad Miller's Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act (H.R. 1728), 300-114. And, yes, 111 Republican punks and 3 reactionary "Democrats" voted for kicking families out of their homes and for predatory lenders being able to prey on the public. 60 Republicans crossed the aisle in terror, abandoning their obstructionist leadership and voted with the Democrats. But, of course, all the crud from the bottom of Joe the Plumber's boots-- Boehner, Cantor, Ryan, Hensarling, Sessions, McClintock, Sessions, Garrett, Bachmann, Mean Jean Schmidt, Virginia Foxx, McHenry... al the worst garbage-- voted against working families as they always do.
Before the vote, Republicans offered 3 bankster-oriented amendments to undermine the effectiveness of the legislation, all of which failed. Interestingly there were only two uber-reactionary Democrats-- Bobby Bright from Alabama and Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona-- who voted in favor of each anti-family amendment, one by Jeb Hensarling, one by Tom Price and one by Patrick McHenry, the three most extreme right members of the Financial Services Committee, who are all major shills for the banksters and work tirelessly to undermine regular American working families.
All of the candidates endorsed by Blue America backed this bill-- and several, like Tom Perriello, (D-VA) wrote amendments to strengthen it. On passage Tom was justifiably overjoyed. "This is another big victory for accountability in Washington. This bill holds consumers accountable who lie about their incomes to qualify for a mortgage, holds lenders accountable who rely on predatory practices to turn a profit, and slams the door shut on speculators. If Congress had passed these measures ten years ago, we may not be in today’s financial mess. This is why I came to Congress: to clean up the mistakes that Washington and Wall Street made that have put responsible homeowners at risk.”
Eric Massa (D-NY) had a similar perspective: "I'm proud to have helped pass this common sense, bipartisan legislation which was designed to protect consumers, improve the economy and prevent future economic calamities. Congress is taking action to hold creditors accountable and restore much needed regulation in the mortgage industry. We got into this recession because Washington was asleep at the wheel for eight years while Wall Street went wild, but those days are now over. The families of Western New York want Congress to pass good legislation that protects their interests and that's exactly what we've done today."
If the Senate passes the bill and allows Obama to sign it, it will put tighter oversight on mortgage brokers, and lenders will have to prove that homeowners are well-served when they refinance a home loan under the rule. The legislation would also help renters fight eviction when their landlords default on their mortgages.
Before the housing market started to dive in 2006, Wall Street routinely bought and bundled risky subprime mortgages, shifting 100 percent of the risk onto investors. The 5-percent "skin in the game" rule in the House bill is meant to end that.
Advocates for the risk-sharing provision say it will force banks to "eat their own cooking." But the bill also expands consumer protections.
Mortgage companies will have to prove that the homeowner derives a "net tangible benefit" from a refinancing. Consumer advocates have accused mortgage lenders of duping homeowners into refinancing their home for a quick cash fix that ended up costing the borrower much more in the long run.