FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ICBA Statement on House Passage of Mortgage Reform Legislation
Washington, D.C. (Nov. 15, 2007)—Camden R. Fine, president and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), issued the following statement on the U.S. House of Representatives' passage of the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2007 (H.R. 3915) to reform the mortgage origination process:
"ICBA recognizes the important step that the House of Representatives has taken in passing H.R. 3915 to protect our nation's borrowers and communities by addressing the problems caused by unregulated lenders and brokers in the mortgage market. At the same time, we are concerned that the measure unnecessarily duplicates standards already in place for community banks which have not played a role in the problems created in the marketplace that this legislation seeks to address. Community banks have always operated using common sense lending practices.
"Unlike unregulated mortgage lenders and brokers, community banks are among the most highly regulated financial institutions in the country, subject to extensive oversight of their mortgage operations and a regulatory structure that already identifies and removes bad actors. Unnecessary and redundant requirements could push some community banks out of the mortgage business completely, reducing consumer access to responsible lenders.
"ICBA thanks House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Ranking Member Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) for their statements during debate on the mortgage reform bill emphasizing the importance of community banks and that regulators have flexibility to minimize the regulatory burden and compliance costs for small and mid-sized depository institutions.
"As the legislative efforts to reform the mortgage process move to the Senate, ICBA will seek to ensure that legislation balances borrower protection with flexibility to minimize unnecessary regulatory burden for community banks so they can continue to provide valuable service to their customers and their communities."