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Financial Reform Could End Predatory Mortgage Lending

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Washington, DCSome of the key elements of Congress' proposed financial reform bill would affect how loans are regulated, particularly predatory mortgage lending.

Senators Chris Dodd and Barney Frank's financial overhaul would represent the largest changes to to the financial regulatory system in the US since those orchestrated by Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration in the 1930s, according to the Wall Street Journal.

For consumer advocates, the bill represents an end to confusing and sometimes underhanded mortgage lending practices.

Julia Gordon, senior policy counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending, a nonprofit research group, told the news source that mortgage borrowers "are still going to have to be careful that they understand all the terms of their loans," but she added that "there are going to be fewer moving parts."

Some of the key provisions of the bill would create stricter rules for prepayment penalties, which are fees for paying off a loan early. In addition, the bill would put more pressure on lenders to ensure that borrowers can repay the loan and would broaden the avenues available to consumers to challenge a foreclosure.

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