Column: Predatory lenders under fire across US

February 28, 2000
The noose is slowly tightening around the necks of predatory lenders who charge exorbitant fees and rates on mortgages, home improvement loans and home equity loans.
     At the federal level, Rep. John LaFalce (NY), the highest ranking Democrat on the House Banking Committee, is crafting legislation to expand the 1994 law that requires additional disclosures on high-cost loans. 
     In addition, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is working to keep predatory lenders out of the mainstream banking system, and Freddie Mac is advising consumer organizations and industry groups it will no longer purchase loans that are subject to the Home Owners and Equity Protection Act. 
     At the state level, meanwhile, three more states have introduced predatory lender legislation of their own, prompting Robert Lotstein, counsel to the National Association of Mortgage Brokers, to say, "The flood gates have opened to state regulation of high-cost home loans."