Lenders try to fend off laws on subprime loans

April 04, 2001
Advocates in more than a dozen states and cities are pressing to pass laws limiting so-called predatory lending, rousing lenders into a coordinated counterattack that has managed to fend off or weaken some of the farthest-reaching proposals.
     The latest battle is in Philadelphia, where Citigroup, Household International and other lenders are seeking to derail a measure scheduled for a vote in the City Council tomorrow.
      The spate of proposals is in response to what advocates of the measures say is the spread of unscrupulous lending practices and rising foreclosures of inner-city homes. While similar legislation has floundered in Congress, advocates have scored victories in several places, including North Carolina, Chicago and Washington. 
     Lenders say the proposals will curtail access to credit for many families and create an awkward patchwork of regulations across the country. Among the industry's advisers are Connie Mack, the former Republican senator from Florida, and Thomas F. McLarty, former chief of staff for President Bill Clinton.