MORTGAGE REFORM AND ANTI-PREDATORY LENDING ACT OF 2007 -- (House of Representatives - November 15, 2007)
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Mr. SIRES. I rise in support of this amendment. And this amendment, all it affords is a choice.
I want to thank Congresswoman Maloney for her hard work and leadership on this issue, and I appreciate some of the concerns that I had on this amendment.
Let me just share a personal story. Before coming to Congress, I was part owner of a title insurance agency, and I have taken out a couple of mortgages in my time. It is fair to say that I had more knowledge about mortgages than the average consumer, and certainly more than a first-time home buyer. Yet, when I sold my home, I sold my home for the reason to come to Congress, I was shocked to learn that I owed $7,500 as a prepayment penalty. The circumstances that I sold the home were the fact that I was elected to Congress, that I had to disassociate myself with the property. If I was surprised by this penalty, imagine how surprised someone with less experience and knowledge would be. That is why I strongly support this amendment. It presents the consumer with the necessary information so they can make an appropriate choice for their family.
The amendment also recognizes that the market should have the flexibility to offer prepayment penalties, and that the secondary market must have confidence that the mortgages they buy and sell are more secure.
Our amendment does not prohibit prepayment penalties on prime mortgages, nor does it cap the penalties at unreasonable levels. The penalties allowed by this amendment conform to industry best practices.
And I said it before, I strongly support this amendment. It is friendly to consumers and business. It would only serve to improve all mortgage transactions, which will ensure that the mortgage market has some stability.
I encourage all my colleagues to support this amendment.