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Public Statements

Mortgage Reform And Anti Predatory Lending Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. WATT. Mr. Chairman, I keep waiting on the gentleman to address his proposed amendment. I haven't heard anything about the proposed amendment, but I want to address the points that he addressed since he wants to have a general debate.

First of all, he says he can't support this bill because we didn't deal with Fannie and Freddie. That is kind of like me saying I am not going to vote for the earned income tax credit because it doesn't deal with all of what caused poverty in America.

You can't deal with every subject in every bill. We passed a bill that has dealt with Fannie and Freddie, and it has been over there in the Senate for a long time. And we are going to pass some other legislation to deal with Fannie and Freddie at some point, but it is not addressed in this bill, just like the whole totality of poverty is not addressed when we passed an earned income tax credit or when we passed health care. That is just a non sequitur, as far as I am concerned.

He talks about, we didn't deal with disclosure so I'm not going to vote for the bill.

Everybody in America that got a loan that is in foreclosure now, everybody who is in default now got full disclosures of what the terms of their loans were. And they were ineffective to prevent the kind of predatory lending and policies that this bill addresses. So I don't know what the gentleman is talking about when he says ``we didn't deal with disclosure.''

We intentionally didn't deal with disclosure because we acknowledge that disclosure and telling people that we are giving you a bad loan is not enough to protect them any more than disclosure that a doctor may not be the best doctor in America is going to stop people from going to the doctor.

So now that I have dealt with those, maybe he will want to address the amendment itself.

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Mr. WATT. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I would now like to address the gentleman's amendment which he still never has addressed. I acknowledged from the very beginning that we walked a delicate balance between protecting consumers and protecting the availability of funds. But the balance that the gentleman would have us address says this, ``no assignee or securitizer of a residential mortgage loan shall be liable under this subsection.''

Let me tell you what that would lead to. I will close a loan one day, I will assign it to somebody the next day, and we will be right back where we are right now because nobody in the chain of custody of that loan, other than the original lender, will have any liability. That would be as irresponsible as not passing any bill or not doing anything, which is exactly what a number of my colleagues would like to have us do, but which is not an option in this posture at this moment.

So I want my colleagues to be clear. This is a destructive amendment and should be opposed.

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