Congressman Mel Watt (12thDistrict of North Carolina) issued the following statement regarding the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 which President Obama signed into law today:
"I am extremely proud to have served as a member of the House Financial Services Committee and as a member of the House-Senate Conference Committee to help shape and craft this landmark legislation. Today's bill signing culminates years of efforts to rein in predatory lending, establish an entity in the government that has as its primary purpose protecting consumers of financial products, reduce the prospect that financial institutions get too big to fail and taxpayers end up getting stuck with the cost of bailing them out, and reducing the incentives that drove many financial institutions to pay much more attention to making profits than to protecting the interests of our nation and our economy.
"Starting in 2004, it was clear that irresponsible and predatory lending was out of control and was leading many borrowers into mortgage loans they could not afford to pay. My North Carolina colleague, Rep. Brad Miller, and I introduced our first anti-predatory lending bill in 2004. While we certainly had reason to be alarmed about predatory loans, neither of us could have foreseen the massive meltdown in the financial system that would result from these loans, much less the mortgage defaults, loss of property values or massive number of foreclosures these loans would cause or that they would precipitate a domestic and worldwide economic tsunami.
"In each term of Congress since 2004 Rep. Miller and I re-introduced our anti-predatory lending legislation in an effort to draw more attention to our concerns. In 2007, the House passed our Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2007, but the Senate failed to act. In March 2009 our anti-predatory lending legislation passed the House and it was finally incorporated into the financial services reform legislation that passed the House in December 2009. I am proud that the basic legislation we started championing in 2004 is incorporated into the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010."
In addition to the anti-predatory lending provisions, the Dodd-Frank Act also introduces other common-sense reforms to improve the financial services sector and protect American families. Some of these include:
* Establishing a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to look out for the interests of consumers of financial products;
* New rules and regulatory structures that limit risky practices and provide more transparency to derivatives and other complex financial products by having these transactions traded on platforms that are open to the public;
* Increasing diversity in the financial services sector by encouraging more minority contracting and hiring, and
* Additional funding for community stabilization and foreclosure prevention.
"I am pleased that I helped craft and that I voted for this historic legislation that will help safeguard our financial system and protect consumers and make our economy more secure."