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Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2007

Location: Washington, DC

MORTGAGE REFORM AND ANTI-PREDATORY LENDING ACT OF 2007 -- (House of Representatives - November 15, 2007)


Mrs. BLACKBURN. Mr. Speaker, we've heard a lot today about H.R. 3915 and how it is a dramatic departure from current law that I believe will have an unintended negative impact on banks and creditworthy home buyers.

I think it's the opinion of many in this Chamber, certainly it's my opinion, that in an attempt to improve conditions in the housing market, this bill instead will likely prevent more hardworking Americans from obtaining a mortgage in a market that is already feeling the pinch. They need more help; they do not need roadblocks.

The legislation before the House today may do more harm than good. Yet reasonable people, which we are in this Chamber, can choose to disagree on issues, and this is one of those where we are in disagreement. I respect my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their varying positions on this legislation, but there is disagreement.

I believe most of my colleagues cannot disagree with the following proposition, and it is this: American creditors should not be able to extend any credit in connection with a residential mortgage loan unless they verify the identity and legal immigration status of a potential debtor and verify the status with only a secure ID.

Mr. Speaker, this recommittal makes good, solid common sense. The American people do not believe that illegal immigrants and other individuals without proper identification are entitled to the same benefits, privileges and services as U.S. citizens and legal aliens. To extend such benefits only reinforces their notion that the laws of this land exist only on paper.

This motion to recommit will help preserve the faith the American people have left with this government and show that we are serious about denying services to those who are not entitled.

It is quite simple. The motion, number one, requires creditors to verify the identity of an individual seeking to obtain a loan for a residential mortgage; and, number two, prevents a creditor from accepting, for the purpose of verification, any form of identification other than a Social Security card with photo ID, a REAL ID identification card, a passport, or a USCIS-issued photo ID card.

Mr. Speaker, the American people have spoken out loud and clear on this issue. They do not believe that illegal immigrants, international criminals, and those who may wish this Nation harm should have access to American financial markets. That is why I had previously introduced H.R. 1314, the Photo ID Security Act. The legislation responded to plans and actions by firms in the financial services sector to affirmatively target this population by accepting insecure identification. My office was flooded with phone calls, e-mails, letters from across the country; many included credit cards that people had cut up in protest to their bank's decisions.

The motion to recommit adopts much of the language that was found and cosponsored in a bipartisan basis in H.R. 1314 and will provide American citizens the reassurance they need that the American financial services sector is, indeed, secure. It doesn't solve all the problems of the underlying legislation, but it is certainly a start.

Let's take one step forward for the security of the financial services market, Mr. Speaker, and let's all support this motion to recommit.

Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.


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