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Banks Put on Notice

A Senate amendment bars rewards for enabling bad loans.

Ian Squires

The Senate has passed an amendment to the Wall Street reform bill to prevent lenders from earning money by deliberately steering homeowners to risky loans and mortgages they can’t afford. The amendment from senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) “will ban mortgage lenders and loan originators from accepting payments based on the interest rate or other terms of the loans,” Merkley’s office said. The amendment, which passed on May 12, “will require lenders to document income and other underwriting standards to ensure that borrowers’ can repay their loans.” In February, OtherWords distributed an op-ed by Mike Prokosch, who wrote about the economic crisis, and how those “[b]anks whose irresponsible behavior led to the meltdown” need to be held accountable. The Merkley-Klobuchar amendment would mark a step in that direction.

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