Boston Office: 77 Summer Street, 10th Floor, Boston, MA 02110, (617) 542-8010 Fax (617) 542-8028
NATIONAL CONSUMER LAW CENTER INC
1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 510 Washington, DC 20036
Tel. (202) 452-6252 Fax (202)463-9462
For Immediate Release Contact: April 9, 2008 Alys Cohen, NCLC, 202-452-6252 x102
FED MORTGAGE RULES WON'T PROTECT CONSUMERS;
STRONGER PROTECTIONS ARE NEEDED, CONSUMER GROUPS SAY
During the greatest foreclosure crisis since the Great Depression, the Federal Reserve
Board ("Board") is proposing rules that surrender key consumer protections in order to
preserve market interests. The Federal Reserve Board’s proposed rules regarding unfair
and deceptive practices in the mortgage market will not stop future abuses, several
consumer groups said yesterday in almost 100 pages of comments filed with the Board.
The National Consumer Law Center filed the comments, on behalf of its low income
clients, along with Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers
Union, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, National Association of Consumer,
Advocates, National Fair Housing Alliance, and the Empire Justice Center.
“The stakes are high and the proposal does not measure up," said Alys Cohen, an
attorney with NCLC. "The Fed is the only federal agency with authority to pass
comprehensive rules to change the market, but the proposal falls short and leaves
consumers without protections against powerful industry forces," she said. The
comments point out that the Board's approach is based on the flawed concept that access
to credit – even predatory, destructive credit – should be the guiding principle. The
comments ask the Board to significantly strengthen the rules so they can change market
practices and protect consumers from future abuses.
The Board issued the proposed rules in January and all comments were due yesterday.
A summary of the consumer groups’ comments as well as the full comments are at
# # #
NCLC is a non-profit organization specializing in consumer issues on behalf of low income
people. NCLC works with thousands of legal services, government and private attorneys,
as well as organizations, who represent low-income and elderly individuals on consumer
issues. NCLC submitted comments to the IRS on behalf of its low-income clients.