Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Reigning in Risky Mortgages

Federal banking regulators are attempting to limit the amount of exotic and risky mortgages that are being given to probably mostly naive borrowers.

"WASHINGTON (AFX) -- Banks and other mortgage lenders should exercise caution when offering nontraditional mortgage products like interest-only loans and payment-option adjustable-rate mortgages, U.S. regulators said Tuesday.
In a proposal, regulators including the Federal Reserve said banks should assess borrowers' abilities to repay such loans before making them and that banks should recognize these loans warrant "strong risk-management standards." Loans like the ones singled out by regulators allow borrowers to defer payment of principal and, in some cases, interest.

The proposal was written by the Federal Reserve, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of Thrift Supervision and the National Credit Union Administration."



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