'If I Could Write A Reform Bill'

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LAS VEGAS-Lawmakers across the country are proposing a number of mortgage-related bills on both the state and federal levels, as legislators seek to both position themselves as the consumer's friend and to address legitimate problems in the wake of the crashed real estate market.

In the California legislature alone, there are more than 45 such mortgage reform bills.

That development has both state credit union leagues and the national associations girding up to fight or deflect lending laws that unfairly penalize credit unions, and to throw support behind reform bills that appear to have merit.

As a result, Credit Union Journal asked: "If you could write a bill aimed at cleaning up mortgage industry practices, and especially abuses, what would you make sure was in it?" While specific suggestions differed, one theme repeated itself over and over: "Credit unions did not cause the mortgage meltdown, so please don't lump us in with those who did."

Bob Dorsa, CEO of the American Credit Union Mortgage Association (ACUMA), said the key is legislation that produces regulations that are "fair and explainable, and punishes the right people."

"If certain lenders veer off the straight and narrow they should be punished, not the whole industry," Dorsa assessed. "This means real punishment-take their licenses away. I subscribe to Keep It Simple Stupid. I think lessons have been learned and you won't see no-doc loans any more. Make regulations reasonable, discernable and fair."

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