ALBANY, N.Y. - Legislation barring predatory lending moved one step closer to reality in New York last week when a bill to curb abusive lending practices and fill gaps in state banking regulations governing the subprime lending market was introduced in the state Senate.

The lead sponsors of the legislation, a companion to one introduced in the state Assembly last month, are Banking Committee Chairman Hugh Farley and Aging Committee Chairman George Maziarz. Both are Republicans.

The bill is modeled after a law enacted in 1999 in North Carolina. It would prohibit subprime lenders from conducting certain practices identified with predatory lending, such as financing lump sum credit insurance and other unrelated insurance products, excessive balloon payments, and mandatory arbitration clauses that deny borrowers access to the court system.

It would also provide consumers with legal defenses when faced with foreclosure proceedings.

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