Policing and regulating the subprime lending market are now "priority areas" for the Federal Trade Commission, chairman Robert Pitofsky said Friday.

The agency has cases pending against at least four subprime lenders and is aware of "thousands" of instances in which borrowers were deceived or misled, he said at a Consumer Mortgage Education Consortium conference in Atlanta.

The FTC will try to establish guidelines for subprime lenders, Mr. Pitofsky said. The most effective way to do that is to "bring cases to court," he said.

The first such case was filed in February against Capital City Mortgage Co., a lender in Washington accused of violating the Truth-in-Lending and Debt Collection Practices laws.

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