A patchwork coalition called New Yorkers for Responsible Lending has taken its campaign against predatory lending right to the heads of the state's legislative banking committees.
Representatives of the still-forming group of activists, development foundations, and others met Tuesday with state Sen. George D. Maziarz, chairman of the Senate Committee on Aging, and Assemblywoman Aurelia Greene, chairwoman of the Assembly Banking Committee. After hearing the coalition's case for a Responsible Lending Act, both committee heads pledged to review their proposals and consider including them in a formal bill this legislative session, people who attended the meetings said. Among other things, New Yorkers for Responsible Lending seeks to curb high-cost loans, those it defines as having an annual percentage rate higher than 5% above Treasury or points and fees exceeding 5% of the loan amount. They maintain that a rule implemented last year by the New York Banking Department to de-license abusive brokers and lenders gives no recourse to borrowers facing foreclosure.