Effective mortgage reform that works in favor of consumers and preserves a healthy market structure will depend on an accurate diagnosis of the industry's ailments and a strong but measured cure.

Most reform proposals floated so far address issues related to products, "sales practice" standards and stronger risk management, but do not look ahead to the post-reform structure of the mortgage market. Reforms that accelerate consolidation into the hands of a few large megalenders would not be healthy for consumers or regulators.

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