Clipped From The Daily Intelligencer
Mortgage reform urged Community groups warned of a default "tsunami." BY ALAN ZIBEL THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON — A coalition of housing housing groups and advocates for the poor on Thursday said tougher laws are needed to protect consumers from lenders pushing high-interest home loans. They warned of a growing "mortgage tsunami" affecting millions millions of Americans, particularly minorities. The National Community Reinvestment Coalition, a network of 640 groups nationwide, nationwide, said federal bank regulators and members members of Congress ignored warnings for several years about a potential wave of defaults in risky loans. Some lawmakers are already considering tougher standards for risky, higher-interest mortgages made to people with blemished credit records as defaults surge and lenders to the so-called subprime market see their own financing dry up. The Securities and Exchange Commission, Commission, meanwhile, is examining accounting errors at New Century Financial Corp., the second-largest subprime lender, which is facing facing possible bankruptcy. All its bank lenders have cut off funding or informed the Irvine, Calif.-based company of their intent to do so because of its failure to make payments. Members of the housing coalition said Thursday the Federal Housing Administration Administration should work with banks to refinance risky loans with high interest rates in order to help consumers avoid foreclosure. "We have for many years urged Congress and urged those who are responsible to take action," said John Taylor, president of the coalition. "Frankly, it's appalling what they haven't done.... Today we call on the (Bush) administration and the Congress to take back the reins."