Senate votes to ban liar loans

By Tami Luhby, senior writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The Senate voted Wednesday to ban controversial "liar loans," which helped bring down the housing market.

The legislation, part of the broader financial regulatory reform bill working its way through Congress, would require lenders to fully document a borrower's income before originating a mortgage. It would also mandate that lenders verify a borrower's ability to repay the loan.

This would effectively end the origination of no-doc or stated-income mortgages, which many call "liar loans" because borrowers did not have to prove their income. Housing experts point to these mortgages as one catalyst for the housing collapse.

The bill would also prohibit lenders from giving brokers incentives for steering customers to loans with higher interest rates or prepayment penalties.

"Deceptive mortgage practices like hidden steering payments directly led to the Wall Street meltdown and resulted in millions of families losing their homes," said Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., co-author of the bill.

The provisions build on Federal Reserve regulations that required lenders to verify the income and assets of subprime borrowers. Those rules, which went into effect in October, did not ban incentive payments, called yield-spread premiums.

"This should make the mortgage market a safer place for consumers," said Julia Gordon, senior policy council for the Center for Responsible Lending. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,493.37 -69.93 -0.42%
Nasdaq 4,352.64 -17.13 -0.39%
S&P 500 1,925.15 -5.52 -0.29%
Treasuries 2.50 -0.05 -2.00%
Data as of 9:15pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 14.98 -0.27 -1.77%
Apple Inc 96.13 0.53 0.55%
Facebook Inc 72.37 -0.28 -0.39%
General Electric Co 25.35 0.20 0.80%
Ford Motor Co 16.81 -0.21 -1.23%
Data as of 4:00pm ET

Sections

P&G announces it is selling or closing about 90 smaller brands to focus on its 70 to 80 major brands. More

Terrell White has had a profit-sharing plan for his employees since 1981, believing that if the staff isn't happy, guests won't be either. More

Millennials are spending big money on coffee, alcohol and fast food. Here's where they're spending the most and how much, according to budgeting app Level Money. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.