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Letter to the Editor of the New York Times: Principles of Fair Lending

February 5, 2008

Reinforcing the regulatory apparatus of the nation’s economy that has collapsed under this administration is indeed one of the most important challenges facing us today (“After the Fed,” editorial, Jan. 31).

What won’t work is the typical patchwork approach to reform predatory lending. If Congress and presidential candidates want to truly make a difference for borrowers, they need a comprehensive approach to regulation.

A set of principles of fair lending, agreed to by Americans for Fairness in Lending, a coalition of national consumer groups, should be followed: responsibility, justice, equality, information, accountability, law and enforcement. Every Democratic candidate for president in this election year has endorsed these six principles. We are still waiting to hear from the Republican candidates.

Meanwhile foreclosures continue, credit card balances climb higher, and more workers take out high-interest payday loans to try and make ends meet. A return to reasonable regulation is long overdue.

Jim Campen
Executive Director, Americans for Fairness in Lending
Boston, Jan. 31, 2008

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