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Letter to the Editor of the New York Times: The Foreclosure Crisis

May 5, 2008

It is not surprising that the same lenders and brokers who brought us the subprime mortgage disaster are now lobbying against the relatively mild proposals under consideration to regulate high-cost mortgage loans (“Lenders Fight Stricter Rules on Mortgages,” front page, April 28).

What is surprising, and frankly shocking, is that the Federal Reserve board, after all that has happened, may buy those anti-regulation arguments once again. Deregulation of the American lending industry deserves much of the blame for the subprime mortgage frenzy, and the economic crash it produced.

One lesson we should all be able to draw from the foreclosure crisis is that the government has a duty to protect and inform consumers about what is not only the biggest investment most individuals make, but also the cornerstone of family wealth and community stability.

The Federal Reserve board should ignore the cries of an industry that argues that preventing it from engaging in unfair or deceptive practices will put it out of business. Instead, the Fed and Congress should listen to consumers and its advocates, who are begging for help and demanding fair play in the marketplace.

Irv Ackelsberg
Board Treasurer, Americans for Fairness in Lending
Philadelphia, April 29, 2008

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