Reps. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, and Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., appear to be very close to agreeing on a bipartisan bill that would establish a national lending standard designed to protect consumers from abusive practices.The bill would pre-empt a "mish-mash" of state and local predatory lending laws that interfere with the availability of mortgage credit, Rep. Kanjorski told a Consumer Federation of America conference in Washington. He also told the consumer advocates that the bill addresses problems associated with appraisal practices, foreclosures, loan flipping, and borrower/lender dispute resolution. "I think you are going to find an interesting mix between what Bob Ney has already put out and then our attempt on the Democratic side to moderate it to meet the needs of consumers in a better way," Rep. Kanjorski said. Observers say they expect a draft of the Ney-Kanjorski bill to be circulated before the end of the year, possibly sooner. It is understood that the authors want comments from industry and consumer groups before the bill is formally introduced early next year.

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