State and national fair-lending advocates are opposing the California Association of Mortgage Brokers' recently announced definition of predatory lending, according to the California Reinvestment Coalition.In a news release issued before CAMB had made its announcement, the CRC and about 20 other endorsers urged the association to rewrite the definition because it is too narrow. Specifically, neither discriminatory intent nor showing the "primary purpose" of the originator is required for a fair housing violation to occur, and these subjective standards should not be prerequisites for predatory lending, the CRC said. Moreover, in looking to what kinds of loans are offered to other consumers in the region, the CRC said CAMB appears to legitimize abusive loans by originators who discriminate equally against all borrowers. Ted Grose, immediate past president of CAMB, said the CRC's comments and the definition both cover excess fees and points, discrimination, equity stripping, and fraud misrepresentation. "They agreed with our position on most things," Mr. Grose said. ".... Someone has to step out first on predatory lending and get a meaningful discussion going. We want to make sure it is strong enough to protect consumers and flexible enough so lenders can continue to serve all markets."

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