Rejecting claims that strong state predatory-lending laws reduce the availability of credit, the Center for Responsible Lending in Washington, D.C., has estimated that the cost of complying with such laws is only about $1 per mortgage.In contrast, predatory mortgage lending costs homeowners $9.1 billion every year, the report says. Since 1999, about 24 states have enacted laws to prevent predatory lending. According to the report, states with predatory-lending laws have had stronger growth than states without them. Between 2000 and 2003, subprime mortgage lending grew by 293% in states that have passed predatory-lending laws, compared with 212% in states without them. The CRL report maintains that compliance programs and automated systems help lenders avoid foreclosure costs while boosting confidence among investors and customers. The CRL said predatory-lending laws boost profits because they prevent time-consuming, expensive foreclosures. Last year, foreclosed loans cost lenders an average of more than $20,000 per loan, the report says. "It is clear that strong state laws against predatory lending are working," said Debbie Goldstein, executive vice president of the CRL. "Subprime lenders continue to thrive in those states."

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