A "tough" predatory lending bill that Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn., planned to introduce Tuesday would impose a fiduciary duty on mortgage brokers and address lending, servicing, and appraisal abuses.Sen. Dodd's bill prohibits yield-spread premiums (which are a broker's main form of compensation) on subprime and nontraditional mortgages such as interest-only and payment-option adjustable-rate mortgages. Lenders would be responsible for faulty appraisals and be required to adjust the mortgage where an appraisal exceeds the market value by 10%. Servicers would be required to publicly report their loss mitigation activities under the bill, which also prohibits servicers from "pyramiding" late fees to generate additional income. Mortgage industry groups are expected to raise strong objections to the bill, which creates new lending standards but does not pre-empt state laws. Under the Dodd bill, homeowners with improperly underwritten loans can go directly to the holder of the mortgage (assignee) to seek a cure or rescission of their loan. Their attorneys can also seek $5,000 in statutory damages, but cannot pursue class actions against assignees. State attorneys general also have certain enforcement powers.

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