Consumer groups are slamming a newly introduced bipartisan predatory lending bill on the grounds that it guts enforcement of Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act violations."They have a lot of stuff in the bill that looks good at first blush," said Margot Saunders, managing attorney for the National Consumer Law Center in Washington. But there is "no enforcement whatsoever, and that is the intent of the bill," she told MortgageWire. The bill introduced by Reps. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, and Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., contains provisions that ban abusive lending practices on high-cost subprime loans. The bill undercuts consumer attorneys that bring cases against lenders, Ms. Saunders said. "You can't get attorney fees if any reasonable offer is made, which is a whole new rule just for HOEPA loans," the consumer attorney said. It also makes the rescission of a loan impossible, and weakens the assignee liability language in HOEPA, she said. "The bottom line is that the rules on assignee liability make it totally impossible to ever be able to prove a case against an assignee," Ms. Saunders declared.

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