Citing a need to improve accountability in the mortgage industry and keep families from losing their homes, Pennsylvania Acting Banking Secretary Victoria A. Reider has urged swift action on legislation to stop abusive lending practices blamed for many foreclosures.Legislation was introduced in the state House and the state Senate earlier this year. The six bills are the result of a 2005 Pennsylvania Department of Banking report on foreclosures, which cited abusive lending practices as a significant contributing factor to the state's above-average foreclosure rate. The bills would amend state laws to require individual licenses for mortgage professionals. Currently, the department has the authority to license mortgage companies, but not their employees. "In Pennsylvania, the people who cut your hair are licensed," Ms. Reider said. "The people who sell insurance and stocks are licensed. But the people who guide, for most of us, the largest financial transaction of our lives are not licensed. This legislation would create a new licensing category for individual mortgage loan originators."

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