Pennsylvania has a high foreclosure rate, and the majority of the state's foreclosures involve subprime loans, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Banking.Eight states had higher rates than Pennsylvania's prime foreclosure rate of 0.85% in 2003, but only three had higher subprime foreclosure rates than its 11.9%, according to figures reported by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The banking department said a statewide study of foreclosures by The Reinvestment Fund also found that Pennsylvania experienced an estimated 14% increase in sheriff's sales between 2000 and 2003. In order to offer more consumer protection, the department is adding an investigative unit and increasing the staff in the licensing and examinations bureaus, said Pennsylvania Banking Secretary Bill Schenck. The department said it plans to institute a "best practices" program for mortgage brokers, lenders, and servicers and is suggesting that the general assembly create a new licensing category for individual mortgage loan solicitors.

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