The House is on track to pass a Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending bill Thursday, and the lawmakers will likely attach a separate bill that addresses escrow, appraisal, and servicing issues.The House Financial Services Committee approved the predatory-lending bill by a 45-19 vote Nov. 6. The next day the committee approved the servicing reform bill (H.R. 3837), sponsored by Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., by voice vote. The Kanjorski bill establishes enforceable national appraisal independence standards with tough penalties for lenders who pressure appraisers to inflate property values. The bill also requires escrow accounts for taxes and insurance on most subprime mortgages and creates standards for force-placed insurance. New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo endorsed the appraisal reforms at a news briefing arranged by Rep. Kanjorski last week. The New York AG has raised issues about major institutions that have allegedly been pressuring appraisers.

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