The new chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association is calling for an "industrywide commitment to personal responsibility."Taking over the reins of the MBA at the group's annual convention in Chicago, John Robbins said the "industry must take a leadership role so our customers receive the best information possible, allowing them to make an educated decision on the mortgage program they have selected." If the business chooses to abdicate that responsibility, Mr. Robbins warned in opening the three-day conference, "then we deserve to be subjected to the unending stream of punitive legislation and regulation [that's] sure to follow." The chairman of American Mortgage Network, San Diego, said lenders should have the borrower's best interest at heart, not their own. The "simple litmus test" should be to "always make sure borrowers have what they need to make the right choice," he said. Unlike those who blame the news media for the black eye lenders have received from news stories about predatory lenders, the new MBA leader said the real culprits are those who wrote the loans. "They obviously put their personal compensation ahead of their borrowers' well being," he told the convention. Mr. Robbins also said the MBA could lose its well-earned credibility with news organizations, lawmakers, and regulators if its members don't hold themselves to a higher standard. There should be laws to punish the "few bad apples ... that will always exist in any group, no matter the profession." he said. The MBA can be found online at http://www.mortgagebankers.org.

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