Six members of the Senate Banking Committee are urging state and federal banking regulators to clarify the recently issued nontraditional mortgage guidance so it applies to subprime "2/28" adjustable-rate mortgages."It is our view that these mortgages have a number of the same risky attributes as the interest-only and payment-option ARMs and, therefore, should be covered by the new guidance," the senators say in a letter to regulators. "We would respectfully request that you issue a timely clarification to that effect." (The 2/28 ARM is a 30-year mortgage that has a fixed rate for the first two years.) The letter explains that subprime borrowers can see their interest rate jump from 8% to 12% when the initial fixed-rate period expires after two years, which is similar to the payment shock faced by IO and option ARM borrowers. Regulators issued the guidance to ensure that the nontraditional mortgage are underwritten at the fully indexed rate so borrowers are not forced to refinance or sell their home when the loan resets. The nontraditional mortgage guidance also addresses risk layering and other practices that "should apply" to subprime 2/28 mortgages, the senators say. Sens. Paul S. Sarbanes (D-Md.), Wayne Allard (R-Colo.), Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), and Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) signed the letter.

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