WHEREAS, predatory lending remains a key issue of concern in cities across the country; and

WHEREAS, predatory lenders charge more in interest and fees than necessary; make loans with abusive terms and conditions that trap borrowers and lead to increased indebtedness; and fail to take into account the ability of borrowers to repay loans; and

WHEREAS, predatory lending practices target societyís most vulnerable populations, including senior citizens, low income individuals, and minorities, and strip hard-earned equity from homeowners that puts them at risk of foreclosure and damages their credit ratings; and

WHEREAS, predatory lending is a key factor in many foreclosures and vacant homes, leading to decreasing property values for neighboring homeowners and neighborhood blight; and

WHEREAS, the nationís homeownership rate has increased to nearly 70%, due in part to lower interest rates and the development of new credit options offered primarily in the subprime sector of the mortgage industry, that have made mortgages available to thousands of individuals and families for whom mortgages were traditionally out of reach; and

WHEREAS, many state and local governments have passed anti-predatory lending laws to protect consumers from abusive and predatory lending practices; and

WHEREAS, many local governments, oftentimes in partnership with the mortgage industry and housing advocacy organizations, have also launched successful homeownership preservation programs in an effort to preserve homeownership whenever possible and keep families in their homes through counseling, loss mitigation and loan workouts; and

WHEREAS, Congress is now considering legislation that would protect consumers from predatory mortgage lending, including one bill that would preempt state and local anti-predatory lending laws and replace them with a federal standard that, in numerous ways, is weaker than the protections provided by many of the existing laws at the state and local levels;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors supports the enactment of federal legislation that will provide federal homeowner protections from abusive and predatory lending practices that are at least as strong as the strongest law at the state and local level; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The U. S. Conference of Mayors opposes the enactment of any federal legislation that would replace state and local anti-predatory lending laws with a federal standard that is weaker than existing anti-predatory lending laws at the state and local levels.

©2005 The U.S. Conference of Mayors
Tom Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. 202.293.7330 ~ Fax 202.293.2352