MBA Launches Stop Mortgage Fraud Consumer Education Campaign To Prevent Predatory Lending

March 12, 2002

Washington, DC - To help prevent predatory lending, the Mortgage Bankers Association of America (MBA) today unveiled a consumer education campaign called Stop Mortgage Fraud. The campaign, endorsed by more than 100 MBA members and applauded by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), was launched at MBA?s 2nd Annual National Housing Summit.

Stop Mortgage Fraud"No reputable lender endorses predatory lending practices. We support full enforcement of consumer protection laws and efforts to make the mortgage process more consumer friendly," said John Courson, MBA?s chairman-elect. "The Stop Mortgage Fraud campaign demonstrates our commitment to prevent predatory lending. We believe consumers will learn how to protect themselves and, at the same time, help weed out predatory lenders through the complaint process.

Stop Mortgage Fraud is a nationwide consumer education campaign designed to provide consumers with three important tools they can use to help prevent them from being subject to predatory lending practices:

  1. A Borrower?s Bill of Rights ? which provides a detailed listing of consumer rights during the mortgage transaction from the first contact with a lender/broker to the closing of the loan.
  2. The Ten Warning Signs of Predatory Lending ? which lists the 10 common warning signs of predatory lending. These include everything from being asked to leave signature lines blank to being encouraged to include false information on a loan application.
  3. Where to Report Suspected Predatory Lending ? consumers can either visit the Web site or call 1(800) 348-3931 to get information on what steps to take to file a complaint. Consumers calling the 800 number will receive a brochure that contains information also found on the Web site.

MBA members who have endorsed the consumer education campaign have been asked to provide a link on their Web site and to help promote consumer awareness of the resources that are available to them. Companies who have already signed on to the campaign include Chase Manhattan Mortgage, Countrywide Home Loans, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Washington Mutual and Bank of America Mortgage.

A Spanish version of the campaign will be available in the next several months. The English version will be translated into Spanish by The Mortgage Bankers Association of Puerto Rico (MBA of PR). "We are a strong supporter of this initiative and will do what we can to ensure that Spanish speaking customers are also protected," said Ricardo Domenech, President, MBA of PR

"We applaud MBA and its members for this effort to help protect consumers from predatory lenders. Through this program consumers will know how to recognize and report unethical activities to appropriate authorities", said New Orleans Mayor and U.S. Conference of Mayor?s President, Marc Morial.

The Stop Mortgage Fraud consumer education campaign is one part of MBA?s three-pronged approach to solving the problem of predatory lending. The other two are enforcement of current laws against predatory lenders and reform and simplification of the entire mortgage transaction.

Source: Mortgage Bankers Association

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