Monday, April 6, 2009

Homeowners & Buyers Get Predatory Lending Protection

Lt. Gov. Diane Denish

The NM Mortgage Originators Licensing Act, a big part of Lt. Governor Diane Denish's legislative package, has been signed. It ensures public oversight of the mortgage originator industry which was previously unregulated.

On Monday, Denish said:
New Mexico now has the strongest consumer protection for home buyers in the nation. Licensing of mortgage originators will certify the many reputable New Mexico players in the business and remove the few bad actors, assuring consumers that getting a mortgage from a New Mexico mortgage broker will be a safe and honest transaction. This tightening of our Home Loan Protection Act will ensure that USDA, FHA, and VA loans remain available to low-income and first-time homebuyers, a critical tool in helping those New Mexicans who most need assistance in purchasing a home.

Angela Muxworthy, President of New Mexico Mortgage Lending Authority commented:

The New Mexico Mortgage Lenders Association is proud to have worked in conjunction with Lt. Governor Diane Denish, RLD, the NM AG's office, and consumer advocacy groups in support of sweeping, comprehensive and effective mortgage reform in New Mexico. [The State] has taken another step to the forefront of the national effort to help stabilize the local housing market through this legislation.

NM Attorney General Gary King added:

This legislation will help us tackle the underlying problems that caused the mortgage lending crisis by putting in place strong regulation of loan originators, outlawing predatory mortgage practices and expanding consumer protections for New Mexicans. My office will continue to work closely with the Financial Institutions Division and the Lt. Governor’s office to enforce this law and assure that homeowners are protected.

The Mortgage Originator Licensing Act was crafted by Lt. Governor Diane Denish in partnership with Attorney General Gary King, members of the industry and consumer advocates. SB 342 was sponsored by Senator Phil Griego and championed in the House by Representative Lundstrom. SB 342 takes effect July 1, 2009.

New Law Shines New Light on State Business

Also on Monday, the Lt. Governor hailed the signing of the State Contractor and Contract Database. The bill brings transparency to state government by requiring all contractors who have contracts with the State worth more than $20,000 to be listed in an online, searchable database made available to the public.

Denish noted:

New Mexicans deserve to know who is doing business with their government. This law will enable all citizens to track state government contracts, follow the flow of public money, and understand how it is being used. Ethics reform in government starts with transparency, and I’m proud to have worked hard on this effort which guarantees more sunshine on the business of government.

HB 546, sponsored by Representative Al Park, will take effect on January 1, 2010.

Photo credit: Mark Bralley

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