The Protecting American Taxpayer & Homeowner Act fails to provide a strong path forward


Center for Responsible Lending
July 12, 2013

The American dream of homeownership strengthens families, communities, and our nation as a whole.  Housing is also a major contributor to the American economy.  Before our nation’s economy can become strong again, our housing market must become robust.  

We are concerned that The Protecting American Taxpayer & Homeowner Act fails to provide a path forward to a strong housing finance system.  Rather, it removes critical assistance that has helped tens of millions of homebuyers to receive affordable, fixed rate mortgages; preserved home values and helped the overall economy.  This bill would mean more expensive mortgages, lower home values and a slower economic recovery. 

To have a strong housing finance system in the future, broad market access must be preserved.  That goal is achieved by:

•    An explicit and fully-paid for government guarantee;
•    A duty to serve the entire mortgage market;
•    Participation of lenders of every size;
•    No federally mandated down payment requirements; and 
•    An ability to preserve and increase capacity to facilitate successful loan modifications. 

The Dodd-Frank Act balances consumer access to credit, with key protections that ban the risky lending practices that led to significant loan losses.  Further, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau now regulates and provides the necessary oversight to ensure mortgages are actually sound.  These already implemented reforms to the housing finance system will help protect taxpayers.

In every crisis, there is always an important lesson to learn. Our nation needs to permanently depart from the practices that were responsible for the greatest recession of our lifetimes. Placing the housing finance system in peril is no way to strengthen it. We invite a conversation with Members of Congress to discuss a genuine path forward.

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For more information: Kathleen Day at (202) 349-1871 or kathleen.day@responsiblelending.org; or Ginna Green at (510) 866-5989 or ginna.green@responsiblelending.org.

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About the Center for Responsible Lending

The Center for Responsible Lending is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and policy organization dedicated to protecting homeownership and family wealth by working to eliminate abusive financial practices. CRL is affiliated with Self-Help, one of the nation's largest community development financial institutions.