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Fed Proposes Mortgage Protections

The Federal Reserve Board has voted for a proposal that would amend Truth in Lending regulations to protect consumers from unfair or deceptive home mortgage lending and advertising practices. The proposal was approved by a 5-0 vote and is intended for implementation under the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA). Under the proposal, creditors would be prohibited from extending credit without considering the borrower's ability to repay the loan, and would be required to verify borrowers' income and assets before making the loan. The plan also limits prepayment penalties for homeowners who pay their loans off early. The Associated Press reports that the Fed's new proposals "are geared to providing safeguards to the riskiest 'subprime' borrowers, already painfully stung by the housing and credit debacles."

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