Titus and Others Ask for Reverse Mortgage Protections in Wall Street Reform

More members of Congress are joining Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in asking the conference committee responsible for merging the House and Senate versions of Wall Street reform to include what they believe will provide necessary consumer safeguards for the reverse mortgage industry.

The Wall Street reform bill which passed the House included an amendment proposed by Rep. Representative Dina Titus (D-Nev) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) meant to regulate the reverse mortgage industry.  Last week, Titus along with 15 of her colleagues sent a letter to Chairman Barney Frank and Chairman Christopher Dodd, asking them to ensure that the language of the amendment is included in the final conference report. 

“While this financial product can be appropriate for some, it is important that the reverse mortgage lending industry be subject to appropriate regulation to promote transparency and sufficient consumer protections,” said Titus in a letter to President Barack Obama expressing the need to include the amendment in the bill.

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As passed in the House, the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) is required to issue regulations regarding reverse mortgages within one year of enactment.  The bill also calls for the agency to provide model disclosures for reverse mortgage transactions.  “Our amendment requires the CFPA to ensure that all disclosures relating to reverse mortgages are just as clear and easy to understand as all other mortgage products,” said Titus.

The Senate’s version doesn’t include a reverse mortgage amendment and is why Titus is lobbying to ensure it’s included in the final conference report.  “I believe it is important that the CFPA have the necessary power and responsibility to protect our nation’s seniors,” she said.

Members of the committee are expected to meet again on Tuesday to negotiate the final version of the bill, which Democrats hope to deliver to Obama by July 4.