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Inside Washington (07/15/2009)
* WASHINGTON (7/16/09)--A proposal by several federal agencies requiring originators at banks, thrifts and credit unions to be licensed by 2010 under a registration system created for nonbank lenders is generating criticism from industry representatives who say the proposal could impair loan modifications. The registry aims to increase tracking and accountability of originators, and reduce fraud by requiring originators to submit updated personal information and provide fingerprints. Although the proposal didn’t draw any controversy when it was considered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) board in May, it has been cited by some industry groups as going too far (American Banker July 15). The proposal is intrusive because employees already undergo background checks, and community banks should be exempt because they already are scrutinized at the federal and state levels, according to one letter filed July 7. Another letter, dated July 9, said regulatory agencies should reduce the compliance burden on financial institutions and develop a standard form that could be adopted by all banks. Agencies involved with the proposal besides the FDIC include the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of Thrift Supervision, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve Board and the Farm Credit Administration ... * WASHINGTON (7/16/09)--Completed loan modifications fell 12% in April to about 13,800, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Foreclosure Prevention Report. The report details actions taken by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to prevent unnecessary foreclosures. Loan modifications accounted for 48% of all completed foreclosure prevention actions in April, compared with 47% in March. Completed short sales and deeds in lieu increased 15% in April to 4,000--more than three times the volume one year earlier. Delinquencies also continued to rise about 71,700 more loans going 60 days or more delinquent in April, the report said ... * WASHINGTON (7/16/09)--Congressional leaders announced appointments to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Wednesday. Commissioners include: Bill Thomas, senior adviser, Buchanan, Ingersoll and Rooney; Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president, DHE Consulting LLC; Peter Wallison, co-director for Financial Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute; Keith Hennessey, assistant to the president for Economic Policy and director of the National Economic Council, 2008-2009; Phil Angelides, former California state treasurer; Brooksley Born, former chair of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission; John Thompson, chairman of the board of directors at Symantec Corp.; Bob Graham, former U.S. senator and governor of Florida; Heather Murren, retired managing director for Global Securities Research and Economics at Merrill Lynch; and Byron Georgiou, president of Georgiou Enterprises. Thomas, selected to serve as vice chair of the commission, was a former chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee from 2001 to 2007. Congress established the commission to investigate the causes of the financial crisis and the collapse of major financial institutions ...


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