House Approves Financial Regulatory Overhaul Bill
By a vote of 223 to 202, the House on Dec. 11 approved H.R. 4173, the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009.
The legislation would create a Consumer Financial Protection Agency to oversee common products such as credit cards and mortgages, establish a council of regulators to police systemic risks in the economy, regulate the vast derivatives market and give the government power to wind down large, troubled firms whose collapse could threaten the entire financial system.
On an issue that NAHB has been following closely, lawmakers defeated a “cramdown” proposal that would have allowed bankruptcy judges to modify mortgages for primary residences.
Earlier last week, NAHB sent a letter to House members to express the association’s views on this effort to overhaul the financial regulatory system. NAHB urged Congress to ensure that any changes to the housing finance system do not raise the cost and restrict the availability of mortgage credit for qualified borrowers.
The Senate Banking Committee is considering its own proposals to address risks to the stability of the U.S. financial system. Senate action is not expected until next year, and it is possible that the legislation could be combined with some type of regulatory reform for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. NAHB will continue to monitor developments closely.
To view the legislation, click here and type H.R. 4173 in the box in the center screen. For more information, e-mail Scott Meyer at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8144.