Public Citizen Urges House to Defeat Bills That Abuse Borrowers

Statement of Bartlett Naylor, Financial Policy Advocate, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division

Note: In a letter (PDF) sent today to members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Public Citizen calls for lawmakers to oppose a suite of bills that would harm consumers of financial services.

House lawmakers should not make things worse for homebuyers. Instead, representatives should oppose a suite of harmful bills when they come up for a vote early this week.

Two bills in particular deserve rejection: H.R. 650, which exposes buyers of manufactured housing to greater predatory practices by raising the thresholds for protections under existing law; and H.R. 685, which further enables the dubious title insurance industry – a type of insurance made superfluous by modern records management systems.

A recent investigation of the nation’s largest manufactured housing company revealed widespread consumer abuse. Meanwhile, title insurance is a product with little purpose. It doesn’t even exist in most countries.

Congress should be finding solutions to these problems, not exacerbating them.

The other bills Public Citizen opposes are: the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Advisory Boards Act (H.R. 1195); the Helping Expand Lending Practices in Rural Communities Act (H.R. 1259); the Bureau Advisory Commission Transparency Act (H.R. 1265); the Mortgage Servicing Asset Capital Requirements Act of 2015 (H.R. 1408); the Community Institution Mortgage Relief Act of 2015 (H.R. 1529); and the Eliminate Privacy Notice Confusion Act (H.R. 601).