WASHINGTON — House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) and other leading Republicans on the committee introduced a bill aimed to curb unscrupulous lending practices.

The Fair Mortgage Practices Act, which they called “the culmination of a 16-month effort to achieve a bipartisan solution, creates a national registration and licensing for mortgage originators; increases transparency by simplifying disclosures; “encourages” lenders to evaluate repayment ability in underwriting; increases support for housing counseling; restricts prepayment penalties on hybrid ARMs; requires escrow accounts for tax and insurance on subprime loans; beefs up enforcement of mortgage fraud; and improves the integrity of appraisals.

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