The health of the housing market is vital to our nation’s economy because it has a ripple effect throughout various industries and – as we continue to see – home ownership is a strong indicator of financial security. Yet, recent developments in the subprime lending industry have highlighted unfair mortgage practices and showcased the many obstacles facing first time home buyers.

The Fair Mortgage Practices Act offers an opportunity for the Congress to come together in a bipartisan manner to address these important issues and protect consumers. The late Rep. Paul Gillmor and Rep. Deborah Pryce have provided great leadership on this issue and I am honored to serve as a cosponsor of this key piece of legislation. By bringing increased transparency to the mortgage process, enhancing accountability among mortgage professionals and strengthening enforcement against mortgage fraud schemes, this bill will greatly increase protections for home buyers. The bill will also help streamline the flow of information to potential buyers through support for increased housing counseling.

There is little question that consumers deserve the protections and support provided by this bill and I encourage my colleagues to act on this important issue.