WASHINGTON D.C. (April 23, 2009) — At a hearing today before the House Financial Services Committee, Massachusetts Commissioner of Banks Steven L. Antonakes pressed for a more coordinated system of oversight to enhance supervision of the mortgage market.
Testifying on behalf of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) at a hearing on H.R. 1728, The Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2009, Antonakes urged Congress to ensure that states continue to play a major role in mortgage supervision and enforcement.
“The most effective system of supervision and consumer protection is not purely federal,” Antonakes said.
He pointed to the recently-enacted S.A.F.E. Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 requiring all mortgage loan originators to be licensed or registered through the CSBS-AARMR Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS), as a model for much-needed cooperative federalism.
“Within weeks of the Act’s passage, the states developed a model state law to implement its requirements. As of today, 20 states have passed legislation to become compliant with the S.A.F.E. Act, and an additional 29 states are in process,” Antonakes said.
CSBS supports the establishment of a federal predatory lending standard that allows the states to address abusive practices as they evolve.
“Any federal standards should be enforceable by state regulators and attorneys general,” he said, adding that “a static solution will not be able to keep pace with the market without the involvement of state authorities.”
He further asserted that the House Financial Services Committee and Congress should end regulatory preemption of state consumer protection laws.
Antonakes also suggested the Committee should require rulemaking to be coordinated through the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), where states are represented.
Antonakes was the second of 16 witnesses to testify at today’s hearing. View testimony