Financial reform and your mortgage
What lenders can't do
During the Wild West days of the housing boom, lenders were known to give subprime mortgages to people with good credit who could have qualified for low-rate prime loans. The practice -- called "steering" -- now is illegal.
In a related abuse, mortgage originators sometimes lied to borrowers about their credit, telling borrowers they had low credit scores when they really didn't. That practice now is illegal.
The legislation bans abusive lending practices on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender or age. This rule targets "affinity fraud," in which a loan officer of a given ethnicity fleeces borrowers of the same ethnicity by taking advantage of their trust.
It's illegal to lie about the appraised value of the property being mortgaged.