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Administration Considers Single Mortgage Regulator

Senior government officials are weighing the prospect of charging one federal agency with oversight of mortgages, as well as other consumer-oriented financial products, according to multiple media reports. The structure of the nation's financial system, particularly within the mortgage industry, has come under considerable scrutiny since the recession took hold. And some officials argue that the way consumer protections are currently patchworked across multiple agencies is an Achilles heel of the existing regulatory system.
According to the _""Wall Street Journal"":http://www.wsjonline.com_, Washington's discussions of a solitary mortgage regulator are in flux but at an advanced stage, although it is still unclear if the administration will choose to create a new federal agency for the job or saddle an existing office with new overarching authorities. Also under consideration is whether the new authority would cover insurance and mutual funds, as well as mortgages.
Currently, policing of financial products are divided among a wide range of organizations, including an array of state agencies, the Federal Reserve, Office of Thrift Supervision, and Securities and Exchange Commission - all off which have received their fair share of criticism for failing to regulate mortgages and their related financial products during the housing boom.
The administration's lone-regulator proposal would centralize the enforcement of existing laws and make it easier to impose new, tougher rules. The ""_Washington Post_"":http://www.washingtonpost.com explained that the idea is likely to face significant opposition from industry groups, which argue that stricter regulation limits the availability of financial products, including mortgages. Some federal agencies are also likely to fight the plan because it would mean they would lose power.
The Obama administration is expected to lay out its proposal for a financial and mortgage regulatory overhaul within the next two or three weeks, but doesn't expect a major reform bill from Congress until later in the year.

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.

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