A Code of Ethics for Lenders

July 01, 2001

As part of its effort to fight predatory lending in Evansville, Ind., the Tri-State Best Practices Lending Committee drew up this code. It calls for mortgage lenders to:

  1. Protect all they deal with against fraud, misrepresentation or unethical practices of any nature.
  2. Adopt a policy that will enable them to avoid errors, exaggeration, misrepresentation or the concealment of any pertinent facts.
  3. Steer clear of engaging in the practice of law and refrain from providing legal advice.
  4. Follow the spirit and letter of the law of Truth in Advertising.
  5. Provide written disclosure of all financial terms of the transaction.
  6. Charge for their services only such fees as are fair and reasonable and which are in accordance with ethical practice in similar transactions.
  7. Never condone, engage in or be a party to questionable appraisal values, falsified selling prices, concealment of pertinent information and/or misrepresentation of facts, including the cash equity of the mortgagor in the subject property.
  8. Not knowingly put customers in jeopardy of losing their home, nor consciously impair the equity in their property through fraudulent or unsound lending practices.
  9. Avoid derogatory comments about their competitors but answer all questions in a professional manner.
  10. Protect the consumer's right to confidentiality.
  11. Disclose any equity or financial interest they may have in the collateral being offered to secure the loan.
  12. Affirm commitment to the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Bridges is a regular review of regional community and economic development issues. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the St. Louis Fed or Federal Reserve System.

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