Mortgage Brokers and Borrowers: Congress Weighs Their Rights

Just because versions of financial reform have passed the House and Senate doesn't mean the mortgage lobbyists' job is over yet. The Senate bill put limits on how much money a mortgage broker or banker can make when they sell you a mortgage. Now mortgage industry associations are fighting to protect their right to profit without any restrictions.

Congress still has to work out the differences between the House and Senate bills before handing over to President Obama to sign. And while Wall Street is focusing its firepower to protect its lucrative business in derivatives – the explosive financial technology that brought down AIG -- the folks who make and sell mortgages have a different agenda.

Lenders would like to scratch an amendment to the financial regulation bill that tells mortgage retailers that they can't have their cake and eat it, too. The amendment would give lenders a choice of getting paid directly by the consumer through upfront fees, or by a higher interest rate for the customer -- getting what is essentially an advance from the lender against that extra future income from the loan.

They can't get both.