Stricter standards could reduce foreclosures
By: Shawn Johnson/Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Real estate appraisers would have to be licensed in Wisconsin and mortgage brokers would face tougher standards under a package of recommendations that aims to reduce home foreclosures.
The suggestions come from a task force formed to study home foreclosures. The panel says Wisconsin is one of only four states that don't currently license home appraisers and that lack of regulation paved the way for housing scams at the height of the sub-prime lending boom.
The package would also require mortgage brokers to place their clients financial interests above their own, which is something that’s already required for real estate brokers. Task force member Dan Imhoff with the Community Bankers of Wisconsin says it puts everyone on a level playing field and it will require detailed disclosure to the homeowner.
Panel member Howard Mandeville heads the group “Movin’ Out,” which helps low-income people with disabilities find housing. At a state capitol news conference Wednesday he highlighted another of the task force’s suggestions, that the state require schools to teach students about the different types of mortgages and the risks associated with each of them. Mandeville says giving prospective homeowners more information is essential.
The package still needs the legislature’s approval. Assembly leaders say that could come as soon as next month.