Action Alert

March 8, 2006

Consumers Oppose SB 616!
Bill removes Banking Commissioner’s power to root out predatory mortgage lending.

The Issue

As the result of predatory mortgage lending practices by sub-prime lenders, almost 1,000 West Virginians lost their homes in 2005 -- up from 761 foreclosures in 2002.  In addition, many people who are hanging on to their homes are paying outrageously high mortgage payments due to predatory lending practices.
In August of 2005, the West Virginia Banking Commissioner agreed to require sub-prime lenders to supply additional information on their annual reports.  The information helps the Commissioner determine the likelihood that lenders were engaging in predatory lending practices and take steps to stop it.  
The purpose of Senate Bill 616 is to take away the Banking Commissioner’s power to require this information.

Our Position

The Legislative Action Team on Children and Families* strongly opposes SB 616, because it fails to protect West Virginia consumers from predatory mortgage lending.  The Banking Commissioner should keep the power to get information from sub-prime lenders in order to root out and stop predatory lending practices. The Banking Commissioner also needs the flexibility to make changes from year to year in the information required from sub-prime lenders in order to root out new predatory lending practices as they emerge.

Action Needed

Contact your legislators and urge them to oppose SB 616 and protect the Banking Commissioner’s power to root out predatory mortgage lending.

BY E-MAIL: Send e-mails directly to your legislators from the Legislative Action Center on Children and Families at Just click on the “Consumers Oppose SB 616” alert and follow the instructions.

BY PHONE: Call 1-877-565-3447 to leave a message or be transferred to your legislator's office. You can leave messages after hours that will be delivered to your legislators the next day.

For more information on this issue, contact David McMahon at

* The WV Legislative Action Team for Children and Families includes the National Association of Social Workers - WV Chapter, WV Coalition Against Domestic Violence, WV Healthy Kids and Families Coalition, WV Kids Count Fund, and WV Welfare Reform Coalition.  The online Legislative Action Center is managed by Prevent Child Abuse West Virginia.

Please forward this alert to others.