The annual American Mortgage Conference gets underway today in Raleigh. Bankers, regulators, and government officials will meet for 3 days to discuss ways to get the mortgage market moving again. Thad Woodard is president and CEO of the North Carolina Bankers Association. He says the system now is much more strictly regulated under the Dodd-Frank financial reform act.
Thad Woodard: "The bankers have been in the process of trying to lend, if you will, but they come up against the new requirements that are there for a very solid and positive purpose, and that is to prevent overextension like that which we went through not too long ago."
The Durham-based Center for Responsible Lending says the tight credit market cannot be blamed on regulations. But the advocacy group says North Carolina's many small community banks can't get credit flowing on their own. The market is still dominated by the handful of big banks that were responsible for many of the harmful lending practices. Five of the big banks are being monitored by the state's former banking commissioner, as part of a $25 billion national foreclosure settlement.
There's also wide agreement that government-backed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac need to be reformed to bring credit and stability to the market.