(Source: Associated Press)

If President Barack Obama gets his way, consumers who take out mortgages would automatically get a “plain vanilla” loan — such as a traditional 30-year fixed-rate mortgage — unless they opted for a riskier variety.

Obama’s plan to revamp financial regulation aims to protect borrowers from the confusing and high-risk mortgages that fed a pandemic of delinquencies and foreclosures, led to the worst financial crisis in decades and thrust the nation into a deep recession.

Obama is expecting opposition to the plan, and cautioned Saturday in his radio address, “While I’m not spoiling for a fight, I’m ready for one.”

Government officials want to make the process of getting a mortgage as simple and abuse-free as signing up for a retirement savings plan: A growing number of companies now automatically enroll new employees in 401(k) plans unless they opt out.

Read Alan Zibel’s full article “‘Vanilla’ home loans could benefit borrowers” in the Associated Press (June 21, 2009).

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