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July 21, 2010

Financial Regulatory Reform Signed into Law

Bill Includes Velázquez Housing Measure

Washington, DC President Barack Obama today signed into law sweeping new rules that will bring greater transparency and accountability to U.S. financial institutions. Among other changes, the new law will establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a consumer watchdog devoted to protecting Americans from unfair and abusive financial practices. Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) praised the landmark act, saying it would add needed stability to the U.S. financial system, preventing future crises in the capital markets.

“The reforms enacted today will restore confidence in our economy and ensure that the problems leading up to the financial meltdown and the recession are never again repeated,” Velázquez said. “By improving oversight of our financial institutions, we can improve the flow of credit to businesses and get our economy moving in the right direction again.”

Included in the new law is a provision authored by Velázquez that will encourage more prospective homebuyers to obtain a home inspection before buying property. Velázquez’s provision is based on a portion of a bill, H.R. 2130, the Consumer Protection Home Inspection Counseling Act, which she introduced last year. The language requires counselors at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Federal Housing Administration to provide materials on home inspections to prospective homebuyers. HUD training of counselors will also be required to include information on the importance of inspections.

“The foreclosure crisis made clear the need to arm homebuyers with reliable information,” Velázquez said. “By making New Yorkers aware of the benefits of an inspection, we can help consumers to make a safe investment when buying a home, avoid financial pitfalls and, ultimately, prevent future foreclosures.”

Velázquez serves as a senior Member of the House Committee on Financial Services and on its Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee.