Writing in today's Wall Street Journal:
Along with the commitment of taxpayers' dollars, we should make market reforms to help ensure that we do not face this problem again. We will make sure the marketplace understands its obligations. Homeowners must be able to understand the terms and obligations of their mortgages. In return, they have an obligation to provide truthful financial information, and should be subject to penalty if they do not. Policies must be in place to ensure that homeowners provide a responsible down payment of equity in the initial purchase of a loan. In the future, Fannie, Freddie or any government organization should never insure a loan when the homeowner doesn't have enough of his or her own capital in the investment.
Lenders who initiate loans will be held accountable for the quality and performance of those loans, and strict standards must be required in the lending process. Every lender must be required to meet the highest standards of ethical behavior, with recourse if they do not perform.
Reforms are necessary now to make mortgage lending and banking organizations more transparent. We will require greater disclosure, so that complex derivative instruments and excessive leverage can't put the marketplace, and the financial security of your home, at risk.
We will push the nation's top mortgage lenders to provide maximum support to help cash-strapped, but credit-worthy customers. Lenders should do everything possible to keep families in their homes and business growing.
Whole thing here. Thoughts?