WASHINGTON — Laurie Goodman, who says no analysts have been more critical of bank mortgage practices than her team at Amherst Securities Group, is siding with lenders when it comes to a flurry of new rules intended to protect home buyers.
‘‘We’re piling tighter standards on top of already tight credit standards, and because you have so many different entities responsible for making these rules, no one is really looking at the interaction,’’ said Goodman, based in New York. “The combined effects could be devastating.’’
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Department of Housing and Urban Development are among regulators trying to reshape mortgage lending after poor underwriting contributed to a housing crash that triggered the worst financial crisis in seven decades. The proposals include new tests on borrowers’ ability to repay, guidelines for servicers, and rules on origination fees.
Lenders already have been tightening credit standards, even as borrowing costs fall to record lows. With the housing market showing signs of stabilizing, after home prices plunged more than 35 percent from a 2006 peak, banks are opposing some of the proposals on the grounds it will make it harder for them to extend loans.
Goodman should be taken seriously, said Representative Brad Miller, a North Carolina Democrat who is on the Financial Services Committee. Regulators should make sure that new rules don’t make credit unavailable, he said.
‘‘I don’t think we have to go back to Ozzie-and-Harriet mortgages of 20 percent down payment, 30-year fixed rate,’’ Miller said, referring to a television show in the 1950s and 1960s.
While at Amherst, Goodman has criticized lenders for conflicts of interest and for their foreclosure and second-lien practices. ‘‘I’m not always a sap for the largest banks, almost never am,’’ she said. ‘‘On this particular issue I think they’re dead right.’’
‘‘The government should look at the interaction across the different rules,’’ said Michael Barr, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School. ‘‘All of those rules have an influence on the shape and structure of the mortgage market.’’
Among the consumer bureau’s proposals are simplified forms showing mortgage terms, tests to verify borrowers’ ability to repay, guidelines for servicers, and rules on origination fees.
The majority of the mortgage rules the agency is working on are required by the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul and will be finalized in January 2013. They are intended to make the prices and risks of mortgages clearer to consumers and simplify information provided when buying a home.