WASHINGTON (AP) -- Two North Carolina Democrats are among those co-sponsoring a bill in Congress to restrict lending practices partly blamed for the nationwide increase in mortgage defaults and foreclosures. Representatives Brad Miller and Melvin Watt have previously introduced similar legislation. The bill encourages states to enact stronger regulations and sets up federal regulations if state's don't. Banking trade groups say the bill would raise costs and reduce options for borrowers. The bill is designed to protect future borrowers, not the estimated two million people with weak credit histories whose monthly costs are expected to jump when their adjustable-rate mortgages reset. The bill would bar mortgage lenders from getting incentive payments to sign up borrowers for overly expensive loans. (Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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