Groups Oppose Fingerprinting Loan Originators

By Keat Foong, Executive EditorWashington, D.C.—A broad coalition of groups has opposed a provision in the Senate housing bill that would require “loan originators” to submit their fingerprints to a registry. The provisions would require any worker defined as a “loan originator” to “furnish … fingerprints for submission to the Federal Bureau of Investigation” and other government agencies. A coalition of 16 liberal, conservative, and libertarian policy groups, including the American Conservative Union to the American Civil Liberties Union, have voiced their opposition to the provision in a letter to the Senate. The term “loan originator” is defined in the bill as anyone who negotiates mortgage terms or prepares loan packages. This definition could cover thousands of “low-level clerical employees and part-time and seasonal workers,” the letter points out.The groups state that they are “troubled by the scope of this requirement and the lack of a justification as to how this would serve the goal of reducing mortgage fraud.” The groups also questioned how fingerprinting would reduce subprime woes and noted the problem of identity theft of fingerprints.