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Consumer watchdog weighs limits to mortgage fees

WASHINGTON — The government’s consumer-finance watchdog is weighing an overhaul of the fees consumers pay to obtain mortgages.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Wednesday that it might ban origination fees that vary with the size of the loan, known as “origination points.” Lenders would charge the same flat fee for all loans.

It also wants to limit the use of “discount points,” which consumers pay in exchange for a lower mortgage rate. Some lenders included discount points in every loan they offered. The points amounted to an extra fee. The C-F-P-B might force lenders to offer an option without discount points, so that the value of the discount is visible.

The agency is overhauling mortgage rules under the financial overhaul passed in 2010. The changes would take effect in 2013.

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