Senate Banking Committee chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., has embraced the concept of creating an independent consumer protection agency with broad regulatory and enforcement powers over mortgage lender practices and products.

"I am committed to making this agency the centerpiece of my efforts to rebuild our financial architecture from the bottom up," Dodd said. The new agency would be responsible for protecting consumers from predatory practices of mortgage brokers, bankers, and other financial institutions.

The agency would take over the consumer protection rulemaking authority of the Federal Reserve Board.

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