Update – Mortgage Modification Bankruptcy Bill

As of 4-9-09 – Cram Down Bill is in Trouble …

MORTGAGE MODIFICATION, EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION LIKELY TO BE DROPPED FROM SENATE AGENDA

Senate Democratic leaders appear likely to drop several high-profile legislative issues from their agenda, including efforts to tax bonuses paid to corporate executives and giving bankruptcy judges the ability reduce mortgage payments on the primary mortgages of chapter 13 debtors, according to a CongressDaily report today. Senate aides said that the legislative agenda this year might increasingly focus on revamping financial regulations — which could reach the Senate floor in late summer — and on health care reform. The chamber will reconvene April 20 by taking up a fraud-enforcement bill that authorizes increasing Justice Department funding and authority to crack down on mortgage fraud and other crimes related to federal assistance programs. Those efforts come as more high-profile legislation sits on the back burner in the face of opposition from Republicans and moderate Democrats. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) have said that they have not dropped efforts to craft a bill slapping heavy taxes on bonuses for firms such as American International Group that received bailout money, but Democrats have no immediate plans to move an AIG bill in the face of White House concerns and strong opposition from the banking industry. Also faltering is mortgage cramdown legislation that lobbyists and some senators say lacks the votes to pass. Reid has said previously that he is prepared to drop the cramdown language provision from a broader housing bill if the votes are not there.


As of now, the bill has passed the House, but is being delayed in the Senate. Timing as of now looks like it will come up after the Spring Recess in mid April.

As of 3-18-2009 (No Change as of March 31, 2009)

Senate Democrat Says 60 Votes Not Likely on Cramdown Provision

A key Senate Democrat said yesterday that it was unlikely the chamber would consider a bill to allow bankruptcy judges to modify terms of a primary mortgage until after the spring recess, CongressDaily reported today. Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) said there is not enough support to prevent a filibuster of the bill that would allow mortgages to be restructured through a chapter 13 filing. “I think this is going to be probably not taken up until after the upcoming recess. But right now I think there is going be some difficulty in getting to the 60 votes,” said Bayh. Senate Majority Leader Reid said that timeframe was about right. “I would expect very soon after we get back after April recess that we’ll be working on what they [Banking Committee] report out,” he said. He is working with Judiciary ranking member Arlen Specter to narrow the eligibility for borrowers who could cram down the principal of their mortgages. Senate staffers met yesterday afternoon in an effort to work on a compromise. The House-passed version allows bankruptcy judges to consider whether homeowners were offered a “qualified” loan workout similar to a plan the Obama administration has announced to help lower the interest rate for up to 9 million families. But the House measure did not mandate that the borrower had to take such an offer if he were eligible, in lieu of cramdown – a provision advocated by the lending industry. Senate moderates are pushing for such a requirement. Bayh said he is looking to impose a sunset period for the cramdown provisions

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