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Washington
Mortgage cramdown issue rises from ashes in House
WASHINGTON (9/10/09)—As recent reports predicted, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) Wednesday announced his intention to get a mortgage “cramdown” bill through Congress next year. In March, the House passed a bill that would have, in part, allowed bankruptcy court judges to force modifications in existing home loans, an action known as a “cramdown,” but the Senate voted it down 51-45 in April. To protect credit union interests, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) strongly opposed the legislation, while concurrently working with supporters of the measure to ensure credit unions were not adversely affected if the legislation became law. At a House Financial Services subcommittee hearing yesterday on the progress of the Obama administration's Making Home Affordable (MHA) loan modification program, Frank said, “The best lobbyists we have for (bankruptcy changes are) servicers that are not doing their job in trying to modify mortgages.” In outlining his plans for legislation, Frank said its reach would be limited to existing mortgages. In an interview with The Huffington Post news website, posted Sept. 9, Frank said he intends to include bankruptcy provisions in the financial industry regulatory reform measure. He added that in a recent meeting in Boston with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), and Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), the senators said they were ready for a major push to accomplish financial regulatory reform before the year ends.


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