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Senate rejects cramdown amendment
WASHINGTON (5/1/09)—As the Senate Thursday moved toward final action on S. 896, the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, it voted down by a six-vote margin an amendment that would have allowed judicial mortgage modifications. However, the provision’s chief sponsor—Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-Ill.)—put the Senate on notice that this defeat, with a 51-45 vote, is not the end of his battle to enact the mortgage bankruptcy provisions. Durbin declared on the Senate floor that if the language is not added to a House-Senate conference version of the bill at a later date, he will be back to the Senate with another bill. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) was strongly opposed to the House-approved mortgage bankruptcy provisions. However, CUNA remained steadfast at the negotiating table in the Senate to help craft a bill that would represent good public policy while mitigating impact on credit unions. This week, when those negotiations stalled, CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica said CUNA is “gratified that we influenced a number of improvements to the legislation by our commitment." He also noted, “We have the utmost respect for Sen. Durbin; we look forward to working with him on many more important policy issues."

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