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Senate tables mortgage debt forgiveness
WASHINGTON (4/4/08)--The Senate yesterday continued debate over legislation that would reduce uncertainty for those embroiled in the current housing market turmoil. Yesterday’s action on The Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008 included consideration of a Credit Union National Association (CUNA) supported amendment by House Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) to minimize foreclosures by allowing bankruptcy judges to forgive mortgage debts. During floor debate, Durbin blasted the mortgage banking industry for opposing his amendment, and said "credit unions support this amendment, because they never got into this crazy loan business." He also said the New York Times published an editorial in support of the amendment, which ultimately was tabled 58 to 36. Meanwhile, CUNA was following a provision that would have provided $200 million for housing counselors to help families facing foreclosure. As part of a compromise, the funding level for the bill’s financial counseling provisions was reduced from the level initially proposed. The final outcome of that provision is uncertain, as several groups, including CUNA and the National Credit Union Foundation have an interest in maximizing financial counseling efforts. “One of the virtues of a bi-cameral legislature is that a bill has to pass both the Senate and the House,” said Donovan. “The financial counseling component of this legislation will be important for the House to consider when it takes up this legislation, and we encourage the House to increase the funding of these provisions."


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