Mortgage 'Cram Down' Effort Stalls in Senate

The development represents a setback for the Obama administration.

By + More

The effort to enact mortgage "cram downs" appears to be stonewalled--at least for now--in the Senate, according to The Wall Street Journal:

Legislation to give bankruptcy judges the power to reduce home mortgage debt–by “cramming down” the principal–doesn’t appear to have enough votes and will be stripped out of a broader housing bill in the Senate.

The cram-down effort is a major plank of President Barack Obama’s housing rescue, which also offers financial incentives to mortgage servicers to modify loans and allows some homeowners with little to no equity to refinance.

The cram-down measure already passed the House of Representatives as part of the housing rescue. But it faced heavy opposition from the banking industry, and there were signals last week that Senate leaders might discard the measure from the housing bill.