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SENATE REJECTS CRAM DOWN MEASURE

SENATE REJECTS CRAM DOWN MEASURE

The U.S. Senate gave a thumb down to bankruptcy judges adjusting mortgage terms to help borrowers avoid foreclosure.   This is a victory for banks and credit unions that said the legislation would increase loan costs.  The vote count was 51-45, with 12 Democrats being part of the 51 opponents to the measure.  The measure needed 60 votes to pass over Republican objections.  The House passed its version 234-191 on March 5.   This is the second time that the  mortgage industry has managed to defeat a measure on adjusting mortgage terms.   JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., Bank of America Corp., the American Bankers Association and Financial Services Roundtable were the main oppenets of the measure.  The three banks have received $95 billion in U.S. tax payers’ money.  The U.S. economy has lost 5.1 million jobs since December 2007, and unemployment has risen to 8.5 percent in March, the highest since 1983.  The U.S. taxpayers remain burdened by debt, as consumer foreclosure filings for March totaled 341,180, a record high, according to RealtyTrac.  In addition consumer bankruptcy filings increased 41% in March 2009 as compared to March 2008.  A total of 121,413 consumer bankruptcy petitions were filed in March 2009.  Most of the information for this article is from the report filed by Margaret Chadbourn in Washington (bloomberg.com).

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