Congressman Conyers Gets Ready for Cramdown

Leveling the playing field in the foreclosure crisis.

Who's ready for cramdown?  Congressman John Conyers sure is, President Obama seems to be, and now Speaker of the House Pelosi wants to bring a housing bill to a vote this week that would empower bankruptcy judges to modify mortgage terms for borrowers on their primary residences.  As David Dayen (aka Dday) explains, "This is an important provision, which most economists believe will be the best tool homeowners can have for them to stay in their homes, and for lenders to agree to loan modifications."  Dayen and Rep. Conyers, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, discussed the importance of cramdown as part of Brave New Films' Fighting for Our Homes campaign.

Conyers has long been a champion of cramdown.  With someone facing foreclosure in our country every 13 seconds and 8-10 million Americans in danger of losing their homes, this legislation would effectively "level the playing field," as Conyers put it.  It would allow bankruptcy judges to consider the unfair circumstances of a mortgage, while enabling those homeowners who have been victimized by predatory lending practices to be able to deal with their lenders.  All the while, it would stick to the wealthy elite and those in our government who have resisted cramdown, since until now, only secondary and tertiary properties and assets qualified to have the terms rewritten by a bankruptcy judge.

ZP Heller is the editorial director of Brave New Films. He has written for The American Prospect, AlterNet, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Huffington Post, covering everything from politics to pop culture.
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