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House approves cramdown bill
WASHINGTON (3/6/09)--The U.S. House of Representatives yesterday voted 234-191 in favor of H.R. 1106, Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, which contains a mortgage cramdown provision that will affect credit unions. The provision would allow bankruptcy judges to modify the terms of existing mortgages, which the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has said could lead to borrowers’ gaming of the system. The bill will now move to the Senate, where CUNA believes there is an opportunity to limit the scope, application and duration of the legislation. The cramdown portion of the bill was modified prior to the House vote, but the revised language is insufficient, CUNA said. It "only uses the President's plan as a guideline for the courts to follow, not a limitation on what type of loans the courts can cramdown or what the courts can do to those loans,” said Ryan Donovan, CUNA vice president of legislative affairs. Though CUNA does not support the cramdown provision of H.R. 1106, it does strongly support another provision that would make higher share and deposit insurance ceilings permanent.


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