If you still trying to figure how the U.S. Senate could reject a plan that would help millions of people avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes, here’s a clue. Despite it’s problems and struggling reputation, the financial industry still dominates Capitol Hill.
North Carolina Congressman Brad Miller’s legislation would have simply allowed bankruptcy judges to modify primary mortgages like they can modify every other kind of secured debt, like car loans and mortgages on vacation homes.
Miller managed to get the proposal through the House, but the lending industry flexed its well-financed muscle in the Senate and the proposal failed by six votes. A new report finds that more than $42 million was paid to lobbyists working against the provision to help homeowners, some of it from the same companies that are receiving billions of dollars of our money as part of the bailout program.
Maybe if the families facing forecloure had come up with $42 million for a lobbbying batttalion, the proposal would have passed and middle-class Americans trying to save their homes would have the same rights in bankruptcy court as folks trying to save their multi-million dollar beach houses.
Change may have come to the White House in November, but things don’t seem all that different in the backrooms in Washington. The powerful and well connected still get their way.