Should Judges Be Allowed to Dictate Mortgage Terms?

There is a bankruptcy bill that is being pushed by Democrats that would give Judges the power to dictate mortgage terms.  If this bill were to pass, a homeowner could file bankruptcy and the Judge could change the terms of his primary residence mortgage to make it more affordable for the homeowner so one they can afford their monthly mortgage payment and two to bring the mortgage down to market value.

The Mortgage Bankers Association, American Bankers Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce oppose this bill and have spent millions to try and prevent it from being passed.  According to the chief lobbyist for the Mortgage Bankers Association, Steve O’Connor, said “new homebuyers would end up paying higher interest and bigger down payments if lenders are saddled with the risk that a judge could change mortgage terms.”  Why would homebuyers end up paying a higher down payment and interest rate?  The lending guidelines are very stringent now and you can’t buy a home anymore without at least 3.5% down so I would imagine that the default rate on these new home loans would be very small?  So the risk for Lenders and Banks have dropped considerably compared to loans they gave out back in 2003-2006.

I can see why the Mortgage Bankers Association and American Bankers Association would want to prevent this bill from passing because it certainly would harm the bottom line for lenders and investors holding mortgages or would it?  How much harm would it really cause Lenders and Banks with the Government bailout?  Bank of America just received a 2nd bailout of $20 billion dollars!  Banks appear to be using their bailout money to acquire other banks so I am not too concerned with them complaining that they would lose money if this bill passes.  What I am concerned with is Lenders and Banks requiring homebuyers to come in with a higher down payment and increases in interest rates.

We need a solution to the foreclosure mess since Banks and Lenders can’t get short sales or loan modifications approved in a timely manner.  The passing of this bill would help streamline the process and allow homeowners to keep their homes by bring their mortgage down to market value and giving them a payment they can afford.  This will prevent more homes from going into foreclosure which helps keep inventory levels from increasing and should help prices begin to level out.  When there is confidence again in the real estate market, it will begin to spill over to other industries which will help lead us out of the recession our Country is facing.