It sure looked last week like allowing bankruptcy judges to modify mortgage loans and keep people in their homes finally was getting somewhere. After two years of opposing any such move, Citigroup announced it was getting on board with the idea, with some limitations. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) praised the bank’s “courage” and predicted others would follow.
Not so fast.
Despite Citi’s cooperation, the rest of the banking industry isn’t joining hands to sing “Kumbaya” on this one, reports American Banker. (subscription required.) Other banks either want an even narrower version of the measure Citi supports – or nothing at all. From American Banker:
“Citi’s an important player, but we’ve got virtually a unanimous position from the rest of the industry that thinks this is the wrong way to go,” said Bill Himpler, executive vice president of federal affairs for the American Financial Services Association.
The reason something that sounds as boring as bankruptcy modification is important is simple: It actually works. It stops foreclosures. Even the threat that it might occur can stop foreclosures. And that’s a big contrast to everything else out there, all those loan modification programs and repayment plans. So far they aren’t getting the job done.
The lending industry has always hated the idea and has always gotten its way . But there’s a new regime in town, and this could wind up as part of the stimulus package. Citi seems to be figuring out which way the wind blows before everyone else. Some in the banking industry even complained to American Banker about Citi breaking ranks to support bankruptcy modifications.
The other lenders may continue the fight, and they may make it longer and more difficult, but their winning streak may still be over, with or without Citi at their side.
$1.3 trillion in federal spending unaccounted for, report finds
Despite calls for independent bodies to keep government accountable, the Sunlight Foundation’s most recent Clearspending report has found the federal
$1.89 billion given to states to fight HIV
The federal government Monday announced more than $1.89 billion in funding to states to fight the HIV epidemic with access to care and with more cash for the failing AIDS Drug Assistance Program. According to an HHS press release , $813 million of that money will go directly to the ADAP programming. An additional $8,386,340 will be issued as a supplement to 36 states and territories currently facing a litany of unmet needs and access issues.
1 Brigade and 1 Battalion
ISTANBUL – It’s 10 p.m. in the lowest level of the Istanbul airport. In 20 minutes I’ll be allowed to board my plane to Kabul, bringing me to the
1. Brian Schweitzer
As governor of Montana, Schweitzer doesn’t represent one of the most highly populated, high-profile electoral states in the country. But this
#1 in Conspiracy Theories
Andrew Young’s tell-all biography of John Edwards, hitting shelves next week, is surging in one Amazon.com category in particular. #1 in Conspiracy
$1 Million for Toomey
Pat Toomey, the former Club for Growth president and leading Republican candidate in Pennsylvania’s 2010 Senate race, has announced a $1 million haul in the
$1 Trillion for Fannie and Freddie?
That is the worst-case scenario, according to Egan-Jones Ratings Co., quoted in a Bloomberg article making the rounds. The agency says that if home prices
$1.3 Million for Brown
The GOP’s candidate in the Massachusetts special election raised more than one million dollars -- double the goal -- in a 24-hour moneybomb on the Ron Paul
Ten Loopholes That Can’t Make It Into FinReg
Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, wrote a blog post that lists the loopholes lobbyists most want inserted into Sen. Chris Dodd’s (D-Conn.)
Bachmann uncomfortable over earmarks ban
Republicans appear to have boxed themselves into a corner with their portrayal of earmarks as wasteful spending, as many of them have backed a moratorium on
Troubled mine holds hope for U.S. rare earth industry
China currently controls 97 percent of the world’s rare earth production. The Mountain Pass Mine could change that -- if it can overcome serious environmental concerns.