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Rep. Kind Statement on Housing Bill

March 5, 2009
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DCU.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) made the following statement after voting against H.R. 1106, which would allow bankruptcy judges to unilaterally modify mortgages.

“Since the credit crisis started last fall, my top priority has been to protect the people in western Wisconsin who have acted responsibly. I supported the financial rescue legislation to protect their savings and investments. I supported the economic recovery legislation to protect their jobs.

“This legislation, however, does not protect those people who are paying their mortgage on time, every month. The lenders in western Wisconsin were largely not engaged in the non-traditional, sub-prime loans that got us into this mess. By allowing bankruptcy judges to unilaterally write down mortgages with no limits on the type of mortgages they can adjust or the efforts that must be taken before these adjustments can happen, we will actually be causing credit to tighten when we’ve been working since fall to loosen it. This action will cause banks to write fewer mortgages, and those mortgages will be more expensive for western Wisconsin borrowers.

“President Obama announced a mortgage modification program this week that will expand existing loan modification programs to help homeowners avoid bankruptcy. I support these efforts and believe they should be given a chance to work. Bankruptcy should always be the absolute last resort for homeowners. That’s why I cannot support this bill that will move more people into bankruptcy by allowing judges to unilaterally write down the value of one person’s home while leaving their neighbors high and dry.”