06/08/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

White House Silence May Have Doomed Mortgage Cramdown Bill

Though mortgage bankruptcy reform has been a central component of the Obama administration's foreclosure prevention strategy, the White House all but abandoned the proposal in the days leading up to last week's Senate vote, providing some Democrats with the political cover to kill the bill and leaving supporters scratching their heads in wonder why the administration didn't push harder for passage.

The proposal, sponsored by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), would have empowered bankruptcy judges to reduce, or "cramdown," the terms of primary mortgages, allowing some struggling homeowners to avoid foreclosure. Obama supported the measure on the campaign trail last year, and endorsed it again in February as he unveiled his anti-foreclosure plan.

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