Bipartisan Housing Bill Loses Bankruptcy Provision, Keeps Builder Tax Break–For Now

Washington, D.C.–On Thursday, the Senate began debating a bipartisan bill that could offer homeowners help and provide homebuilders with $6 billion in tax breaks, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.The tax provision is the biggest expense in the measure and was met with criticism as senators rejected an amendment offered by Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) that would have allowed bankruptcy judges alter mortgage terms for primary residences. Mortgage lenders, the White House and most Republicans opposed the bankruptcy proposal.After the rejection, a group that includes the Center for Responsible Lending and Consumer Federation of America said the bill was lacking “the single most significant step needed to help the 20,000 American families with sub-prime loans that are losing their homes each week through foreclosure.”The vote on the bankruptcy provision indicated a divide that may complicate passing the bill; however, the Senate is expected to wrap up the debate next week, the Times said.