On January 8, Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Representative John Conyers (D-MI) announced an agreement with Citigroup on legislation that would allow homeowners in bankruptcy to alter the terms of their mortgages. Citigroup has agreed to support the "Helping Families Save Their Homes in Bankruptcy Act," introduced by Senator Durbin on January 6, along with a companion bill that was introduced on the same day in the House of Representatives by Representative Conyers. The original legislation would remove a provision of the bankruptcy law that disallows modifications to mortgage loans on a debtor's principal residence, would extend the time frame debtors are allowed for repayment, and would allow bankruptcy judges to replace escalating variable interest rates with a new interest rate. Citigroup gave its support to the legislation in response to certain changes which have been made, including that only existing mortgages will be eligible, that homeowners will be required to certify that they have attempted to negotiate with their lender regarding loan modifications before filing for bankruptcy, and that only major violations of the Truth in Lending Act will invalidate creditor claims in bankruptcy.
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