After several false starts, the House Judiciary Committee is slated to mark up a bankruptcy bill on Wednesday that would allow homeowners filing for Chapter 13 relief to get their mortgages restructured.Committee Democrats have agreed to several changes to the bankruptcy bill (H.R. 3609) to secure the support of Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio. As originally introduced by Reps. Brad Miller, D-N.C., and Linda Sanchez, D-Calif, H.R. 3609 would allow bankruptcy judges to reduce interest rates and the principal amount of a mortgage, which mortgage industry groups and several committee Republicans warned would scare off mortgage investors and damage the secondary market. Under the proposed changes, the bill would cover subprime and nontraditional mortgages that were originated after Jan. 1, 2000 up to the date of enactment of the legislation. The compromise also includes new criteria for homeowners who could qualify for bankruptcy relief.

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