feeding the gophers

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Crossposted from Firedoglake

Over $42 Million Paid to Lobbyists Working to Defeat “Cramdown” in 1Q 2009

By: Jane Hamsher Tuesday May 5, 2009 6:59 am

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A review of lobbying reports filed indicates that finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE) interests paid over $42 million to lobbyists who worked to defeat mortgage write-down in bankruptcy (cramdown) in the first quarter of 2009, as well as other anti-consumer legislation such as capping credit card interest rates.

Sixty organizations filed lobbying reports for the first quarter of 2009 indicating that they had paid lobbyists to work on the issue (see chart). Because lobbying reports don’t break down how much money was devoted to lobbying on a specific issue it’s not possible to break down a total spent on cramdown alone, but lobbying against H.R. 1106, H.R. 200 and S. 61, the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act was a priority for those organizations and lobbyists listed.

Organizations that lobbyied on the issue, but whose lobbying efforts in 1Q were significantly devoted to non-banking issues (The Chamber of Commerce, John Deere, General Electric) were not included in the total.

The legislation, which would have allowed judges to write down mortgage principle to current market values, could have played a significant role in stemming the foreclosure crisis. It is estimated that it would have prevented 20% of foreclosures at no cost to the taxpayers. Recently, Senator Richard Durbin gave a speech on the floor of the Senate where he indicated the banks “own us.” He also indicated that between now and 2012, some 8 million homeowners may lose their houses in foreclosure.


Gopher is as gopher does,

Gopher does as gophers told

Update:

Jane at Firedoglake, informs us also that:

One of the key votes against “cramdown” in the Senate came, surprisingly, from Democrat Byron Dorgan of North Dakota. According to an FEC lobbying report filed by the American Council of Life Insurers, Dorgan’s wife Kimberly worked for them as a lobbyist to defeat the measure during the first quarter of 2009 (PDF).

3 Responses to “feeding the gophers”

  1. Merlin Sarlinas Says:

    Need to pay our mortgage by the end in the month however , don’t even think that I might make it, can you help?

  2. Maya Paulin Says:

    Once again the United States dollar is listed below the Euro in terms involving the value. It seems like we may never be in a position to perform better than it, yet it is only been 5 months. It’s possible it’ll alter in the near future.

  3. Waldo Podeszwa Says:

    I just subscribed to your RSS feed, not sure if I did it right though? Solid article by the way.. I’m currently working on Fishbone Diagram project.

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