"Congress Approves an Anti-Foreclosure Bill
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress on Tuesday sent the president legislation that encourages banks to spare homeowners from foreclosure, after the industry helped scuttle a tougher measure that would have forced lenders to reduce monthly payments of owners in bankruptcy.
The House voted 367 to 54 to pass the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act. The Senate voted 91 to 5 in favor of the bill and approved the final version by unanimous consent.The bill would expand an existing $300 billion program that encourages lenders to write down an individual’s mortgage if the homeowner agrees to pay an insurance premium. The program, set to expire in 2011, would swap out a homeowner’s high interest rate for a 30-year fixed loan backed by the Federal Housing Administration."