The S. Amdt. 1014 to S. 896, the "Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009", failed to pass in the Senate today by a vote of 45 to 51 with 3 not voting.
Despite the lack of passage of these amendments to the bankruptcy code, there remain various measures that may be of assistance to a struggling South Florida homeowner, including the following.
1. A second mortgage on a principal residence that is wholly "underwater" is generally avoidable in chapter 13 or chapter 11 bankruptcy
2. Voluntary mortgage modification may be available under President Obama's "Making Home Affordable Program"
3. Modification of mortgages on non-principal residences is presently allowed under chapter 13 or chapter 11 bankruptcy
4. Chapter 12 allows certain modification for mortgages for "Family Farmers"
5. Mandatory mediation of homestead mortgage foreclosures as of May 1, 2009 in Miami-Dade County, Florida