updated 3/5/2009 6:32:22 PM ET 2009-03-05T23:32:22
BREAKING NEWS

The House has passed legislation to give debt-strapped homeowners a chance to win lower mortgage payments through bankruptcy courts.

The vote was 234-191 to approve the measure. It faces a tough road in the Senate, where Republicans and some Democrats oppose the idea.

The bill gives bankruptcy judges new power to reduce the interest rate and principal on a home mortgage. It's part of President Obama's housing rescue plan.

Supporters see it as a crucial tool to prod banks to negotiate with homeowners for more affordable terms. Critics say it will create a flood of bankruptcy filings that will drive up mortgage rates and further destabilize the battered housing market.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Data: Latest rates in the US

Home equity rates View rates in your area
Home equity type Today +/- Chart
$30K HELOC FICO 2.43%
$30K home equity loan FICO 5.80%
$75K home equity loan FICO 4.54%
Credit card rates View more rates
Card type Today +/- Last Week
Low Interest Cards 13.57%
13.57%
Cash Back Cards 17.91%
17.91%
Rewards Cards 17.15%
17.15%
Source: Bankrate.com