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Unfortunately, the Bankruptcy Code gives no statutory guidance for choosing or evaluating a discount or interest rate for cram-down purposes.
He should have fought harder for so-called "cram-down" legislation that would have let courts modify homeowner debt the way they do for businesses.
Debt restructurings in Kuwait have to get unanimous backing from creditors unless the negotiations are covered by the country's Financial Stability Law, which contains provisions to cram-down dissenters if a vast majority agree to a proposal.
In addition, the availability of "cram-down" provisions -- where a minority of creditors can be forced to accept a restructuring agreement if it is acceptable to the majority -- should prevent debtors from being held hostage by a few unruly creditors.
For example, the long period of job losses and little new hiring may have created something of a cram-down effect.
Although the final version of the law (as enacted May 20, 2009) did not contain this cram-down provision, should the federal government consider such an approach in the future (if, for example, foreclosures continue to grow, as they have through the first half of 2009), it would be prudent to consider the significant red flags.
"If we can get investors to accept a cram-down on the principal, that will help a lot.
"This is less a bailout than a soft cram-down (a reduction in the debt owed to creditors).
Singer: From an economic standpoint, there's a limit to how far states can go with "cost cram-down"; that is, trying to provide care for people in the least costly settings.
This provision would fix what some cities and towns call a "cram-down."