Federal bankruptcy judges say they are eager to have the power to restructure mortgages for struggling debtors because it could save hundreds of thousands of homeowners from foreclosure.

Top Senate Democrats are advancing legislation to let bankruptcy-court judges approve new repayment terms on first mortgages for primary residences for homeowners who have sought protection in a Chapter 13 filing. The proposal allowing so-called mortgage cramdowns, in which the principal amount of the loan is reduced, is one of several efforts Democrats are pushing to give homeowners relief as they wrestle with increasing debt levels and plummeting home values.

Wall Street Journal