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Consumers get unfair treatment when compared to banks. Are you surprised?

That special treatment for banks may have helped them recover from the financial crisis. But it made things worse for borrowers and the economy. Today, 8.6 million homeowners still owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, for a total of $430 billion in negative equity, according to Moody’s Analytics. Some 2.1 million of the underwater homeowners are in or near foreclosure, on top of 9.6 million who have lost their homes since 2007.

Congress could have changed the law early in the financial crisis to allow for bankruptcy court relief for homeowners. Its refusal to do so has contributed to unnecessary impoverishment and a protracted weak recovery.

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