Since the foreclosure crisis began and came to the attention of the general public in 2007, homeowners, advocacy groups and government officials have been trying to discover a way to stem the tide of foreclosures.

Up until now, the most widely used tool has been voluntary mortgage modification programs that are run and controlled by the very mortgage companies that created unaffordable and often toxic mortgage which have caused the drastic rise in foreclosures.

But do we really want to give mortgage companies the sole responsibility and power of modifying toxic mortgages? The best way to empower homeowners facing foreclosure and reduce the number of foreclosure nationwide is to allow bankruptcy courts to modify toxic mortgages for homeowners facing foreclosure who are unable to get reasonable modifications through their mortgage servicer.

Many consumer, civil rights, housing and labor organizations agree that mortgage modification in Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the most effective strategy for reducing the number of foreclosures. Even Credit Suisse agrees that allowing mortgage modifications in Chapter 13 bankruptcy would immediately slash foreclosures by 20 percent.

But not just that, the fact that homeowners facing foreclosure might have the option of modifying their mortgage in Chapter 13 bankruptcy would offer an real incentive for mortgage companies to offer reasonable and affordable modifications.