In our discussions about foreclosures, nomadism and homelessness (see the comments to my "fertile crescent" post), we've been talking about the problem of the coming foreclosures for agrarian society. I've been arguing that if you can get past the first wave of foreclosures, we may have a good chance to keep our land and houses. You can see some of my suggestions on this here: http://casaubonsbook.blogspot.com/2007/05/how-to-keep-your-house.html
But political change in existing bankruptcy laws would make an enormous difference in the coming tidal wave of foreclosures, see the article here:http://money.cnn.com/2007/10/01/real_estate/subprime_bankruptcy_change/index.htm?postversion=2007100115
"Under the House bill, the bankruptcy judge would have the option of reducing what the homeowner owes the lender. Say a homeowner's property is worth less than what he owes. The judge could reduce the principal to match the home's current market value as well as reduce the loan's interest rate.
The rest of the original principal would then be treated as unsecured. That means it becomes a lower priority for repayment than the borrower's secured debt, such as the newly reduced principal on his home. Unsecured debts may be discharged."
This bill is going to have a rough time getting through. As this article rightly points out, the 2005 changes in bankruptcy law meant that we've got a new form of debt slavery going: http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2007/10/debt-slave-act-of-2005-revisited.html?ref=patrick.net. This bill could use your political support, and lots of it. The house you save may be your own.
The reality is that, as an author I like says, "all true wealth is biological" - your house may be worth little or much, but the land that grows your dinner, and the soil that you build for the next generation, the wood that heats your house and cooks your dinner - that is worth something. Help people hang on to their houses. Get in touch with your congressman.