Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd and House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank sent a letter to the heads of the bank regulatory agencies asking them to address whether banks are inflating the value of 2nd mortgages on their balance sheets. They stated in the letter that these inflated values discouraged proactive efforts to modify and restructure mortgage loans and “crippled” programs designed to prevent foreclosures. The letter further states, “Across the country housing prices have dropped and many Americans owe far more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.” The Appraisal Institute commented on the letter by stating, “The letter was generated in an effort to make available refinancing opportunities for struggling homeowners who are currently not eligible for mortgage modifications because their loans do not reflect current market values.”