On the good news front, The Federal Trade Commission has refunded nearly $28 million to 86,000 homeowners who had mortgage loans serviced by EMC Mortgage Corp. The payout was part of a settlement of charges that EMC and Bear Stearns misrepresented to homeowners the amounts actually owed, charged unauthorized fees and engaged in unlawful and abusive collection practices. Many homeowners who actually lost their homes to foreclosure due to these unlawful practices also received "compensation." This is good news for those homeowners, especially those who faced foreclosure and who suffered under the thumb of these mortgage companies. But it's important to note that this case is most likely just the tip of the iceberg. How many more mortgage companies are engaging in unethical business practices? And can these mortgage companies be trusted to voluntarily modify toxic mortgages so that homeowners can avoid foreclosure? The rising number of foreclosures is evidence that the efforts of mortgage companies are not reducing the number of foreclosures in this country. It is time for us to make changes in the bankruptcy law that give homeowners and bankruptcy courts the power to properly modify toxic mortgages during bankruptcy.