One of the reasons for the subprime mortgage meltdown is reportedly the fact that the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005 that significantly raised eligibility standards for Chapter 13 debtors. (These are the ones with 3-5 year payment plans for retiring all or part of their secured and unsecured debt). When the bar was raised, more people who qualified for bankruptcy previously did not qualify any more. Many of them lost their homes.
Senator Obama opposed the 2005 change in the Bankruptcy law; he favored giving a break to people with large medical debt, among other things.