Why Some Cities are Using Eminent Domain to Save Mortgages

Some cities are fighting back against the mortgage crisis, using eminent domain to seize and write down troubled mortgages, keeping homeowners in their homes and keeping local economies afloat, writes Peter S. Goodman.
October 2, 2012, 7am PDT | Rebecca Sanborn Stone
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Mayors like Sacramento's Angelique Ashby see the mortgage crisis as much more than just a mortgage crisis. In addition to forcing homeowners to abandon ship, bank foreclosures and underwater mortgages are wreaking havoc on many aspects of local communities in a chain of economic reactions, from shrinking tax bases to reduced spending to weak job markets to failing local businesses. All of this has consequences even further down the line, like cutbacks in city departments, shrinking fire and police departments, and on and on.

Ashby - who works in a district where 70% of homeowners are underwater- is asking the City to consider a proposal to use to eminent domain to seize and write down troubled mortgages, helping to keep homeowners in their homes and hopefully stem many of these other issues as well.

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Published on Monday, October 1, 2012 in Huffington Post
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