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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Calif. County Considers Eminent Domain To Help Underwater Homeowners

A San Bernardino sign on I-10 East in San Bernardino, Calif. (AP)

San Bernardino is among the hardest hit in the nation by the housing bust. Over 43 percent of homes in the county are underwater, meaning the homeowner owes more to the bank than the house is worth.

Unemployment there stands at almost 12 percent, and in some municipalities, it tops 30 percent.

The scale of the problems has officials considering an unusual strategy: Use the power of eminent domain to acquire mortgages from current lenders at reduced prices, and then re-sell the mortgage with a lowered principal and monthly payment to help keep homeowners in their homes.

County officials and some private investors say it’s a legitimate use of eminent domain. New York Times business columnist Joe Nocera says it may be “housing’s last chance.” The Wall Street Journal calls it “an eminently bad idea” that violates property rights and will end up hurting taxpayers.

On Friday, San Bernardino county holds its first public hearing on the idea.

Guest:

  • Greg Devereaux, chief executive officer of San Bernardino County

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  • 400albert

    Tremendous idea, and absolutely within the intention of eminent domain for the greater public good.  Go for it San Bernadino!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003000884786 Navin R Johnson

     This is a brilliant idea.  It is refreshing to see creative responses by politicians.  I hope they are successful. 

    I also recommend when you hear the words “Wall Street Journal” you mentally replace it with “Rupert Murdoch.”  If Rupert Murdoch isn’t happy with this, it is a sign of a good idea.

  • Ben

    Success is killing capitalism.

    Add to that the two illegal wars that the Bushmonger lied to get the country into.

    Empire has its costs.

    American,  land of the free and home of the homeless.

  • Eve Serene

    As long as there are no ‘profits’ made. Heard the interview, and it sounds like intentions are good, but what happens if the lenders are not interested in picking the mortgage back up? He explained that the mortgages are already bundled and sold by the lenders at a current value, so there is nothing to gain….but where is a broke government going to get the $$ to buy them?

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