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Eminent Domain

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BUSINESS
January 25, 2013 | Alejandro Lazo
San Bernardino County and two of its cities abandoned a plan that would use eminent domain to seize troubled mortgages and write down debt for homeowners. The decision strikes a blow to an idea that garnered national attention as a potential -- if unconventional and controversial -- solution to the mortgage crisis. The proposal was unanimously shot down in a vote by members of the Joint Powers Authority that the county and the cities, Ontario and Fontana, formed last year to explore the idea.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 27, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed legislation easing environmental regulations for developments in California cities, including a new basketball arena in downtown Sacramento. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) introduced the bill primarily to smooth the way for construction of a new arena for the Sacramento Kings basketball team, but added changes to the California Environmental Quality Act that make it harder to sue to block projects in urban transit zones throughout the state.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 20, 1990 | LESLIE HERZOG
City officials tonight will discuss asking the state for money to acquire the 200-acre DeWitt/Platz site in Laguna Canyon and 245 other acres, all by eminent domain. Laguna Beach was allocated $10 million under the California Wildlife, Coastal and Park Land Conservation Act, which provides grants for acquisition of natural lands. Thus far, Laguna Beach has spent $3 million of that. Formal application is required to the state for the remaining funds.
BUSINESS
August 30, 2013 | By E. Scott Reckard
In a new legal challenge, financial industry opponents of the city of Richmond's plan to seize underwater home loans call the gambit a disguised attempt to profit at the expense of everyday investors. Richmond is threatening to use eminent domain to remove troubled loans from mortgage bonds in order to write down the principal for homeowners. The novel plan, promoted by San Francisco investment firm Mortgage Resolution Partners, seeks to stop another wave of foreclosures in the working-class Northern California city.
BUSINESS
July 30, 2013 | By Alejandro Lazo
Richmond is adopting a plan to take over underwater mortgages that would invoke the city's eminent domain powers if necessary. The city will be the first in the nation to formally adopt the novel but controversial plan that was rejected by San Bernardino County and two of its cities earlier this year. The city said it will buy home mortgages from financial institutions, write down those loans and refinance homeowners in the properties into new loans. If financial institutions do not cooperate, the city will seize the loans using eminent domain, Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin said.
NEWS
July 30, 2013 | By Alexandra Le Tellier
Richmond is taking action on its housing crisis, but is the California city going too far in its mission to save homeowners from underwater mortgages? On Tuesday, Richmond sent notices to holders of underwater mortgages asking them to sell their loans to the city or risk having the city use eminent domain to seize residential mortgages. While other cities have considered adopting a plan that would allow them to invoke eminent domain, Richmond appears to be the first city to do so. It's a controversial move in part because “eminent domain is usually used to seize land -- not loans -- to serve the public good, as when local governments seize blighted properties,” explains Times reporter Alejandro Lazo.
BUSINESS
August 7, 2013 | By Alejandro Lazo
Wall Street firms are directing a lawsuit aimed at blocking the city of Richmond's proposed use of eminent domain to write down mortgage loans for certain residents. Richmond last week became the first city in the country to press forward with the controversial eminent domain mortgage plan, which has come under debate in a variety of municipalities for more than a year. San Francisco firm Mortgage Resolution Partners, which is also named as a defendant in the suit, first marketed the plan last year to San Bernardino County and two of its cities, Fontana and Ontario.
BUSINESS
August 16, 2012 | By Alejandro Lazo
A plan to seize and restructure troubled mortgages in San Bernardino County using eminent domain has drawn big Wall Street players to the halls of local government once again. The cities of Ontario and Fontana, in partnership with the county, are exploring using private funds to acquire mortgages that are "underwater," in which the homes wouldn't sell for enough money to pay off the loans. Under the Homeownership Protection Program, the loans acquired by government authority would be restructured, lowering the amount owed, with the intent of helping the owner keep the home.
BUSINESS
August 8, 2013 | By Alejandro Lazo
The nation's top housing finance regulator threatened to choke off mortgage lending in cities that use eminent domain to seize underwater loans from lenders. The salvo from the Federal Housing Finance Agency came Thursday, on the heels of a lawsuit directed by major Wall Street firms and U.S.-sponsored mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac against the Bay Area city of Richmond. Richmond is the first to push forward with the plan, also being debated in cities across the state and nation.
BUSINESS
August 8, 2012 | By Steve Goldstein
WASHINGTON — The regulator for mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Wednesday warned against the use of eminent domain to restructure home loans. San Bernardino County has proposed using such powers to seize distressed mortgages at a discount and then refinance them for struggling homeowners. Chicago officials also are considering the idea, according to reports. Although mortgage rates are near record lows, underwater homeowners are essentially blocked from refinancing their loans.
BUSINESS
August 30, 2013 | Michael Hiltzik
One way to judge the virtues of the city of Richmond's initiative to use eminent domain to help its strapped mortgage borrowers is by the hysterical reaction of the banks and investors holding the mortgage loans. Wells Fargo & Co. and Bank of New York have sued the East Bay city in federal court to throttle the plan even before its birth. (A court hearing on their request for an injunction is set for Sept. 13.) They've enlisted federal regulators in their hand-wringing over the damage little Richmond (pop.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 18, 2013 | Diana Marcum
Angelo's Drive-In didn't change, even when its slice of the city -- by the train tracks and the highway -- turned gritty. Customers moved to nicer neighborhoods. But they still flocked to the 1950s burger joint because of all the things that stayed the same: the chili, the Thousand Island dressing, the red-vinyl booths faded to orange. Angelo didn't own it anymore, of course. He'd sold it to his nephew Jim Karos, a Greek immigrant who ran it with his son Junior. In 2004, Junior sold it to Kay Lim and Ken Chea, Cambodian immigrants.
BUSINESS
August 15, 2013 | By E. Scott Reckard
The city of Richmond recently asked financial institutions to sell 624 troubled mortgages - and threatened to seize them through eminent domain. Now the city has its answer: We can't help you. The city aims to provide its residents mortgage relief by buying the loans at a deep discount, then getting them refinanced at amounts lower than the current value of the home. But the loans aren't for sale, according to banks that provide customer service on the loans and watch over the trusts where the loans were pooled to back mortgage bonds.
BUSINESS
August 13, 2013 | By Alejandro Lazo
There may be a new glitch in Richmond's strategy to bring mortgage relief to residents using the city's eminent domain powers. The federal government has raised concerns that participating homeowners may not be eligible to refinance into the kinds of government-insured home loans for which the plan calls. The strategy adopted by Richmond, which was proposed by its San Francisco partner Mortgage Resolution Partners, would use the city's eminent domain powers to seize mortgages on underwater properties if necessary.
BUSINESS
August 8, 2013 | By Alejandro Lazo
The nation's top housing finance regulator threatened to choke off mortgage lending in cities that use eminent domain to seize underwater loans from lenders. The salvo from the Federal Housing Finance Agency came Thursday, on the heels of a lawsuit directed by major Wall Street firms and U.S.-sponsored mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac against the Bay Area city of Richmond. Richmond is the first to push forward with the plan, also being debated in cities across the state and nation.
BUSINESS
August 7, 2013 | By E. Scott Reckard
The Bay Area city of Richmond had best prepare for legal warfare if it proceeds with its plan to use eminent domain to seize the mortgages of residents who owe more than their homes are worth, housing finance giant Freddie Mac warned. The city has asked the holders of about 620 underwater mortgages to sell the loans to the city at a sharp discount from face value. Richmond hopes to refinance the loans for amounts reflecting current home values, lowering the residents' payments and encouraging them to remain in the blue-collar city.
BUSINESS
July 27, 2012 | By Alejandro Lazo
One of California's highest-ranking politicians, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, has told an investor group to "back off" and allow San Bernardino County to explore a controversial plan that would employ its eminent domain powers to seize and restructure troubled mortgages. The cities of Ontario and Fontana, in partnership with the county, are exploring using private funds to acquire mortgages that are "underwater" -- that is, where the homes wouldn't sell for enough money to pay off the loans.
BUSINESS
August 7, 2013 | By Alejandro Lazo
Wall Street firms are directing a lawsuit aimed at blocking the city of Richmond's proposed use of eminent domain to write down mortgage loans for certain residents. Richmond last week became the first city in the country to press forward with the controversial eminent domain mortgage plan, which has come under debate in a variety of municipalities for more than a year. San Francisco firm Mortgage Resolution Partners, which is also named as a defendant in the suit, first marketed the plan last year to San Bernardino County and two of its cities, Fontana and Ontario.
BUSINESS
August 6, 2013 | By Alejandro Lazo
Cities in the Golden State are once again testing a controversial mortgage relief plan that could use local eminent domain powers to help residents stung by the last housing crisis. El Monte is the latest city to weigh the plan - opposed by the financial industry but embraced by some housing advocates and city councils. California became the center of the national debate over the idea last year when San Bernardino County and two of its cities, Ontario and Fontana, toyed with adopting the strategy.
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