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Investors Try to Stop City From Using Eminent Domain on Mortgages

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Author Topic: Investors Try to Stop City From Using Eminent Domain on Mortgages  (Read 842 times)
« on: August 08, 2013, 02:30:41 pm »

Boy, talk about vultures fighting over scraps!

California lawmakers at it again!  Roll Eyes

This deal is a humdinger. And I think it really needs to be determined just what terms the city is proposing, and what the "fine print" of the city's intentions really are.

If the city is actually using "eminent domain", then the homeowners would lose their homes. Now how does the city plan on protecitng those homeowners from being evicted out of the home they no longer actually own?

It's claimed this process is to help home owners to refinance the underwater mortgages, but if the city is using eminent domain, there is a change in ownership of the note and title. That is the whole legal point of eminent domain; a city takes ownership of property, in the best interests of the city, in such cases as abandonment of run down property. But that all changes when judges started ruling a city could in fact take property from private owners if the city had a plan that would involve an increase in city income, such as more sales taxes from a commercial business in it's place.

So now, cities have been making deals with commercial developers to go around and take properties from private owners, and give it to developers that then build shiny new commercial developments, all the while claiming that it will bring in much more tax revenue, thus benefiting "the greater good of the city". And of course they insist they are giving the owners "fair market value" for the property the owners are being forced to give up, but if you look into these cases, you'll see real quick cities don't play fair, and have constantly severely low-balled property owners, basically stealing property for pennies on the dollar from private citizens to the benefit of a few rich business owners.


Investor group sues California city over eminent domain loan plan

Wed Aug 7, 2013 11:38pm EDT

(Reuters) - An investor group filed a federal lawsuit against Richmond, California, to prevent the city from using eminent domain to seize mortgages of local residents who owe more than their properties are worth in a bid to keep them in their homes.

The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday in a northern California court by mortgage bond trustees Wells Fargo and Deutsche Bank on behalf of an investor group that includes Pacific Investment Management Co, or PIMCO, BlackRock Inc and DoubleLine Capital LP.

The northern California city recently sent notice to the holders of more than 620 so-called underwater home mortgages in the city, asking them to sell the loans to the city. It would buy the mortgages for 80 percent of the fair value of the homes, write them down and help the homeowners refinance their loans.

The investor group said if the city of Richmond is allowed to go ahead with its plan it may result in steeper down payment requirements and higher interest rates.

"The purpose of the lawsuit is to protect retirees and savers from an unlawful and unconstitutional seizure of private property and prevent severe damage to the country's home mortgage market," the investor group said in its filing.

Ropes & Gray LLP, the law firm representing the institutional investor group, uploaded a copy of the filing on its website. The filing is not yet available on the court website.

Richmond is working with San Francisco-based Mortgage Resolution Partners (MRP), a private investment firm that has been pitching the plan to U.S. cities and municipalities for more than a year.

MRP, raising money from private sources, would work with the city to obtain the financing to buy the distressed mortgages and restructure them. MRP would receive a fee for every troubled loan it restructured under the plan.

The investor group said in its filing that the program is a profit-driven strategy designed to enrich Richmond, MRP and its financial backers.

"Such a program does not involve a legitimate ‘public use' for which the government's eminent domain power is expressly reserved," the group said.

The institutional group requested the court to prevent Richmond from going ahead with its program and declare its plan to seize mortgages as unconstitutional.

"MRP has reviewed the lawsuit and is confident that it is without merit. The actions of the city of Richmond and MRP are entirely within the law, and any loan purchase will be at fair value. No investor in any trust will be made worse off by the sale of any loan," MRP chairman Steven Gluckstern said in a statement issued to Reuters.

The case is in re Institutional Investor group vs. City Of Richmond, California and Mortgage Resolution Partners LLC, Case No. 13-3663, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California.

(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore, Matthew Goldstein and Jennifer Ablan in New York; Editing by Matt Driskill)
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2013, 02:59:16 pm »

I served on a jury 3 years ago here in my county that presided over a case with this very issue, "eminent domain" - honestly, I don't remember much about it(other than the case ended up getting settled in the middle of the trial). One party tried to use this as a defense.

Just something didn't smell right about the whole thing, to be honest.
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« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2013, 04:08:06 am »

In theory, eminent domain is a tool for a city or town to deal with run down and abandoned properties. Not anymore. Now they are using it to grab property in deals with developers since the court rulings a few years ago.

One city here, Mesa AZ, pulled that stunt maybe 3 years ago with a family brake shop that had been in Mesa for decades, and the city of Mesa decided that area of town was run down, which it wasn't, just an older part of town, and the shop was a thriving business. So to expand on a development, the city wanted to take his family business and some other properties, hand it over to another private company, all in the name of more tax revenue!

Fortunately, the brake shop beat them in court. But Mesa sure tried their best to take his family business.


City of Mesa v. Bailey
Putting the Brakes on Eminent Domain Abuse in Mesa, Arizona

Randy Bailey continues to sell brakes at the corner of Country Club and Main.

Randy Bailey very nearly became a victim of eminent domain until the Institute for Justice Arizona Chapter came to his rescue.

Bailey's family has owned Bailey's Brake Service since the early 1970s. Randy purchased the store with his own savings from his father in 1995, and hopes one day to pass the shop, which has earned the loyalty of hundreds of customers, to his own son. As a small business owner, Randy provides employment to some hard-working folks, contributes tax revenue and services to his community and symbolizes the entrepreneurial spirit. Apparently, the City of Mesa did not value all that he achieved.

The City planned to take the brake shop through eminent domain, raze it, and transfer the land to a privately owned hardware store so that it could move to the more desirable location. To add insult to Bailey's injury, Mesa used tax revenue to pick up the tab for construction permit fees, title insurance fees and most impact fees and costs that would normally be incurred by the buyer. In other words, Bailey's own tax dollars were paying for the government's abuse of power to force the transfer of his land to another private business.

Legally, eminent domain projects allow the government to take land only for a "public use," such as a post office. The Arizona Constitution explicitly provides that "whether [a] contemplated use be really public shall be a judicial question, and determined as such without regard to any legislative assertion that the use is public." That means that Mesa's decision to take Randy's property only to hand it over to another private party for their use is not constitutional, on the federal or state level.

That's why the Institute for Justice's Arizona chapter took on Bailey's case as its first stand on the issue of property rights in Arizona. On October 23, 2001, the Institute for Justice Arizona Chapter filed an answer to the eminent domain complaint and counterclaim on behalf of Randy Bailey in Maricopa County Superior Court asserting that Mesa was abusing its power of eminent domain because the Arizona Constitution absolutely prohibits the taking of private property for private use. This was the first in many battles IJ-AZ will wage to prevent local governments from stealing their citizens' homes and businesses in order to transfer them to private individuals.

The trial court upheld the use of eminent domain, but enjoined the taking of Bailey's property pending appeal. On October 1, 2003, the Arizona Court of Appeals unanimously struck down the City of Mesa's use of eminent domain. "The constitutional requirement of 'public use' is only satisfied when the public benefits and characteristics of the intended use substantially predominate over the private nature of that use," wrote Judge John C. Gemmill. Transferring private property to a developer to build a hardware store and other businesses did not satisfy that standard.

Randy Bailey continues to sell brakes at the corner of Country Club and Main.
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2013, 05:57:19 am »

Here's another article with more details about the city of Richmond CA and their eminent domain intentions.


Yet again, I smell a HUGE rat! This is not good at all, considering the mentality of these city leaders, who we know are driven by pure greed.

Why would a city be so focused on "helping homeowners", to the extent, according to the article, that they would use eminent domain to force a homeowner to "sell" their mortgage to the city and it's select investor group? These people are up to wickedness that I believe extends beyond bad home loans. This appears to be a tactic to "manage" a community, if you know what I mean! Social engineering if you will. There are TONS of bad loans out there that would be targets, and who holds all those bad loans? Look up the demographics!

Seriously, does anybody with half a brain honestly think that the bankers are going to just let a city and it's private investor group snatch all those homes? Why would they? What would be the incentive? Oh, wait, what would happen is that the ones holding the note would be paid what is owned, in full. THEN the city now owns the house and note, thus they "write down" the note, deduct the loss, and then issue a new mortgage tied in with the city's investors group. Now the city owns the home and note, not the bankers, who were paid and sent packing.

interesting how that works!

So then why in the world would bankers/loan servicers even care, seeing they get their money much sooner and with not having to hassle with a homeowner?

Seems really strange the way it's being argued. But for a fact, this is about the love of money, and somebody in this mix is looking to gain financial advantage and profit with the intent to cut people out of the deal. And it looks like what is being NOT discussed is the homeowner themselves and their legal stance with their home.

It sounds to me like the city intends to take not only the note, but title to the properties.

BA? Are these numbers sounding suspect to you? Are you seeing what the incentives are?
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« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2013, 11:34:32 am »

This sounds a lot like the United Nations' Agenda 21 quietly at work here...

Yeah, I understand what their wicked intentions are, but the UN's Agenda 21 program has also infiltrated local cities, and it looks like this is one of the subtle ways over how they are working.

You also have the IMF banking system tied to the UN as well. The connections are all obvious.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2013, 11:37:17 am by BornAgain2 » Report Spam   Logged
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