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NLV eminent domain plan for underwater mortgages OK'd

Reported by: Christine Kim
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Updated: 6/20/2013 1:02 pm
NORTH LAS VEGAS (KSNV -- The City Council voted 4-1 Wednesday night to enter into an agreement with Mortgage Resolution Partners to move forward a plan that would use eminent domain to seize underwater mortgages.

This vote doesn't mean the company can actually acquire mortgages at this point. Rather, it means that it could represent the city and go ahead and do more research.

MPR's plan would put the city as the middle man, using its power of eminent domain to seize the mortgages from trusts with the homeowner's consent.

The homes would be refinanced at a better price and the homeowner entitled to obtain a new loan under the current market value.

Critics say the program has yet to show success, adding it only helps a small percentage of people who have one particular loan.

“In case after case, they have tried to apply this across the country, and they have failed,” said Sean Fellows of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

Byron Georgiou of Mortgage Resolution Partners said, “The homes are not taken; the mortgage is acquired, not the home itself.”

The resolution passed with some amendments including a clause that would allow the city to terminate the agreement at any time.

MRP will have 60 days to come back with answers to specific questions, and that will be before a new mayor and a new council member.

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