The Baltimore City Council has introduced a resolution calling for the City to consider using the power of eminent domain to seize underwater mortgages in order to refinance at market rate using a Local Principal Reduction Program.
HBAM strongly opposes this and is working with local coalition partners to fight the resolution. The following coalition members have sent a letter to City Council, have begun meeting with council members, and have prepared talking points on this issue.
- Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors
- Home Builders Association of Maryland
- Maryland Association of Realtors
- Maryland Bankers Association
- Maryland/DC Credit Union Association
- Maryland Land Title Association
- Maryland Mortgage Bankers Association, Inc.
- Mid- Atlantic Financial Services Association
- Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association
Click here to read the coalition's letter and talking points
The City of Richmond, CA, is the only jurisdiction that has passed an ordinance to use eminent domain in this way. Their action has resulted in legal action from investors which hold mortgage backed securities as well as a very negative reaction from the bond markets whereby the City had no bidders on its recent bond offering. The General Counsel for the Federal Housing Finance Agency – the regulator of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks - issued a very strong letter explaining the serious consequences of such authority and action.
The National Association of Home Builders and several other industry partners recently sent a letter to the U.S. Congress expressing opposition to this policy.
Baltimore City Resolution 13-0135R calls for 1) supporting the City of Richmond in its efforts to save homes and neighborhoods through the use of a Local Principal Reduction program and 2) and calling for Baltimore to explore the use of a similar program.
HBAM needs you to call and email your City Council member and tell them to oppose this resolution.
Click here for a list of Council members and their contact information
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