Realtors Launch Campaign Opposing Richmond’s Eminent Domain Plan On Mortgages

RICHMOND (KCBS)— The City of Richmond continues to stand alone in its plan to use eminent domain as a way of helping homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages. Meanwhile, realtors in Contra Costa County have taken to the airwaves in opposition.

The Contra Costa Association of Realtors is now running radio ads, opposing the eminent domain plan by calling it a “scheme” and says that homeowners who allow their mortgages to be seized, could damage their own credit.

Jeff Wright, who chairs the association’s Homeowners Preservation Task Force, said the city’s plan could have “adverse effects” on the real estate market for buyers that can “conceivably raise the cost of financing”.

Wright added that for sellers, the plan could result in a decline in the valuation of the property.

Richmond’s plan would use eminent domain to seize underwater mortgages while working to restructure home loans.

City manager Bill Lindsay said the city has become accustomed to opposition.

“In terms of some of the issues that are being suggested about the effect on property values and so forth, we don’t really think they’re valid,” he said.

Lindsay said the city is trying to create a Joint Powers Authority, but it needs another city to take part in this plan, but so far there are no takers.

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