Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2038029
 


 



It Takes a Village: Municipal Condemnation Proceedings and Public/Private Partnerships for Mortgage Loan Modification, Value Preservation, and Local Economic Recovery


Robert C. Hockett


Cornell University - Law School

June 1, 2012

Stanford Journal of Law, Business, and Finance, Vol. 18, No. 121, 2013
Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-12

Abstract:     
Respected real estate analysts now forecast that the U.S. is poised to experience a renewed round of home mortgage foreclosures over the coming 6 years. Up to 11 million underwater mortgages will be affected. Neither our families, our neighborhoods, nor our state and national economies can bear a resumption of crisis on this order of magnitude.

I argue that ongoing and self-worsening slump in the primary and secondary mortgage markets is rooted in a host of recursive collective action challenges structurally akin to those that brought on the real estate bubble and bust themselves. Collective action problems of this sort require duly authorized collective agents for their solution. At present, the optimally situated such agents for purposes of mortgage market clearing are municipal governments exercising their traditional eminent domain authority.

I sketch a plan pursuant to which municipalities, in partnership with investors, can condemn underwater mortgage notes, pay mortgagees fair market value for the same, and systematically write down principal. Because in so doing they will be doing what parties themselves would do voluntarily were they not challenged by structural impediments to collective action, municipalities acting on this plan will be rendering all better off. They will also be leading the urgently necessary project of eliminating debt overhang nationwide and thereby at last ending our ongoing debt deflation.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 56

Keywords: Eminent Domain, Financial Crisis, Foreclosure, Mortgages, Mortgage Crisis, Slump

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Date posted: June 11, 2012 ; Last revised: April 5, 2013

Suggested Citation

Hockett, Robert C., It Takes a Village: Municipal Condemnation Proceedings and Public/Private Partnerships for Mortgage Loan Modification, Value Preservation, and Local Economic Recovery (June 1, 2012). Stanford Journal of Law, Business, and Finance, Vol. 18, No. 121, 2013; Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-12. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2038029 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2038029

Contact Information

Robert C. Hockett (Contact Author)
Cornell University - Law School ( email )
524 College Ave
Myron Taylor Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States
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