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Calif. city implements eminent domain plan

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By The Associated Press
Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A San Francisco Bay Area city is moving ahead with its first-in-the-nation plan to use the government's constitutional power of eminent domain to seize hundreds of underwater mortgages.

The Richmond City Council voted, 4-3, on Wednesday to set up a Joint Powers Authority to bring more cities into the plan. Mayor Gayle McLaughlin said other cities have expressed interest.

Under the plan, Richmond would use eminent domain to seize underwater mortgages. It would then offer the bank fair market value for them and give the homeowners a new loan that would lower monthly payments and improve the owner's chances of staying.

Banks have sued to stop Richmond from proceeding.

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