AMI News and Resources

Press Release: AMI Commends North Las Vegas Mayor and the City Council For Standing with Home Owners

For immediate release

Contact: 202-327-8100

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

 

 AMI Commends North Las Vegas Mayor and the City Council

For Standing with Home Owners

 

Washington, D.C. – The Association of Mortgage Investors (AMI) commends Mayor John J. Lee and the North Las Vegas City Council for their recent vote against the irresponsible use of eminent domain.  The mortgages in North Las Vegas, and other communities, represent the investments for the pensions of teachers, firefighters, first-responders’ retirement systems, and private 401K savers.  The recent City Council action protects homeowners, communities, and savers.

“Mayor John Lee and the City Council deserve credit for doing the right thing. MRP’s proposal, if implemented, would have risked harming the nascent housing recovery in North Las Vegas,” noted Vincent Fiorillo, AMI Board President and an executive of Doubleline Capital. “The tonight’s council meeting represents a healthy outcome for the local community and economy.”  As AMI has often explained, the use of eminent domain in this context is untested, untried, and unconstitutional.  Its use is fraught with negative economic consequences for the community.   The use of eminent domain could have driven down comparable home values for all residents, even who have paid their mortgages responsibly over time.

The scheme is designed around benefiting a private investment firm, which is registered with the S.E.C.[1]  Mortgage Resolution Partners (MRP) is not Robin Hood.  MRP is a for-profit business that runs an investment fund.  However, this fund does not make investments in the free market.  Its business model depends on persuading local governments to use the blunt instrument of eminent domain to take money away from the investments of seniors, unions, and others in the mortgage market, give that money to MRP, and, as a result, lower property values across communities as rates increase on new mortgages.

Recent housing and economic data underscores that the housing recovery is real and underway, including in communities such as North Las Vegas;

 

  • Las Vegas was recently cited for having one of the best year-over-year increases of 25% (source: S&P Dow Jones; Case-Schiller);[2]
  • Homeownership rate for households age 25-34 is now increasing year-over-year;
  • The number of foreclosures recorded in the U.S. fell 20% year-over-year in June, with 55,000 homes completing the process.  (source: CoreLogic);
  • We are seeing the fastest monthly home price increases, particularly in the West: San Diego (+2.6%), Las Vegas (+2.4%), and San Francisco (+2.0%); and,
  • We are seeing significant yearly home price increases: San Diego (17.3%), Las Vegas (23.3%), and San Francisco (24.5%). (source: S&P Dow Jones; Case-Schiller)

 

In sum, mortgage investors support long-term, effective, sustainable solutions.  Eminent domain used solely for private gains is an unwise policy that will just prolong the distress and the U.S. housing market’s ultimate recovery.

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The Association of Mortgage Investors represents private investors, public and private pension funds, and endowments, all of whom support the efforts of Congress and the Administration to help responsible, though distressed homeowners avoid foreclosure. For more information, visit the-ami.org.

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