Brockton is exploring using eminent domain powers to seize bad mortgage loans that have devastated many residents and, with a private financial partner, sell them back at lower interest rates to help people keep their homes.

Known for having the highest foreclosure rate in the state, Brockton has 7,000 homeowners currently “underwater,” or living in homes that are valued below their mortgages, said City Councilor at Large Jass Stewart, who proposed the untested measure.