Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Congressman tries to tackle eminent domain plans

Monday Morning Cup of Coffee is a quick look at the news coming across the HousingWire weekend desk, with more coverage to come on bigger issues.

Mortgage Resolutions Partners may have secured an agreement to work with the city of North Las Vegas on a possible eminent domain plan to save underwater homeowners, but politicians back in Washington D.C. are already drafting legislation to stop future eminent domain proposals in their tracks.

Eminent domain plans first popped up in San Bernardino, Calif.

MRP, an advisory firm, contracted with the county and a few other municaplities to brainstorm solutions to prevent foreclosures and save distressed borrowers.

The most controversial plan suggests a local government can use the power of eminent domain to seize mortgages from securitized pools, allowing officials to then write down the principal amounts to help borrowers.

But Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, is having none of it. The House Financial Services Committee Chairman inserted a provision in a draft of his proposed mortgage finance legislation to stop eminent domain. The proposal, if passed, would block federally backed loans in any county that allows eminent domain to be enacted.

The Las Vegas Review has more on Hensarling’s plan.  

The risk that the Fed will taper its mortgage-backed securities purchases sooner rather than later is significant, according to a new report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Chris Flanagan.

With this in mind, the report suggests a pullback in MBS acquisitions in the very near future could cause securitized products to underperform. “We think bonds have moderate upside potential over the next 1-2 weeks, and would use strength as an opportunity to reduce exposure to securitized products,” the report concluded.

If homeowners are looking for the cheapest place to live, which states qualify as offering both low housing costs and affordable utilities? That’s the question a new CNBC study took on, and it seems the winner is Oklahoma.

Ranking high in home affordability and utility costs, Oklahoma is followed by Tennessee, which ranks second, and Idaho and Kentucky – two states that tied for third place. The average home price in Oklahoma (Ponca City Metro) sits at $265,154.

So how will historians sum up Bernanke’s aggressive quantitative easing monetary policy in the future? The latest description for QE1, QE2 and QE3 comes from The Atlantic Magazine. The publication bravely compares the Fed’s QE strategy to the science fiction film now causing a stir on television—Sharknado. The picture alone makes the story worth visting.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. recorded no bank closings last week.

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