Las Vegas REALTORS® Win Fight Against Proposal That Would Have Hurt Homeowners
When the Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS® stepped in to prevent the city of North Las Vegas from adopting a dangerous proposal from a private company, it knew that the outcome would have reverberations across the state.
The private company, Mortgage Resolution Partners, had embarked on a campaign to get cities across the nation to use the power of eminent domain to take homes that were worth less than the mortgages on them and then sell them back to homeowners at a reduced price. The North Las Vegas City Council initially welcomed MRP’s idea, believing it offered a means of helping distressed homeowners while also helping the city’s housing market.
However, the Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS® immediately recognized the risk of this proposal and fought hard to stop it.
The plan targeted homeowners who were up to date on their mortgage payments. These homeowners would have been subjected to a foreclosure/sell-back process without their consent. MRP would have served as a partner to the city, making money off of the takings. The plan was likely illegal and unconstitutional, and the White House, Congress, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac expressed concerns over this use of eminent domain. The Federal Housing Authority even advised that it might stop lending in areas that adopted MRP’s plan. That move would have devastated the area’s access to mortgage credit, making it more expensive and difficult to obtain a mortgage.
The Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS® was the first group with the foresight to see that this proposal was a dangerous infringement on homeowners’ rights. It was also the first group with the courage to take a stand against the proposal. But, as it shared the plan’s downsides and risks, it quickly galvanized more than 22 partners in the fight.
The Association was equally successful in garnering community support. Through an informational website, commercials and door-to-door meetings, the Association educated the community about the proposal and people joined the fight in unprecedented numbers. Over 80 percent of homeowners approached by door-to-door canvassers signed postcards and petitions in opposition to the plan.
As a result of these efforts, the North Las Vegas City Council unanimously rejected the plan when it was reintroduced.
The Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS® is happy to report that, since the successful campaign, the area’s real estate market has continued to improve and Las Vegas is once again on track to being a premier place to live, as well as to vacation.