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American Land Title Association Says Guidance Needed on Eminent Domain

February 12, 2014

ALTA's Press Release In Response to Statements from Housing and Urban Development Department Secretary Shaun Donovan

The American Land Title Association (ALTA), the national trade association of the land title insurance industry, released the following statement today from CEO Michelle Korsmo in response to statements from Housing and Urban Development Department Secretary Shaun Donovan during a Politico briefing today:

“Secretary Donovan’s comments today do not provide homeowners, mortgage lenders and municipalities the guidance they are looking for regarding the use of eminent domain to seize underwater mortgages,” said Michelle Korsmo, ALTA’s chief executive officer. “Waiting for these eminent domain proposals to be resolved in the court system will likely take years and cost these interested parties significant dollars. We urge the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide guidance on eminent domain to provide the certainty needed for a stable mortgage market and to ensure that credit remains available for home purchases and refinances in these communities. ALTA and our members welcome the opportunity to assist Secretary Donovan and his staff with this complex and important public policy issue.

“ALTA members provide title insurance to protect real property owners, investors and mortgage lenders against losses from possible defects in the title. Title insurance may become unavailable, or result in exclusions from title insurance coverage, in future transactions for mortgages that are obtained through the eminent domain process.”

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