Seattle homeowners facing foreclosure lash out at Council

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by LINDA BRILL / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on September 11, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 11 at 8:27 PM

At a Seattle City Council meeting on Tuesday, homeowners faced with foreclosure demanded action

In 2006, Pina Belrano bought a rundown fixer-upper - one she thought she could afford.

After months of work and $100,000 in repairs, the house is a Beacon Hill gem. But, the single mother lost her job and she's nine months behind on the mortgage.

"So, I poured my heart and soul into it. Now, we don’t know where we're going,” she said.

In Seattle, nearly 30 percent of home mortgage totals – mostly in the south end - are still underwater.

A community group is calling for a reset of underwater mortgages to fair market rate.

Should the bank just drop the price?

“Absolutely,” said Chettie McAfee. “They're already made their millions and billions off of it.”

At City Council on Wednesday, troubled homeowners were boiling over.

"We’ve got to do something!” Jane Gin shouted. “Please take action!”

The city commissioned a study from Cornell University. One recommendation was to use the city's power of eminent domain to take over properties and sell them back to homeowners at market prices.

"There are still 20 thousand homes out there that are underwater and subject to possible foreclosure in Seattle,” said Nick Licata, Seattle City Council

A city near San Francisco recently adopted the eminent domain solution and they were sued by the feds. Right now Seattle is just studying the idea.

The Cornell University report shows the foreclosure crisis hit Seattle much later than the rest of the country

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