Tag Archives: San Bernardino

When Murder is just Tough Love: the Culture and Practical Reason of Terrorism after the Quatorze Juliet

A close friend sent me a cute French electronic card for Bastille Day 2016.   And what a Bastille Day it turned out to be, eh?  Think about it!!! A third massive attack on the French people in about a year… But… Cui Bono? What is an attack but an invitation to a counterattack? So if you’re going to start a war, your attack should always be something that weakens the enemy in some regard, right? But NONE of these stupid Muzzies seem to get that, do they? They always attack innocent civilians—everywhere they go, or at the most they attack government bureaucrats….What kind of logic is that? You attack people to prod them into attacking you, but all of your attacks seem carefully designed to arouse ire and anger among the populace while leaving the infrastructure of war that will be used against you completely intact and untouched. Is it just me or is there something wrong with this picture? It’s almost like the people making the attacks ONLY want to make the people MORE willing to counter-attack them back? How is that logical?

Holidays are very important, especially those with fireworks.  I have never lived in France or Quebec, but by the time I was 18 I had lived in London, Dallas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Honduras, and whether it’s New Years’ Eve, Guy Fawkes’ Day, the Fourth of July, the 15th of September, or the Queen’s Birthday, fireworks celebrations are really great.  So I try to imagine what would have happened if there had been a bombing during one of those holidays in any of the places I ever habituated…. and what would have been the purpose.  

And what of the Quatorze Julliet?  My grandmother was a Francophone and Francophile native of Louisiana and my Texas-born grandfather’s life took him from Galveston to “the City” on a regular basis, plus I took French in High School and College, and several of my professors were Francophones and Francophiles at Tulane and during those years—including  Archaeologists Harvey Bricker and Cynthia Irwin-Williams who had both studied under Hallam Movius, and from them all, I obtained a love for and habit of celebrating July 14, Bastille Day.

Terrorism, traditionally understood, is a species of poor-man’s war or revolution.  As such, it is inherently secretive and illegal.  War is open and honest: Austria declared war on Serbia, so Russia declared war on Austria, Germany was required by treaty to go to war with Russia to defend Austria, Britain was required by treaty, etc., and so the Great War of 1914-1918 began.  BUT EVERYBODY KNEW IT.

When terrorist organizations claim responsibility after the fact for their crimes… they are doing just that, they are claiming criminal responsibility… and when criminals claim responsibility for anything, you have to wonder: why?

And so I think to myself, what do the April 1995 Bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building, 9/11/01 in New York City and Washington, 7/7/05 in London, Dylan Storm Roof’s murderous assault in Charleston last June 17, Charlie Hebdo in France, and now this latest atrocity in Nice all have in common?  

Well, they neither advance any coherent revolutionary plan, nor weaken the countries they attack.  They all happen either on days with interesting numbers or anniversaries.   But the truck bombing that took out 84 yesterday, including two American tourists apparently, just “takes the cake” on Bastille Day—which now joins Guy Fawkes Day and 9/11, 7/7 and 6/17/15 anniversary of the collapse of Denmark Vesey’s 1822 slave uprising in Charleston as “false flag” or stage events of terrorism.

Bastille Day was already a slightly fictitious holiday because, as Louis XVI wrote in his diary, on 14 July 1789, “Nothing Important Happened.”  A mob knocked down an old prison with one prisoner, but the embattled King with a short life-expectancy didn’t even notice, under his peculiar circumstances.  As my son likes to say—the 14th of July was really a tragedy for the future of French Tourism—the Bastille, Mediaeval relic fortress that it was, would have been a major attraction had it survived…  But the French know how to make a good party out of a bad deal—and very few American Fourth of July Cookouts EVER equal the average 14 July party in France or among Francophile/Francophones worldwide… the comparison of the food and wine alone…. oh well, never mind.

But I keep trying to think to myself: if I were an Islamic Freedom-Fighter or would-be Caliph, would attacking innocent people over and over again at random make any sense?  What would I be hoping to accomplish?  What would be my goals?  What good TO ME AND MY CAUSE could possibly inure from committing such crimes?

A sophisticated and coordinated attack in the United States followed by a similar attack in London, and then a decade later two similarly “low tech” attacks in France, and a bunch of random attacks in the meantime… scattered around the world.  Shootings at Fort Hood in Texas, connected or not?  Who knows?  The Boston Marathon whatever it was, connected or not?  Who knows?  The Chattanooga, TN veteran shooting, connected or not?  Who knows?

What is absolutely certain is that SOMEONE wants to create the image of Islamic terror as a world-wide phenomenon that requires  coordinated security and response.  If I were an Islamic Freedom-Fighter or would-be Caliph, would this kind of premonitory strategy seem like a good idea to me?   The answer is NO.

Revolutionary terrorism needs to be targeted on ONE government, one regime, one power structure—and it needs to be consistent and persistent enough to destabilize a society or at least an elite.  The pattern of Islamic Terror since the original 1993 World Trade Center bombing is NOT THAT.   The movement around the map, the focus on NON-STRATEGIC, NON-MILITARY, NON-INFRASTRUCTURE targets is very consistent.

The murder of innocent people was an integral part of Timothy McVeigh’s and Dylan Storm Roof’s approach in distinctly non-Islamic terrorist events in the United States—and their two attacks had no more coordinated relationship to any ideological goals than the long line of supposed Islamic terrorist events.  Even my dearly departed, mild mannered, deeply religious late mother said, way back in April 1995, “if they call themselves Patriots and wanted to make a meaningful statement, they really should have bombed the IRS.”  And if Dylan Storm Roof were really a racist White Supremacist, the LAST associations he would have wanted to make were the killing of elderly black people during a prayer meeting at a conservative African Methodist Episcopal Church on the 193rd anniversary of the Suppression of one of the most famous Slave Rebellions in U.S. History: this sort of symbolism all plays for the OTHER side—and so does bombing the French Riviera during Bastille Day celebrations.  

IF you want to make sure to build your enemies’  anger and take every step possible to ensure that NOBODY has any sympathy for your cause, (a) make sure nobody knows what your cause is and (b) do things in random places but on important days to make sure people remember the randomness.

In short, to my mind, there is absolutely ZERO chance that the Nice attack on Bastille Day was organized by anyone sincerely to advance the Islamist cause.   You want to bomb a target on a holiday?  If you’re a real revolutionary, you seek a target like an electrical power plant or water pumping station or even a sewerage processing plant where you can disable your opponents entire city and infrastructure in some really inconvenient and expensive way.  Osama bin Laden was a structural engineer and IF he had been in charge of 9-11, as a plot against the United States, I’ve always said his targets of choice would have been the undefended dams along the Colorado River, in order to cutoff the water supply to evil sinful cities like Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and the California “Inland Empire.”

So none of these attacks, my friends, are about an Islamic agenda for World Domination or even in revenge for the (indisputable) wrongs suffered by the Arab and Islamic people generally at British, French, and most recently American Imperialist hands….

WHO WANTS TO DIVIDE AND CONQUER THROUGH TERROR?  The Radical Islamic World?  Or Powers, Princes and Potentates MUCH Closer to Home!

All these attacks, in my opinion, reflect a “tough love” strategy of the United States, French, and British Governments to “soften up” the people and by long-term repetitive pseudo-Pavlovian conditioning make them (i.e. US, the free and responsible people of America and Europe) willing to accept an all-encompassing, eternal “Thousand Year” Police State—exactly what Strom Thurmond predicted was the goal in his “Dixiecrat” Platform of 1948.  They want to impose the police state for our own good and our own protection, don’t you understand?  That’s why modern government false-flag murder is just TOUGH LOVE.  And if you don’t like it, well, tough s__t, you know, my fellow Americans: “We have to break a few eggs here and there to prepare for you our New World Order of Omelette—-they’re all for you, you know!  But we know you’re too stupid to want this wonderful highly organized Police State where we can organize and regulate all of your lives, so we have to scare you into it.”  

In other words: Tales of Terrorism function for the modern media  motivated masses exactly the way Perrault’s or Grimm’s Fairy tales did in days of yore…. scary stories are INSTRUCTIONAL!  You need to scare the children by telling them about the BIG BAD WOLF and what he did to Little Red Riding Hood, or about what the Witch did to Hansel & Gretel with her candy house, so that they will live in constant fear of strangers and of attempting to strike out on their own.  FEAR!  FEAR!  FEAR!  “You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear, it’s got to be taught from year-to-year, it’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear, You’ve got to be carefully taught.”

DALLAS WAS JUST PERFECT!

The Dallas Police Murders last week, which suspiciously took place on the now recurring date of 7/7, were not Islamic either, but they served the fear purpose and the “Divide and Conquer” purpose to a degree unmatched in any other attack.  Black people killing black cops—a recipe made by Machiavelli in Hell….

Peaceful black protesters complaining about police brutality were forced to hide behind the police lines when one or more black gunmen murdered 5 and injured 7 more.  DID THIS ADVANCE THE CAUSE OF “BLACK LIVES MATTER”?  No, but it was a boon for American Renaissance (and I write this as a regular reader  of and a subscriber to AmRen).

To feed the ignorant white suburban paranoia of blacks attacking whites was a simple stroke of Genius on the part of the Obama administration—all of a sudden, we have forced a portion of the black population into making a choice: either they act out the worst fears of the white middle class suburbanites or they support the Police.  Obama, as usual, was totally two-faced, but two-faced is how the supporters of the police state need to be: they need to FOMENT inter-racial violence on the one hand and then condemn murder on the other, because THIS STRATEGY SUPPORTS INCREASING THE POWER AND THE EFFICACY OF THE STATE.

The way to satisfy the Black Lives Matter movement is to suppress white-conservative expression and culture and desires to be left alone in an essentially segregated society.  To satisfy the White AND Black Middle and Upper Classes, the government must enlarge (a better word might be to engorge) the police state and enhance the power of the police to protect them from the rising black tide.

Now I read AmRen and similar publications and websites because I support what I perceive as their key long-term goals, namely segregation of the races to maintain cultural continuity.  Strangely enough, many black civil rights advocates share these goals, and I wholeheartedly support those who do.  BUT I HATE INJUSTICE, UNFAIRNESS, and  OPPRESSION and the way the POLICE STATE MAXIMIZES all three.  And the only thing that all the terrorist murders of the past 21 years since Oklahoma really have in common is: they justify oppressive measures and unfair oppression.

I totally disagree, then, with the advocacy of increased police power and authority which the reaction to Dallas has engendered both among the White and Black Middle Class.   Whites may believe that the police are on their side, but my experience in life is quite the opposite.  The calibre and IQ of men (and women) who opt for a career in law enforcement are not the highest, and police ONLY support the “side” that pays them directly (namely the State and City power structures, and the banks and other large institutions who support those) AGAINST ALL THE PEOPLE, REGARDLESS OF RACE CREED, OR COLOR.

One feature of modern society that deeply distresses me is the increasingly lack of respect among people.  The police do not respect anyone’s rights, as can be seen from countless examples in various fields of law enforcement, from domestic relations to enforcement of judicial foreclosures.  But ordinary people, too, do not respect each other’s rights, space or property, and depend for all protection on the police or state power generally as arbiters of everything.  Individuals need to take responsibility for all things, including their own protection and that of their loved ones and property.

Concern over lack of respect is, I think, a unifying theme in both the radical White and radical Black Lives Matter movements.  

Quatorze Juillet  (Edith Piaf)

Il me vient par la fenêtre
Des musiques de la rue.
Chaque estrade a son orchestre.
Chaque bal a sa cohue.
Ces gens-là m’ont pris ma fête.
Je ne la reconnais plus.

Dans ma chambre, je me chante
L’air que nous avons valsé.
Je regarde la toquarde
Où tes doigts se sont posés.

Tu m’as dit : “Tu es si belle.”
Et tu as, l’instant d’après,
Ajouté : “La vie est bête.”.
J’ai compris que tu partais.
Si tu ne reviens jamais,
Il n’y aura plus de quatorze juillet.

Il me vient par la fenêtre
Un murmure qui s’éteint,
Les chansons d’une jeunesse
Attardée dans le matin.
N’allez pas troubler mon rêve.
Allez rire un peu plus loin.

Que m’apporte, que m’apporte
Cette joie de quelques heures ?
Je suis morte, je suis morte
Et je t’ai déjà rejoint
Et mon corps est près du tien
Mais personne n’en sait rien…

The 14th of July

He comes to my window
The music in the street
Each stage has its orchestra
Each dance has its crowd
These people took my celebration
I don’t recognize it anymore

In my room, I sing to myself
The air that we waltzed in
I watch the infatuation
Where your fingers encountered mine

You tell me “you are so beautiful”
And you after a moment
Added “life is stupid”
I understood that you left
If you never come back
There will not be another 14th of July

He came to my window
A murmur that has extinguished
The songs of youth
Lingering in the morning
Don’t go troubling my dream
Laughing one step further away

That brings me, that brings me
The joy of a few hours
I’m dead, I’m dead
And I already reached you
And my body is close to yours
But nobody knows anything…

Living Lies’ Neil Garfield on the Arrest and Bail of Bratton

Occupy Leader Bratton Held on $250,000 Bail

Posted on June 23, 2013 by Neil Garfield

In my judgment, based upon the scant facts and documents supplied to me this far, there is no doubt that Bratton DID own the property and probably still does if the law is applied properly.

I know of cases where probable cause was found for Murder and the bail was set less than that. The calls and emails keep coming in and I can’t say that I have a total picture of what was really going on here. But, based upon what I have the current story is this:

Bratton is one of the leaders in the Occupy movement. It may be true that the Occupy movement has been put on a watch list or even the terrorist list which might account for the high bail. I have not been able to confirm that. But it seems that some inference of that sort was used in getting bail set at a quarter of a million dollars. If so, the government is confusing (intentionally or otherwise) the Occupy movement which is a political movement within the system allowed and encouraged by the U.S. Government — with the sovereign citizen movement for which I have taken a lot of heat.

The sovereign citizen concept is a contradiction in terms. If you are a citizen you are subject to the laws of the jurisdiction in which you are a citizen. If you are “sovereign” then you are announcing that you are outside the bounds of the rules, regulations and laws of government. It would seem to me that the use of the word “sovereign” might be tantamount to renouncing your citizenship and making you an alien, subject to the immigration and naturalization agencies of the Federal government, which is a Federal question, not a state question.

From what I understand, Bratton acted as a pro se fighter against an illegal taking of her property by U.S. Bank, who will probably disclaim knowledge of the event when the heat turns up on this news item. My experience is that where claims of securitization are involved and U.S. Bank is a key player, virtually everything is false, fabricated and illegal — including the notices of default, notices of sale, the “auction,” the “credit bid” and the deed issued upon “foreclosure” of the property based upon the alleged sale. Judges find this hard to believe but the facts are coming out as the tsunami of whistle-blowers has just started.

My opinion is that the deed issued on foreclosure is VOID (not voidable) if there was no consideration. Check with a lawyer in your jurisdiction before you act on that. If the party submitting the “credit bid” has no proof that they paid for the origination and/or acquisition of the loan, then all their actions constitute the same value as a “wild deed” which is customarily ignored by title examiners and title agents.

If in fact the situation goes to as far as establishing that no transaction occurred in which a purchase or funding of the loan occurred then fraud, utterance of a false instrument and the rest of the charges pending against Bratton now actually should be brought against U.S. Bank and the other parties that contributed to the plan leading to theft of Bratton’s title!?!

It is the latter situation that in my opinion is the dominant permeating fact pattern throughout the financial industry in which they put CLAIMS of securitization ahead of proof that it ever occurred — as a cover up for a racketeering scheme using a PONZI structure (new investments used to pay off old investors).

Based upon the facts and documents I have heard and seen Bratton went through the usual foreclosure fight where the Judge failed to apply the law properly and require proof of ownership the loan, mistakenly applying a presumption that is rebuttable, just as the Maryland Supreme Court did last week in a decision that will come back and haunt them. So needless to say she lost and the sale went forward with US bank submitting a credit bid on behalf of an asset pool that does not appear to exist in reality because it was never funded, and therefore was incapable of paying for the the funding of the origination of the loan nor the acquisition of the loan.

The usual fabricated papers were submitted and the usual untrue proffers by counsel apparently were present as well. So, like I have said on this blog, acting WITHIN THE SYSTEM, she went to the police showing them that she was alleging fraud, fabrication, forgery, and uttering an false instrument and recording it. The police refused to investigate saying it was a CIVIL MATTER.

So again, acting within the system, she went and filed a corrective deed in order to give legal notice to the world that the title was still in dispute. Meanwhile U.S. Bank allegedly sold the property to a third party who pay or may not have been a straw-man. The straw-man is attempting to get possession. Bratton is fighting it because the only basis for possession is not that she didn’t pay her rent, but because title changed from her to this third party.

Despite their refusal to investigate her claims as falling within the category of a civil matter, the police then arrested Bratton for filing in the public records a corrective deed. POOF! What was a civil matter suddenly turned into a serious criminal matter, alleging, apparently nearly word for word, the allegations Bratton made against U.S. Bank, which if true would mean that any deed FROM U.S. Bank would also be a wild deed conveying no interest in the property whatsoever.

The kicker is the bail that has been set: $250,000. While I am familiar with this tactic being used around the country to scare off the leaders in the fight, this is the first time I have ever seen bail set at level that effectively puts Bratton behind bars without any hope of release based solely on what appears to be a completely unfounded accusation of criminal intent.

There are some rumors that the reason bail was set so high was because there were inferences that Bratton was affiliated with a terrorist group — something I find hard to believe based upon the information I have received thus far. There is no evidence brought to my attention that could possibly be interpreted as coming within the scope of a definition of “terrorist.” If her accusations against U.S. Bank are true, the term terrorist would more aptly apply to U.S. Bank than anything Bratton did.

My view is that the failure of the police to investigate her claims on the basis of their determination that this was a matter to be resolved in the civil courts completely undermines even the semblance of probable cause. If the police could say that they DID investigate the claims of Bratton and found them to be without merit, THEN the technical violation MIGHT apply assuming the document she filed was completely without merit — i.e., that the content of the document was completely false.

My view is that without that investigation the best one could say about the police action in this case is that they were premature. The worst is that they were doing the bidding of the banks who have achieved a level of influence on law enforcement that is unprecedented in protecting themselves from prosecution for mass crimes against humanity AND bringing mortgage fraud and other criminal charges against those whom they are throwing under the bus or otherwise want to silence.

The police were wrong when they first told Bratton that this was a civil matter. The theft of millions of homes based upon false, fabricated, fraudulent documents corroborated by perjury and intentional misrepresentation to the court, is a big deal. It ripped open the fabric of our society and diminished respect for all three branches of government. Now that the police department has thrown its hat into the ring with this bogus criminal charge, it is time to force them politically to investigate the bank crimes (regardless of what assurances were given from the Bush and Obama administrations to the contrary).

Here is the Press RELEASE from the Bratton Camp:

PRESS RELEASE_Bratton Hearing 24June13

Let’s Face it: We who Support the Constitution and Private Property ARE ALL TERRORISTS NOW IN THE EYES OF THE GOVERNMENT! So let’s put on our Guy Fawkes’ Masks and Terrorize some Government Officials who Desperately Deserve it! Down with the Patriot Act! Down with the Use of the Accusation “Terrorist” to Silence Dissent!

$250,000.00 Bail on Five Felony Counts.   I received this sad message form Charles Koppa in Southern California—another ordinary American fighting for her rights has been jailed as a Terrorist.  Let’s face it—ALL OF US are potentially terrorists in the eyes of this hopelessly deranged government and its police instrumentalities.   I long for the day when Americans will rise up, as at the end of V-for-Vendetta, all wearing their masks—and storm the government.
FROM CHARLES KOPPA:
HELLO, AGAIN!   PLEASE CIRCULATE AND POST BREAKING NEWS
6/22/2013  CJK 760-787-9966 

Barbara Bratton Jailed As Domestic Terrorist:

God-Fearing Woman Exposes Foreclosure Fraud 

Who:              Family and Friends of Barbara Bratton, Homeowners’ Rights Advocate

What:             Pre-Preliminary Conference (Court Hearing)

When:            Monday, June 24, 2014, 8:30 a.m.

Where:          Dept. S22, San Bernardino Superior Court

351 N. Arrowhead, San Bernardino, CA. 92415 Map

Ignoring well-documented cases of fraud and abuse that continue to plague the home mortgage industry, the City of Ontario Police Department has instead set its sights on Barbara Bratton, 55, jailed as a domestic terrorist for challenging the validity of property records used to foreclose on her loan.  A pre-preliminary conference is set for Monday, June 24 at 8:30am in San Bernardino Superior Court, 351 N. Arrowhead, San Bernardino, CA 92415.  Homeowners’ rights advocates will be on hand to show support.

Background:

Barbara Bratton, a life-long resident of Ontario, California and an outstanding community member, was the victim of an illegal foreclosure on her family home of 40 years.  Since 2008 she has conducted a tireless and well-documented campaign to expose the land title fraud on her home.  An important piece in this complex case came last year, when a Lending Processing Services (LPS) executive pled guilty to filing more than a million fraudulent property documents in county recorder’s offices across the country.  The fraud on the Bratton home was linked to the suit.  Yet the LPS scheme masked a more insidious crime: the securitization of nearly all home loans since 1996, making it impossible to determine who, if anyone, actually owns the note on a home.  

To back up her case, Ms. Bratton began working with San Bernardino County Recorder Dennis Draeger and his staff to conduct a thorough search of the property records on her home.  In a signed declaration authorized by Draeger, his custodian of records concluded that the involved parties lacked the authority to foreclose on the Bratton home.   To set the record straight, Ms. Bratton filed a corrective deed at the County Recorder’s office on April 11, 2013 — a preliminary step towards gaining court recognition of fraudulent foreclosure.  To insure proper procedure, she asked the Secretary of State’s Office to validate the document with their seal before filing with the county recorder. For additional insurance, she attached a copy of her 2012 notice to the police of title fraud with her request to have them investigate (a request they ignored.)

Ms. Bratton’s actions to correct property records on the family home were fully above board, with no intent to harm or defraud.  The City of Ontario’s punitive efforts to defame Ms. Bratton reveal how desperate officials are to ignore the fraud that continues to pollute property records in a county with some of the highest foreclosure rates in the country.  Until property records are corrected, judges will continue to sanction illegal foreclosures, and the perpetrators will go unpunished.

Homeowners’ Rights advocates will be on hand for the hearing at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, June 24th to show their support for Barbara Bratton in her fight for justice on behalf of hundreds of thousands of homeowners who have become unwitting victims of fraudulent financing and foreclosure practices. 

************* 

Charges:  

Barbara Bratton has been charged with 5 felony counts:  2 violations of Penal Code Section 460(d) forgery, and 2 counts of PC 115(a) procuring and offering false or forged instrument.  She has also been charged with 1 count of PC 459 second degree burglary.  Law enforcement authorities are alleging she is a domestic terrorist.  Bail has been set at $250.000.

Supporting documents:

Court documents available upon request.

Contact:

Geraldine Watson – Email: gerribwatson@gmail.com  Cell: 909-215-6265

Brenda Orea – Email: brenda@hdcofhollywood.com   Cell: 909-243-0449

Dolly Medlock – Email: yourdoll2@gmail.com             Cell: 909-489-3621

Susan Daya Hamwi – Email: susandaya@yahoo.com   Cell: 310-210-7550

Lydia Breen – Email: FriendsofBarbaraBratton@gmail.com Cell: 661-414-2862 

Is this another knowing and willful (but insane) step towards socialism? What we need is to restore the Common Law and make individual Judges Accountable for Enforcing the Law in a Constitutional Manner

California cities eye plan to seize mortgages

Associated PressBy AMY TAXIN and CHRISTINA REXRODE | Associated Press – 14 hrs ago

FONTANA, Calif. (AP) — In the foreclosure-battered inland stretches of California, local government officials desperate for change are weighing a controversial but inventive way to fix troubled mortgages: Condemn them.

Officials from San Bernardino County and two of its cities have formed a local agency to consider the plan. The securities industry has been quick to register its displeasure and say it will only make loans harder to get.

Discussion of the idea is taking place in one of the epicenters of the housing crisis, a working-class region east of Los Angeles where housing prices have plummeted. Last week brought another sharp reminder of the crisis when the 210,000-strong city of San Bernardino, struggling after shrunken home prices walloped local tax revenues, announced it would seek bankruptcy protection.

Now — and amid skepticism on many fronts — officials from the surrounding county of San Bernardino and cities of Fontana and Ontario have created a joint powers authority to consider what role local governments could take to stem the crisis. The goal is to keep homeowners saddled by largemortgage payments from losing their homes — which are now valued at a fraction of what they were once worth.

“We just have too much pain and misery in this county to call off a public discussion like this,” said David Wert, a county spokesman.

The idea was broached by a group of West Coast financiers who suggest using the power of eminent domain, which lets the government seize private property for public purpose.

In this case, they would condemn troubled mortgages so they could seize them. Then the borrowers would be helped into mortgages with significantly lower monthly payments.

Steven Gluckstern, chairman of the newly formed San Francisco-based Mortgage Resolution Partners, says his main concern is to help the economy, which is being held back by the mortgage crisis.

“This is not a bunch of Wall Street guys sitting around saying, ‘How do we make money?'” he said. “This was a bunch of Wall Street guys sitting around saying, ‘How do you solve this problem?'”

Typically, eminent domain has been used to clear property for infrastructure projects like highways, schools and sewage plants. In this case, supporters say, the public purpose is served because communities battered by foreclosures have seen tax rolls decimated and services gutted and have suffered economic blight.

The plan targets homeowners who are current on their mortgage payments but “under water,” meaning they owe more on the mortgage than the home is worth. Here’s how it would work for a hypothetical city:

— The city goes to court and argues that the public purpose is served by having the county own, and ultimately refinance, the mortgage.

— The city pays fair market value to the owner of the mortgage. That is usually a securitization trust, an otherwise passive financial entity used to bundle mortgages and sell pieces to investors that became a bigger part of the mortgage market during the 2000s housing boom.

— The city, the new owner of the mortgage, encourages and helps the homeowner to find refinancing. Now the principal is lower, and interest rates are at historic lows, so the homeowner winds up with easier monthly payments.

— Mortgage Resolution Partners collects a flat fee, $4,500 per loan, for helping the city find homeowners who can be helped and for handling the other mechanics of the process.

The company says everyone should wind up happy: The homeowners get lower payments, cities help clean up the mortgage crisis and shore up their tax base, and the mortgage-owning trusts unload a risky asset.

Rick Rayl, an eminent domain lawyer in Irvine, Calif., who is not connected to the company, said the plan could have unintended consequences, like discouraging banks and other lenders from making new mortgage loans in an area.

“The lenders are going to be livid,” he said.

The company says that focusing on borrowers who are current on their loans is a smart way to do business, rewarding those who are already working hard to keep their homes.

At the first meeting of the joint powers authority on Friday, chairman and San Bernardino County chief executive Greg Devereaux said the entity — which was inspired by Mortgage Resolution Partners’ proposal — has not decided on a specific course of action.

Timothy Cameron, managing director of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s asset managers group, told the authority that residents of the region would find it harder to get loans and investors — including pensioners — would suffer losses. He also said such a move would invite costly litigation.

“The use of eminent domain will do more harm than good,” he said. “We need mortgage investors and lenders to come back to these fragile markets — but this plan will force both groups to avoid them.”

Robert Hockett, a Cornell University law professor, said the plan forces the hand of some investment bankers who bundle mortgage loans into securities and sell pieces to investors.

The bankers have sometimes stifled plans to reduce mortgage payments, he said. Their objections to this plan, he said, are “kind of like saying a loan shark objects to anti-predatory lending laws.”

Theodore Woodard, a 62-year-old retired air conditioner installer, said he’d welcome the help on his five-bedroom home in Fontana. So far, he and his wife have kept up with monthly $3,100 payments, plus taxes and insurance, but it hasn’t been easy, and they have watched several neighbors in the well-manicured neighborhood some 50 miles east of Los Angeles lose their homes to foreclosure.

“We’ve been making our monthly payments, barely making them, but we just pay them and try to survive off what’s left,” said Woodard, who estimates his house has lost a third of its value since 2004.

In San Bernardino County, the problem is clear. The median home price has plunged to $150,000 from $370,000 in five years. The combined San Bernardino-Riverside metro area has the highest foreclosure rate of any large metro area in the country, at four times the national average, according to RealtyTrac, which tracks foreclosure properties.

Devereaux, who has seen other plans to fix the housing crisis peter out, is cautious.

“I don’t know whether this will work or not,” he said. “But we do think we have a responsibility to explore it.”

Rexrode reported from New York. AP Business Writer Daniel Wagner contributed to this report from Washington, D.C.

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