John Cusack, the actor famous for roles in “Say Anything…” and “High Fidelity,” joined Arianna Huffington on HuffPostLive Monday to discuss an innovative solution to the housing crisis.
The plan, which is the brainchild of John Vlahoplus, chief strategy officer at Mortgage Resolution Partners, would give municipalities the ability to help struggling homeowners lower their mortgage payments, stay in their homes and inject some money into their local economies. How? Vlahoplus’ fund would give money to local governments for a fee, so they could use their powers of eminent domain to purchase underwater mortgages. The city would then give the homeowners — who owe more on their homes than they’re worth — the ability to refinance their mortgages so they could make lower payments.
Bankrupt San Bernardino, California, is one of many cities considering implementing the proposal.
“That’s what would seem to be so exciting about it,” Cusack said on the segment, “is that it’s bypassing Washington completely and it’s going on a civic level.”
Bypassing Washington may be necessary given that America’s top housing official,Ed DeMarco, has threatened to take action against the cities considering the proposal.
Despite the objection of DeMarco, who has been notoriously hesitant to back any plan that modifies the loans of underwater borrowers, the plan may have the ability to help millions of struggling homeowners.
“The possibility is that this can actually do something about the foreclosure crisis and bring a sense of urgency that is precisely what has been missing from the political conversation around foreclosures,” Arianna said during the segment.