I do not think they are considering taking "ownership of the underwater properties." Rather, I think that they are planning on taking "the mortgage" through eminent domain. I do not think that passes Constitutional muster. It probably violates the Contracts Clause and encroaches on the federal court's Bankruptcy territory. Further, I do not believe that there is any "public use," which would violate the Fifth Amendment.
While I find it noble that they are attempting to address a serious problem, created largely by the banks, this seems to go too far. Nevertheless, I do hope that this issue gets some much needed attention.
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