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Groups sue feds over foreclosure fighting tactic



NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union has sued a federal agency, asking it to disclose efforts to stop municipalities from using eminent domain to bail out underwater homeowners.

The ACLU and the Center for Popular Democracy filed a freedom of information lawsuit against the Federal Housing Finance Agency on Thursday in federal court in San Francisco.

Richmond, Calif., plans to use eminent domain to stem the tide of foreclosures. Irvington, N.J., is also moving forward with the strategy.

The ACLU wants the federal agency to divulge its ties to the financial industry and plans to block cities from using the tactic.

The lawsuit says the agency has aggressively gone after municipalities that have floated the idea of using eminent domain.

A spokeswoman for the agency didn’t immediately comment on the lawsuit.