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Nations Largest Lender Stands Up To Developers

by Happy Homeowner Thursday, Feb. 09, 2006 at 10:57 AM

BB&T refuses to back private developers' who seek to use "eminent domain" to take people's homes & turn them into strip-malls.

BB&T, the nations ninth largest financial holdings company with $109.2 billion in assets, announced today that it will not lend to commercial developers that plan to build condominiums, shopping malls and other private projects on land taken from citizens by government entities using eminent domain.

In a press release issued today by the bank, BB&T Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Allison, said, The idea that a citizens property can be taken by the government solely for private use is extremely misguided, in fact its just plain wrong. One of the most basic rights of every citizen is to keep what they own. As an institution dedicated to helping our clients achieve economic success and financial security, we wont help any entity or company that would undermine that mission and threaten the hard-earned American dream of property ownership.

The U.S. Congress is now considering bipartisan legislation that would federally de-fund eminent domain for private use. Although the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation that would block any federal funds going to private development projects on land taken through eminent domain, the Senate has yet to vote on companion legislation. Last week, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), however, commented on an eminent domain case that was argued before the Ohio Supreme Court. The case involves Carl and Joy Gamble, homeowners from Norwood, Ohio, who could lose their home through eminent domain for a privately owned mall and high-end apartments. Frist wrote in an op-ed published by the Cincinnati Enquirer, I have some pretty clear thoughts about the [Norwood] case: The Gambles should keep their home and the developer should either build around it or cancel the development plans altogether. . . . Quite simply, no family should ever risk losing its home because a government wants to help a private developer.
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