March 14, 2018

Sold At A Discount

A report from the Orlando Sentinel in Florida. “Increased numbers of homeowners in Orlando — and most of Florida — fell behind on mortgage payments late last year, bucking national trends, according to CoreLogic. Metro Orlando’s rate of homeowners falling at least a month behind tripled in December from a year earlier. Orlando homeowners were almost twice as likely to be late on mortgage payments as homeowners nationally, according to the real estate data group. Metro Orlando’s spike in late payments was evident with a delinquency rate of 3 percent in December 2016 — rising to 9.5 percent a year later.”

“Polk County led the state with an 11.7 percent rate of delinquencies, far exceeding the national rate of 5.3 percent. The only other Florida metro areas with a worse record than Metro Orlando’s were Miami and Fort Myers.”

From Construction Dive. “Florida Developer 550 Seabreeze Development has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection amid lender claims that it has defaulted on a $36.9 million mortgage loan on the now-stalled Las Olas Ocean Resort in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, according to The Real Deal. The bankruptcy filing stopped foreclosure proceedings on the Las Olas property, where contractors have filed liens for nonpayment. Work had already stopped on the 12-story, 136-room resort.”

“Chinese nationals have invested in the Las Olas project through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) EB-5 visa program, and their eligibility for permanent residency in this country could be at risk if it does not complete the project, sell it or give it up to foreclosure.”

From The Real Deal. “Fresh from undergoing a multi-year renovation, a 27-unit apartment building in Miami Beach’s South-of-Fifth neighborhood just sold for $14.6 million, property records show. The developer, TwoFifty Collins LLC, managed by Alessandro Renzetti, listed the property at 250 Collins Avenue for $22 million in 2016 – meaning the building sold at about a 33 percent discount off its original asking price.”

“Last May, Renzetti’s request to change the property’s designation to allow for both condominiums and short-term rental hotel use was approved by the Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board.”

From The Daily Business Review. “A law school graduate was sentenced in Miami to 22 years in prison for carrying out a multimillion-dollar fraud, federal prosecutors said Tuesday. Gerti Muho, a 2012 graduate of the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, nabbed more than $2.5 million in a scheme that involved bank, real estate, auto loan, student loan and credit card fraud, prosecutors said. He was convicted in July after a trial before U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom.”

“‘Muho is a talented, industrious and motivated individual,’ Robert Lasky, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Miami office, said in a statement. ‘Unfortunately, he chose to use these skills to illegally satisfy his greed.’”

“Muho’s fraud started after he was fired in 2013 from a Wall Street hedge fund job with Fletcher Asset Management. Prosecutors said he stole information from the company’s server and tried to siphon millions of dollars from hedge fund accounts before fleeing to South Florida. He defrauded a Monaco bank into wiring him $2 million and lied to obtain a $500,000 business loan, according to the evidence at trial. Muho spent the money on a Maserati, a Jaguar and a unit at the Marquis condo tower in downtown Miami, among other things, and evaded a court judgment by creating fake identities using Fletcher’s employee information.”