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By Edyta Gryc - Broker Associate | Agent in Hoffman Estates, IL
  • Ex-foreclosure king won’t fight disbarment

    Posted Under: Agent2Agent in Florida, Foreclosure in Florida  |  November 19, 2013 7:43 PM  |  522 views  |  No comments


    From left: Nancy Perez and David Stern (Stern photo: Bill Warner)

    Nancy Perez and David Stern (Credit: Bill Warner)

    Onetime foreclosure mogul David J. Stern has decided not to fight a Florida Bar referee’s call for his disbarment.

    The former Plantation attorney charged with fraud and legal misconduct is not going to appeal the recommendation, Daily Business Review reported. Jeffrey Tew, Stern’s attorney, submitted a short letter to the Florida Supreme Court on Monday that confirmed Stern would not file an appeal. Tew’s letter did not go into further detail.

    Palm Beach Circuit Judge Nancy Perez suggested disbarment for Stern last month. Perez served as referee for the state Supreme Court. She determined Stern was guilty of misconduct.

    Stern built up Florida’s most prolific foreclosure defense firm, with 154 attorneys and about 1,200 total employees handling nearly 118,000 cases each day. His misconduct was exposed during the robo-signing scandal. [Daily Business Review] — Eric Kalis

    Source: The Real Deal

  • Rosie O’Donnell buys Casey Key home for $5M

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Florida, Celebrity Homes in Florida  |  October 11, 2013 3:58 PM  |  398 views  |  No comments



    Casey Key house (credit: Jeff Garland) and Rosie O’Donnell

    Not long after backing out of a Palm Beach house purchase, comedienne Rosie O’Donnell has picked up a 4,647-square-foot beachfront home on the barrier island of Casey Key, near Sarasota, for $5 million.

    The four-bedroom, seven-bathroom house features French oak floors, custom-built cabinetry, Sub-Zero wine coolers and two dishwashers. There is also a pool, spa, outdoor kitchen and a covered boat slip for a 36-foot-long boat at a nearby marina.

    The sellers, William and Donna Brian, bought the property in 2005 for $4.6 million and renovated it four years later, the Wall Street Journal reported. Tom Hedge Jr. and Monica Barth of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty represented the couple in the deal, while Jill Friedman and Kevin Vale of Coldwell Banker represented O’Donnell.

    O’Donnell had signed a contract in August to buy a Jupiter Inlet Colony mansion from “Grease” star Olivia Newton-John for $5.5 million. But shortly after a contractor committed suicide inside the house, O’Donnell backed out of the deal, as previously reported.

    Earlier in the year, O’Donnell sold her house on Star Island in Miami Beach for $16.5 million. [WSJ] — Mark Maurer


  • Florida borrowers eligible for mortgage a year after foreclosure

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Florida, Agent2Agent in Florida, Foreclosure in Florida  |  September 10, 2013 4:08 AM  |  668 views  |  4 comments

    Florida borrowers can receive a home loan only one year after a foreclosure, thanks to a state rule change announced last week.

    Previously, the wait time was three years for a short sale and foreclosure, and two years for a bankruptcy. The wait is now the same for all of these. According to the Federal Housing Administration, borrowers are eligible if they went through a recession-era “economic event” that caused them to lose their house, by no fault of their own.

    The wait begins the date of a final foreclosure auction, the discharge date on a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or the date of closing on a short sale. The new rule expires at the end of September 2016.

    “This is a pretty big event,” Alice Vickers, an attorney who represents the Florida Consumer Action Network, told the Palm Beach Post. “The housing bubble came about through no fault of consumers so it seems right to address this issue and allow them to more easily become homeowners again.”

    Since 2007, more than 110,000 foreclosures have been filed in Palm Beach County. Across the state, about 340,000 foreclosures are pending. [Palm Beach Post] — Mark Maurer


  • Versace mansion will be auctioned Sept. 17

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Florida, Foreclosure in Florida, Celebrity Homes in Florida  |  July 17, 2013 1:07 PM  |  654 views  |  No comments



    Casa Casuarina is better known as the Versace mansion

    The Versace mansion will go to bankruptcy auction on Sept. 17, listing broker Jill Eber told The Real Deal.

    Bidders will need to deposit $3 million into escrow and show proof of funds of $40 million, confirmed Eber, of the Coldwell Banker team The Jills. The estate, where fashion Gianni Versace was gunned down in 1997, has been listed for $75 million; the property had an original listing price of $125 million.

    Fisher Auction Co. will handle the sale along with The Jills, according to Eber, confirming information first reported by the South Florida Business Journal.

    The sale will take place at 10 a.m. at the storied mansion where Madonna was a frequent guest, now known as the Casa Casuarina.

    The majority owner, telecom mogul Peter Loftin, has battled a foreclosure action by a company owned by the Nakash family, the founders of Jordache jeans.

    Convicted Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein admitted to funneling millions through his firm to acquire a 9.99 percent stake in the 19,000-square-foot property in 2009 and more to later keep the property running, wiring the money to Loftin’s Luxury Resorts LLC.

    Nakash family investment vehicle VM South Beach bought a note from Loftin’s original lender, which makes them the stalking horse at the upcoming auction. They will be entitled to a credit bid of $32.7 million, Eber said, or whatever the value of the existing mortgage as determined by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Laurel Isicoff. — Emily Schmall

    Source: THeRealDeal

  • Florida foreclosure settlement checks have bounced, borrowers say

    Posted Under: Foreclosure in Florida  |  April 18, 2013 6:47 PM  |  496 views  |  No comments



    South Florida borrowers recently began receiving payouts from a $3.6 billion fund created by the federal government and 13 private mortgage servicers as part of a settlement ending litigation over widespread foreclosure malpractices. But some recipients are now saying the checks have bounced, the Palm Beach Post reported.

    The Independent Foreclosure Review mailed more than 1 million checks April 12 as part of the January agreement; some borrowers said they couldn’t cash the checks because of insufficient funds.

    A fund official has assured them that it does have money in the bank, the Post said.

    Florida has the second-highest foreclosure rate in the U.S., at one out of every 317 homes, just behind Nevada, where the foreclosure process has initiated on one out of every 306 homes, according to RealtyTrac.

    The contracted paying agent, Rust Consulting, explained Tuesday the fund is capable of making good on the checks, which range from several hundred dollars to $125,000, the Post reported.

    “We want to assure the public that checks we have mailed under the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement process are valid,” Rust Senior Vice President James Parks said in a release. [Sun-Sentinel] – Emily Schmall

    Source: TheRealDeal

  • Florida single-family prices on the rise?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Florida, Home Selling in Florida  |  September 19, 2012 4:49 PM  |  224 views  |  No comments

    The median sales price of single-family homes in Florida rose 5.8 percent in August compared to the same month in 2011, according to data released today by Florida Realtors. The increase was accompanied by a 10.8 percent jump in closed single-family home sales activity. The median price stood at $147,000 last month, up from $139,000 in August 2011. The average sales price rose 6.8 percent in the same period, to $218,437. The median sales price of townhomes and condos in Florida rose 13.2 percent. “Florida’s housing market continues its momentum,” said 2012 Florida Realtors President Summer Greene. “Now our biggest challenge will be appraisals keeping up with the pace of this market.” — Alexander Britell

    Source: THeRealDeal
  • Florida’s housing market bottomed

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Florida, Home Selling in Florida  |  September 19, 2012 4:47 PM  |  226 views  |  No comments
    The Sunshine State’s housing market reached its nadir in 2009, according to a report from John Tuccillo, chief economist at statewide trade group Florida Realtors, the Palm Beach Post reported. The report is based on an index that showed sales prices dropping 43 percent from their 2006 highs by 2009. “Since then we’ve been sort of rocking along a bumpy road,” Tuccillo said. “It’s essentially been flat, but in this context flat is probably good news after the large run-up and drop.” [Palm Beach Post]
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