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Thread: Currently own or thinking about buying a condo in Florida? Read the fine print.

  1. #1

    Currently own or thinking about buying a condo in Florida? Read the fine print.

    Let the buyer and voter beware.

    http://wendymcelroy.com/news.php?extend.6331

    http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/s...condo-law.html

    ORLANDO – When Amanda Gonzalez bought her two-bedroom condominium near Orlando in 2006, she thought she was getting a foothold on the America dream.

    Gonzalez never missed a payment for her mortgage, condo fees or taxes, even after the real estate crash in 2008 and 2009. When she was laid up after an accident, and money was tight, she still kept her books in order. So it came as a shock when the company that sold her the unit told her the complex was being converted into rental apartments ("terminated"), and that she had to accept what the company offered – far less than what she had paid.

    Under a Florida law, companies that own more than 80 percent of condo units in one building can terminate a condo complex under certain conditions and turn it into apartments for rent. The companies have to pay the owners they're evicting the "current market value" for their units, which may not even cover their mortgage. Some owners, who have diligently paid their bills and fees, are left without a home and drowning in debt.

    I thought we lived in a country where your property couldn’t be seized for private gain,” Gonzalez said. “And this blows me away that this is possible in the United States. It blows me away.”
    You did?

    According to Seminole County records, Gonzalez purchased her unit at Serenity at Tuskawilla from Prestwick Partners, a boutique property company run by two Miami lawyers. After Florida’s real estate crash, she had no intention of selling her unit; she figured its value would eventually bounce back. But she never got that chance. In 2013, Prestwick Partners filed papers to terminate the condominiums at Serenity at Tuskawilla.

    Appraisers paid by the new owners assessed Gonzalez's unit to have a fair market value that was just a fraction of what she paid. She had no choice but to sell at that price; she says Prestwick Partners told her they technically already owned her unit.

    "I paid them money up front and now they’re buying it back for pennies on the dollar," she said. "I’d love that deal. Sign me up."

    Last week, Gonzalez said her lender allowed her to walk away from her mortgage – a “short sale” – but her credit is ruined, an embarrassment for someone who runs an accounting business.
    [...]
    Shirley Lofgren, 85, paid $217,500 for her Serenity condo – almost all of it in cash – when she moved to Florida in 2007 with her husband, Robert, who's since been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and now lives nearby. She says Prestwick Partners is offering her an assessed value of $46,500. If she took the offer, it would wipe out the equity she spent a lifetime to build, and she doesn’t have enough cash to buy something else.

    “I thought when you owned something you owned it,” Lofgren said.
    You did?

    She's hired a lawyer and is fighting the condo termination. A few other condo owners have sued and settled for undisclosed amounts. But the men behind Prestwick Partners, Daniel Marzano and Michael Cosculluela, insist the firm's actions are 100 percent legal and were spelled out in the condominium declaration.

    “If people are too lazy to read the fine print, that’s their problem,” Daniel Marzano said in a phone conversation with America Tonight.

    When pressed on whether their actions were moral, Michael Cosculluela replied: "There's no question of morality in business."
    There isn't? That type of attitude is what opens the door to Marxist revolutions with his type hanging from lampposts.

    Unintended consequence

    Florida's 2007 condominium termination law was designed to help developers salvage aging or storm-ravaged properties that would cost more to repair than they were worth. Many condo association agreements require 100 percent of unit owners to agree on a major decision like selling the property or converting it to apartments, and in some of these cases, finding all the owners was simply impossible.

    The law lowers the bar. It allows for a developer who owns 80 percent of the units to terminate a condominium complex, unless 10 percent or more of the residents object. If an investor owns more than 90 percent of the units, there’s nothing a condo owner can do to stop the takeover.
    [...]
    Some 271 condominium complexes have been terminated in Florida since the law passed, according to state records, affecting nearly 20,000 units.
    Wow.

    State Rep. Chris Sprowls, a newly elected Republican in Krasowski’s district, is drafting a bill amending the state’s condo termination bill when Florida’s part-time legislature begins its 60-day session in March.

    But it might be too late for the Cunninghams and thousands of other Florida condo owners living under the threat of a takeover. If theirs comes to pass, the Cunninghams say their $160,000 investment would simply evaporate, as would their dream of spending the winter months of their golden years in Florida.

    “We’ve worked all our lives. We’ve been very responsible financially," said Joe Cunningham. "Yet someone could come in and take our home away from us.”
    Last edited by Lucille; 02-08-2015 at 02:00 PM.
    Based on the idea of natural rights, government secures those rights to the individual by strictly negative intervention, making justice costless and easy of access; and beyond that it does not go. The State, on the other hand, both in its genesis and by its primary intention, is purely anti-social. It is not based on the idea of natural rights, but on the idea that the individual has no rights except those that the State may provisionally grant him. It has always made justice costly and difficult of access, and has invariably held itself above justice and common morality whenever it could advantage itself by so doing.
    --Albert J. Nock



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  3. #2
    SMDH.

    "All we ask is to be let alone."- Jefferson Davis (1808–1889): First Message to the Confederate Congress, March, 1861.
    My website: https://www.theherbsofthefield.com/

    "No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another. ~ Charles Dickens

  4. #3
    “If people are too lazy to read the fine print, that’s their problem,” Daniel Marzano said in a phone conversation with America Tonight.

    When pressed on whether their actions were moral, Michael Cosculluela replied: "There's no question of morality in business."
    There isn't? That type of attitude is what opens the door to Marxist revolutions with his type hanging from lampposts.

    There isn't? That type of attitude is what opens the door to Marxist revolutions with his type hanging from lampposts.

    There isn't? That type of attitude is what opens the door to Marxist revolutions with his type hanging from lampposts.

  5. #4
    Of course, even if you "own" your home, you are nothing but a squatting serf, you live there wholly on the whim of government and as long as you pay your rents.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    Of course, even if you "own" your home, you are nothing but a squatting serf, you live there wholly on the whim of government and as long as you pay your rents.
    Land of the Fee...from cradle to grave.
    Theye have refused their Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    Theye have erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    Theye kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies

    Theye have combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution,

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

    Theye plundered and destroyed the lives of our people.

    Theye are at this time transporting Armies of Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of a civilized nation.



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