Property Vultures Take Advantage of the Housing Decline

Downtown Miami condo vultures are certainly enjoying the discounted rates, as a South Florida investment fund takes advantage of a 68 percent discount on condo pricing.  Edgewater Lofts sold nearly 40,500 square feet at $99 a square foot this month.  The bulk sale was not the first of its kind, being the last in a total of 11 bulk deals since July 2008 in Greater Downtown Miami, and more incredibly the fifth in the last 30 days, just showing the impact this economy is having on pressured property owners.

However, on the other side of the golden lining for buyers is the harsh reality setting in for many unsuspecting homeowners.  With the threat of foreclosure lurking around every corner, many look for help in any way possible.  Unfortunately, companies with more insidious intentions are waiting to prey on the desperate.  First Universal Lending of Palm Beach County was recently frozen by the Federal Trade Commission for claiming to modify mortgages in “all, or virtually all” cases but rarely following through.  The company claimed to help fend off foreclosures while charging daunting fees.  Despite the constant persuasion of consumers to retract complaints and one case that could even be considered blackmail, there were still over 400 complaints filed.

What’s become of this housing crisis and when will it end?  While it may bode well for some, the bottom in housing is “not even close,” according to CEO of Fusion IQ Barry Ritholz, which may mean further stress for those trapped in their current homes.  With estimated years before the housing market can stand on its own, homeowners should be advised to keep an eye out because vultures come in more forms than one.

Via: The Real Deal