Exile in Eden: Life Among the Ruins of Florida’s Great Recession

A new book, Exiles in Eden: Life Aong the Ruins of Florida’s Great Recession, offering an insiders view to the Florida housing crisis is hitting the shelves this week.

The Fort Myers area is prominently covered by author Paul Reyes including a look at a mostly abandoned, upscale gated community. A book about the housing bust would not be complete without an examination of Lehigh Acres, where the authors parents purchased a vacant lot in 1969 on the $10/month plan while honeymooning in Miami.

Fort Myers Short Sale Sleaze

My e-mail inbox today contained an e-mail that really troubled me, here it is with the senders name redacted:

Subject
I BUY AND SELL SHORT SALES…

Where Are They Now: Samir Cabrera

One of the featured 2009 newsmakers is convicted real estate deal-maker Samir Cabrera. If you are interested, he is now making his home in Pensacola at the Federal Prison Camp.

Foreclosure Rescue Scammers Targeted

The St. Petersburg Times reports that the bottom feeding foreclosure workout firms will face significantly more scrutiny in Florida.¬† These workout specialists promise miracles, typically charge a desperate homeowner a large upfront fee and then don’t do anything to help save the home from foreclosure. Here locally, there are firms[…]

Short Sale Flipping Fraud

The Sarasota Herald Tribune reports on short sale flipping fraud that is becoming more prevalent here in Southwest Florida. In a nutshell, real estate professionals and investors are teaming up to by undervalued distressed properties from banks and then immediately flipping the property to a new buyer at a hefty[…]

Beware of Millionaire University

The trail of false promises, scammed investors and deceit just never seems to end when it comes to Russ Whitney. His latest venture, Millionaire University is the subject of a class action suit filed by a group of scammed students. Basically, Millionaire University ran late night infomercials designed to lure[…]

Foreclosure Damage

It is truly sad what some residents are doing to their home when facing foreclosure.

Mortgage Fraud

The party is over for one Cape Coral couple, Ron and Lisa Luczak, who last week plead guilty to a mortgage fraud scheme. The racket which targeted Cape Coral property, used straw-man buyers, over-inflated appraisals and contract assignment fees involving at least 37 properties and $27M in home loans. In[…]

Craigs List Rental Scam

A company scamming potential renters was recently busted in the NY area. The company posted bogus “to good to be true” rental advertisements. They often copied rental listings from legitimate sites, so the properties were actually for rent……. just not from this company. When applicants inquired, they were charged fees[…]

Forged deeds

Growing problem for absentee owners Forged deeds continue to plague absentee owners of Florida property. Although notorious deed scam artist Ben Ari is facing justice, the practice is still common in Florida. While other states have taken steps to tighten the notary public process including log books or even thumb[…]

Rent to own

Lease option deal goes south in Cape A lease option or rent-to-own arrangement can be a great method for property sellers and buyers to connect. Often this method is utilized by buyers with poor credit or an income that doesn’t qualify for traditional financing. A recent News-Press article detailed the[…]

Fighting back

Lot owner suing over forged deed In the ongoing saga of fraudulent deed transfers, A victim has filed suit against Alan B. Mentser of West Palm Beach, the individual that has been accused of illegally taking several vacant lots of the deceased. Records show Mentser was fined $1,000 in 2001[…]