Archive for November 2007

HR 3915 – full steam ahead

November 16, 2007

House passes controversial anti-predatory-lending bill (Inman News)

HR 3915 receives bipartisan support

The House of Representatives Thursday approved controversial legislation intended to combat predatory lending, amending some provisions to address criticism that the bill could worsen the credit crunch, but strengthening others.

HR 3915, the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2007, would create a national licensing system for mortgage loan originators and require lenders to determine that borrowers have a reasonable ability to repay a loan. The bill would also create limited liability for companies that bundle mortgages for sale to Wall Street investors.

Although the Bush administration opposes many of the bill’s provisions, HR 3915 received bipartisan support in the House, where it was approved in a 291-127 vote.

Whether some of its more controversial provisions are embraced in the Senate remains to be seen. Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., is expected to introduce legislation with similar goals, but which may not incorporate all of the new restrictions envisioned by the House.

The House bill’s most contentious restrictions include a ban on incentive payments brokers and loan officers receive when they place borrowers in high-cost loans, and prohibitions on prepayment penalties used to discourage borrowers from refinancing their loans.

Stranahan House v. Icon Las Olas – Round 69

November 15, 2007

ILO can co-exist with Stranahan HouseIs this ever going to end?  I am all about preservation of beauty and anything of historical significance.  Certainly the Stranahan House deserves its place in Broward County’s history, but to what extent?  You have related on one side, along with Coolidge-South Markets Equities trying to build a quality structure (they have been trying since 1999). They have agreed to build a plaza which would serve to separate Stranahan House from the tower (ICON at Las Olas).  What more do they have to do?  They have received city approval, commissioner go-ahead, and each time, it is met with outrage by those seeking to preserve the Stranahan House. 

NEWS FLASH!  It will be preserved.  No one is knocking anything down.  In fact, the plaza and all the hoopla surrounding this will undoubtedly make it more of a public monument.  It was not that before.  In fact, unless you were close to the situation, most people have no clue what the Stranahan House is or what it represents.

Bottom Line:  The Las Olas Downtown District is NOT A PARK.  That was not the intention when Hyde Park supermarket was there, nor was it intended over the past 8 years of nonsensical litigation.  All of a sudden, when it finally appears that Related may soon be victorious in its efforts to build a magnificent structure (which can only help improve the overall downtown aesthetics of a portion of Las Olas in desperate need of a face-lift), the Stranahan contingency now wants congressional approval to develop a park (don’t get me wrong – I live in Weston and think D – FL Debbie Wasserman Schultz is doing a great job, but I disagree here).  Get real! 

 Where was the outcry for a park when Hyde Park market sat there as a dilapidated eyesore for years and why didn’t the city ever ponder that scenario then?  If it was so important for downtown Las Olas to have a park, certainly someone might have suggested it and alternatively sought funding from the city for such a change to current zoning laws. 

In the simplest of terms, businesses (Related & Coolidge) converged to buy property for the purpose of development.  Graciously, these businesses have accommodated countless requests to actually restructure and actually build a separate plaza all for the benefit of the Stranahan House. 

Hats off to Don Hall, attorney for Related for winning round 69 (or whatever round this is) in the latest twist.  I hope to see a resolution to this soon.  I have many clients who, even in this tough real estate environment, still desire, quality investments, built by quality companies with phenomenal track records. 

Dade & Broward: High on a list you don’t want to be on

November 15, 2007

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Not enough fed rate cuts in the world will save him

November 1, 2007