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Dorota Dyman & Associates Real Estate: Follow the Money Says Elder Fraud Attorney

Dorota Dyman & Associates Real Estate: Follow the Money Says Elder Fraud Attorney | Dorota Dyman & Associates | Scoop.it

Walnut Creek, CA: Defrauding elderly Americans of their life savings is a multibillion-dollar problem in the United States. Attorney Craig Niven’s law practice partly focuses on trying to recover assets for seniors who have fallen prey to the perpetrators of all kinds of cruel construction and real estate swindles.

 

“They poke and prod elderly homeowners into doing home repairs they don’t need at hyper-inflated costs. They fiddle with loan documents, falsify the seniors’ income or deceive seniors about the monthly repayment costs. Then suddenly the senior is stuck with a mortgage they can’t afford and a monthly payment that might be equal to their entire income.

 

“I would say those are the most horrible cases. It becomes a toxic situation and they can actually lose their home,” says Niven.

 

A fly-by-night construction rip-off is, of course, not new. It’s as old as the hills and it can happen to homeowners at any stage of life. The problem is that when it happens to seniors, living on fixed incomes, their earning years long gone, it is a lot harder to recover from being cheated says Niven.

 

Sometimes Niven can help seniors who have been bilked in construction and real estate exploitation, and sometimes he frankly admits he can’t. He “triages” every new case that lands on his desk. He doesn’t encourage seniors to spend money on legal fees in cases where there is no hope of getting back what’s already been lost. Unless there is a real possibility of recovering the assets or collecting, he absolutely won’t go forward.

 

“Sometimes it’s the neighbor or relative that comes in and befriends the senior and gets control of the assets,” says Niven. “Unfortunately, assets are often squandered before you can recover, but sometimes not. Sometimes it’s a rising market and the assets have been leveraged, so you still might be in a good position. You have to triage the situation and see how to unwind some kind of horrible transaction.”

 

Niven made a substantial recovery for an elderly couple who had been hoodwinked into refinancing their mortgage at a rate double what they had been led to believe it would be. The tricksters were agents of a real estate company that, as Niven says, “employed people they knew were making false promises and shuffling documents.”

 

The sales people involved skipped the country, but Niven went after the real estate company and its insurance coverage. “They stepped up and made good for my clients. They had to unwind the loan and pay attorney fees and costs.”

 

There is also something called a “creditors suit” that can be used to snatch back assets lost through fraudulent means.

 

“If someone is a scam artist and puts everything in that relative’s name, you can sue that relative and recover for the client,” says Niven. “If you just see assets in a relative’s name, that should not dissuade an attorney.

 

“We had a case recently where we didn’t just sue the defendant but we sued the relatives because we knew the scammer kept the property in the relatives’ names. We knew eventually that’s where we would have to go to recover so why not do it all at the same time,” says Niven.

 

“Every case is different,” says Niven. “It just depends.”

 

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Dorota Dyman & Associates Real Estate Rents Escalate Along Paris's Champs Élysées

Dorota Dyman & Associates Real Estate Rents Escalate Along Paris's Champs Élysées | Dorota Dyman & Associates | Scoop.it
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Rents are heating up on one of Paris's haute avenues.

 

The cost of retail space along Avenue des Champs Élysées is rising as foreign tourists pour into France's capital ready to shop, European economies show glimmers of a recovery and luxury brands increasingly seek storefronts on the street.

 

Annual rents along the avenue, which connects the Arc de Triomphe with the Place de la Concorde, have surged 38.5% year over year to an average €13,255 ($17,770) a square meter, according to consultancy Cushman & Wakefield.

 

That is the highest rent increase along any of the 10 most-expensive retail locations in the world over the 12 months to the end of June, the period Cushman studied, and cements the boulevard as the third most-expensive street for retail space after Hong Kong's Causeway Bay and New York's Fifth Avenue. Rents in Causeway Bay rose 14.7% year on year to the equivalent of €24,983 per square meter and Fifth Avenue rents were flat at €20,702 per square meter.

 

In Europe, Champs Élysées rent far exceeds that of London's New Bond Street, where retail space fetches €8,666 a square meter.

 

"I'm not sure it will go much higher than this," says Christian Dubois, managing director of retail at Cushman & Wakefield in Paris. "At the end of the day, I would be very surprised if rental values would exceed this next year."

 

Finding an average rent for retail space on the street is difficult, brokers and investors say, because there are only a handful of deals completed each year as a result of a limited amount of space along the avenue.

 

One of the most eye-popping rents is MAC Cosmetics, EL -0.39%  which opened a store on the avenue this year, paying €18,000 a square meter.

 

"Whether that's become the new market level or not is difficult to say, but for sure [the amount tenants are prepared to pay] has been growing," says Steve Cowen, managing director of transactions at Grosvenor Fund Management Europe.

 

Jeweler Tiffany TIF +1.11% & Co. plans to open a store there next year, joining brands including TAG Heuer, Marks & Spencer MKS.LN +0.29% and banana republic.

 

Police Warn of Online Real Estate Scam

 

"One of the aspects of the Champs Élysées is advertising. For the luxury brands, it's a question of having their names up there," Mr. Cowen says.

 

Another lure for retailers is the foot traffic and how much cash the rising numbers of tourists are willing to spend, particularly wealthy Chinese visitors. The number of Chinese tourists in France rose 23.3% to 1.4 million in 2012, according to France's tourism agency DCGIS.

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Dorota Dyman & Associates Real Estate: Housing Markets Rebound Faster When Foreclosures Proceed Quickly

Dorota Dyman & Associates Real Estate: Housing Markets Rebound Faster When Foreclosures Proceed Quickly | Dorota Dyman & Associates | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON — Why have many of the local housing markets that were hit hardest during the bust — especially in California — bounced back so vigorously and quickly, with prices close to or exceeding where they were in 2005 and 2006?
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Source: http://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/la-fi-harney-20131201,0,7128552.story#axzz2mGc1dmNs

 

WASHINGTON — Why have many of the local housing markets that were hit hardest during the bust — especially in California — bounced back so vigorously and quickly, with prices close to or exceeding where they were in 2005 and 2006?

 

And why have many others along the East Coast and in the Midwest had a slower move toward recovery, with sluggish sales and gradual increases in values?

 

Though multiple economic factors are at work, appraisal industry experts believe that they have isolated a crucial and perhaps surprising answer: Real estate markets rebound much faster in areas where state law permits foreclosures to proceed quickly, moving homes with defaulted loans into new owners' hands expeditiously, rather than allowing them to sit and deteriorate, tied up in court procedures for years. Prices of foreclosed homes in such areas typically are depressed and negatively affect values of neighboring properties, but they don't remain so for lengthy periods because investors and other buyers swoop in and return them to residential use rapidly.

 

By contrast, in states where laws allow large numbers of homes in the process of foreclosure to remain in legal limbo, often empty and unsold, home-price recoveries are hindered because lenders are prevented from recovering and reselling the units to buyers who will fix them up and add value.

 

Pro Teck Valuation Services, a national appraisal firm in Waltham, Mass., recently completed research in 30 major metropolitan areas that dramatically illustrates the point. All the fastest-rebounding markets in October — those with strong sales, price increases and low inventories of unsold houses — were located in so-called nonjudicial states, where foreclosures can proceed without the intervention of courts.

 

All the worst-performing markets — where prices and sales have been less robust and there are excessive numbers of houses available but unsold — were located in judicial states, where post-default proceedings can stall foreclosure completions for two to three years or even more in some cases.

 

Among the best-performing areas were California markets such as Los Angeles and San Diego. California is a nonjudicial state. Among the worst performers were Florida markets such as Tampa and Fort Myers, as well as parts of Illinois and Wisconsin. All of these are judicial states.

 

Currently 22 states are classified as judicial foreclosure jurisdictions, including Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont and Wisconsin. All other states handle foreclosures without court participation.

 

Tom O'Grady, chief executive of Pro Teck, says the differing rebound patterns of judicial and nonjudicial foreclosure states jumped out of the study data dramatically.

 

"When we looked closer" at rebound performances state by state, "we observed that nonjudicial states bottomed out sooner" — typically between 2009 and 2011 — "versus 2011 to 2012 for judicial states, and have seen greater appreciation since the bottom," typically 50% to 80% compared with just 10% to 45% for judicial states, O'Grady said.

 

"Our hypothesis," he added, "is that nonjudicial states have been able to work through the foreclosure [glut] faster, allowing them to get back into a non-distressed housing market sooner, and are therefore seeing greater appreciation."

 

California, for example, experienced severe price declines immediately after the bust hit in 2007 and 2008 — thousands of foreclosed homes flooded the market, depressing values of other real estate in the area. O'Grady calls this a "concentrated foreclosure effect" that is painful while it's happening but relatively quickly purges the marketplace by turning over distressed units to new ownership.

 

Judicial states, on the other hand, tend to be still struggling with homes flowing out of the foreclosure pipeline, prolonging the negative price effects on other houses for sale.

 

O'Grady noted that in nonjudicial states such as California, foreclosures now account for just 10% of all sales, and home listings amount to a four-month supply — well below the national average. In slow-moving judicial states, by contrast, 25% to 50% of sales are foreclosures, and unsold inventory represents a five-month to 10-month supply.

 

The take-away here? Though real estate prices are popularly thought of as reflecting the "location, location, location" mantra, inherent in that concept is something less well-known: State laws governing foreclosure affect market values and govern how well they bounce back after a shock. Prices take much longer to recover when foreclosures drag out for years.

 

Related Article:

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1064787?ref=feeds/latest

http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/dorota-dyman-associates/group-32501/

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