Articles Tagged with South Florida real estate

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In 2008, the subprime mortgage crisis brought the United States economy to its knees, and six years later, we are still picking up the pieces. On March 11, an agreement between two key senators indicated that they were ready to deal with what many believe is one of the final large pieces of financial reform in the wake of the recession.

A plan was agreed upon by the two top ranking members of the Senate Banking Committee to finally do away with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two mortgage companies that were taken over by the Federal government back in 2008. Both companies have always been government sponsored enterprises, or GSEs, originally created to expand the secondary mortgage market. Fannie Mae was created as part of the New Deal, while Freddie Mac was introduced in 1970 to create competition in the market.

After being taken over in 2008, the Federal government spent $187.5 billion to keep them afloat through 2011, preventing a bankruptcy that would have had a disastrous impact. However, the market has rebounded since, and the government has actually turned that loss into a profit since. Even in the wake of the financial crisis, the two companies, along with the Federal Housing Administration, have continued to back a vast majority of new mortgages.

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A case involving Florida law firm Stok Folk & Kon and attorney Robert Stok is garnering a great deal of attention in Austrailia and around the world. Robert Stok is serving as attorney for the Mawardi family, former business partners of Geoffrey Edelsten, a medical entrepreneur who has grown into a controversial Australian celebrity.

First, a little background on the case.

Back in September, the Mawardi family, who were engaged in very contentious litigation with Edelstein, reached a settlement with Edelsten that the Mawardis intended to be a a resolution to a dispute involving the ownership of excessive business assets, including United States housing complexes, a hotel and casino in the Dominican Republic, and a Challenger 601 jet aircraft. The Mawardi family was to receive cash payments, mortgages on real property and an insurance claim worth approximately $4 million dollars for a total settlement value of approximately $11 million dollars.

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Florida is home to about 6% of the total United States population. It is also home to a whopping one quarter of total foreign investment in United States residential real estate. Since the 2008 financial crisis and housing collapse, the South Florida real estate industry has bounced back at an extraordinary rate. Due in part to foreign investors, as well as low interest rates and prices, the tax base in Florida is skyrocketing, encouraging development and investment even further.

Construction in South Florida is rampant, and expected to increase even more, with areas competing for the most attractive projects. As more foreigners raise their financial stakes in the local market, they are beginning to call Florida home, relocating aspects of their personal lives and business operations. These investor immigrants are arriving from all over the world, excited to enjoy life and do business in South Florida. However, they still need to go through an immigration process to relocate permanently.

As high-end luxury condominiums and other housing projects are built, the South Florida legal community is adapting to the particular needs of wealthy foreign investors. The demand for specialized legal services, from securing immigration status for family members to providing L-visas for intra-company transfers, is rising.