FLORIDA – Tenants caught in quagmire of homeowners association foreclosures

Tampa Bay Times:  Tenants caught in quagmire of homeowners association foreclosures
By Susan Taylor Martin
June 15, 2014
In February, a new company in Tampa called RE-710 got a terrific deal. It paid $5,700 for a five-bedroom home valued at $311,000. The same month, RE-710 acquired control of dozens of other houses and condos throughout the Tampa Bay area for just cents on the dollar. Aside from their bargain prices, the properties had something else in common. The buyers were also the sellers: three Tampa men, including convicted fraudster Barry Haught. According to court records, Haught and his partners created RE-710 and transferred 44 rental properties to it over three weeks. A day later, RE-710 declared bankruptcy.

The move was part of an ongoing game of real estate keep-away. The company pays for a type of short-term ownership of the properties and quickly rents them out. It then shuffles properties between companies and uses bankruptcy court to keep banks and other creditors at bay. In the meantime, Haught and his associates could continue to collect thousands of dollars in rent each month.

RE-710, so new it didn’t have employees or furniture, “concedes to having filed this (case) for the sole purpose” of delaying foreclosure, the bankruptcy trustee wrote. He also accused the company’s management of “dishonesty, incompetence and gross mismanagement.”  Read more:

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