Mortgages Florida – Home Associates Thu, 02 Dec 2021 09:50:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mortgages Florida – Home Associates 32 32 IRS Criminal Investigation Report Highlights Work of Pandemic Year Thu, 02 Dec 2021 09:50:21 +0000

Over ten billion dollars. It is the amount of money identified by the IRS Criminal Investigations Department, sometimes referred to as CI, from tax evasion and financial crimes in the past fiscal year.

That’s a jaw-dropping figure, almost as much (around 90%) as the IRS ‘entire budget for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2021, according to CI’s recent annual report.

About CI

This is true despite the size of the department. CI has just under 3,000 employees worldwide; about 70% of these employees are special agents who tackle crimes with a focus on tax laws, money laundering and bank secrecy law.

CI “follows the money” in many financial crime cases. And, while other federal agencies, like the Federal Bureau of Investigation, can also prosecute financial criminals, the IRS is the only federal agency that can investigate potential violations of the Internal Revenue Code.

How effective are they? In the last fiscal year, the IRS-CI opened 2,581 investigations, recommending 1,982 potential defendants for trial. The cases, typically prosecuted by the tax department of the attorney general’s office of the US Department of Justice, resulted in 1,268 convictions, a jail rate of nearly 80 percent, CI said.

Money laundering

Over 40% of CI’s investigations focused on money laundering. Money laundering is, in its most basic form, the hiding or returning of money. Most often, it is used to cover up “dirty money” earned through criminal activity so that it can appear “clean” or legitimate. Today, CI claims that criminals are moving illicit earnings using various businesses, such as banks, money issuers, brokerage houses, casinos, and virtual money changers. The flow of illegal funds around the world is estimated at hundreds of billions of dollars.

CI’s special agents are trained to track money through traditional and virtual financial banking systems. CI chief Jim Lee noted that “the speed at which money is flowing today is almost instantaneous,” making it easier for criminals to exploit the latest technological advances. CI is committed, he says, to staying one step ahead of these developments.

Sometimes technological and tax crimes collide. This year, for example, CI saw the very first conviction of a Bitcoin case with a tax component. In this case, a former Microsoft employee, Volodymyr Kvashuk, was convicted in a scheme to embezzle more than $ 10 million from the company, using a bitcoin mixer to hide taxable income. Online mixers are companies that pool cryptocurrency funds and create a series of new transactions to disguise the source of the funds, like an ultra-sophisticated version of money laundering. Kvashuk used the money to buy a waterfront property and a Tesla before being found guilty of 18 counts – including wire fraud, money laundering and filing false claims. income – and sentenced to nine years in federal prison, CI said.

Tax evasion and tax evasion

IRS-CI agents spent most of their investigative hours in the past fiscal year (about 72%) investigating tax-related crimes like tax evasion and tax evasion.

General tax fraud investigations are at the heart of CI’s law enforcement efforts. This is because the integrity of our tax system depends heavily on the willingness of taxpayers to properly file their income tax returns and pay the resulting tax. And most taxpayers – just over 80% according to the IRS – pay voluntarily and on time.

But those who deliberately under-report or omit income from their tax returns represent a sizable balance. According to the Treasury, “the ‘tax gap’ – the difference between taxes due and collected – totals about $ 600 billion a year” and “is equal to 3% of GDP, or all income taxes paid by the lowest paid 90% of taxpayers. . ”

Pandemic fraud

The pandemic has also created opportunities for crooks and criminals. As part of its investigations, CI examined fraudulent claims involving economically impacted payments (i.e. stimulus checks), Paycheck Protection Program (or P3) loans, and credits. employer retention (ERC). In one case, David T. Hines of Miami, Florida pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining nearly $ 4 million in PPP loans, which he used to purchase, among other things, a Lamborghini Huracan sports car.

In another case, Dinesh Sah of Coppell, Texas, was sentenced to more than ten years in prison, in connection with efforts to secure approximately $ 24.8 million in PPP loans by submitting 15 fraudulent claims. He used the money to pay off mortgages in California, buy homes in Texas and buy several luxury cars, CI said.

Undercover operations

CI uses various techniques in its investigations, including undercover. In fiscal 2021, agents conducted approximately 292 covert operations in areas focused on unscrupulous tax preparers, offshore tax regimes, money launderers, dark web market operators and the ‘tax evasion.

The department has a certain reputation for infiltration: almost 100 years earlier, in 1929, Agent Michael Malone, a member of the new IRS intelligence unit, precursor to CI, had successfully infiltrated the gang of ‘Al Capone in Chicago, resulting in putting Capone behind bars. Malone was an undercover agent in other notable tax evasion cases, including those targeting Irving Wexler, better known as Waxey Gorden, and Leon Gleckman, the “Al Capone of St. Paul”.

If that sounds like the kind of thing that requires special training, you’re not wrong. CI begins training at the National Criminal Investigation Training Academy — NCITA — located at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, Georgia. New special constables receive training in areas such as basic criminal investigation skills, federal criminal law, court procedures, law enforcement operations, interview skills and training on the job. firearms. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, CI graduated 124 new special agents in the past fiscal year.

Annual Report

More information about CI can be found in the annual report, which includes case examples for each U.S. field office, an overview of CI’s international footprint, details of the specialist services provided by CI, and investigation statistics. , broken down by discipline, for the last fiscal year.

“The annual report provides an overview of the important work that our special constables and professional staff have accomplished over the past fiscal year,” said Lee. “They have identified more than $ 10 billion in tax evasion and other financial crimes, including the seizure of $ 3.5 billion worth of ill-gotten cryptocurrency gains.”

But that’s not what Lee focused on.

“Looking back to 2021, I am very proud of our employees,” he said. “They tenaciously overcame personal and professional challenges during the COVID pandemic and continued to serve the American people by protecting the tax system that funds our country’s services and benefits. These aren’t just good numbers for a pandemic year, these are good numbers, period. “

This is a weekly column by Kelly Phillips Erb, the Taxgirl. Erb provides commentary on the latest tax news, tax law and tax policy. Find Erb’s weekly column in Bloomberg Tax and follow her on Twitter at @taxgirl.

Real Estate Insider: The troubled Corktown apartment building with no owner Tue, 30 Nov 2021 19:23:02 +0000

Uralli is a household name in Detroit real estate, having first come to town as an investor in Florida in 2008, drawn by the lower prices of solid historic buildings.

Today, he owns the Detroit Club, a private social club located at 712 Cass Ave. which he has owned since 2013 after buying it for $ 1 million. It reopened several years later after undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation after a flood destroyed much of the 1892 Neo-Romanesque building. But before that, it entered the ground floor of the rise of Detroit real estate.

Uralli had only paid $ 922,000 for the David Stott building at 1150 Griswold St. after a lender foreclosed on his mortgage in 2010, and $ 1.65 million for the old Detroit Free Press building, located at 321 W. Lafayette Blvd., in December 2008, according to land registers.

“These are buildings that were built in the 1920s, and I am buying them for less than it cost to build them at that time in history,” he told Crain’s in late 2011. .

“There is no better value anywhere in the world. And that is why I am here.”

In October 2013, he sold the David Stott building for $ 9.4 million and the old Detroit Free Press building for $ 4.2 million to a Shanghai-based investment firm called DDI Group in October 2013 for a total of $ 13.6 million, about $ 11 million more than what he paid for the buildings. DDI, which was effectively kicked out of the city due to poor management and maintenance of its buildings, was not too bad at pulling out.

Dan Gilbert paid $ 14.9 million for the David Stott and, later, $ 8.425 million for the Detroit Free Press building, almost $ 10 million more than what DDI paid for them. Both properties have since been converted to mixed-use apartment buildings at market rates called The Stott and The Press / 321, respectively.

Tampa monthly rent up 30%, averaging over $ 2,000, study finds Thu, 25 Nov 2021 16:11:26 +0000

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A new study of steadily rising rental costs in the United States has found that the average Tampa rent per month is just over $ 2,000. The annual rent variation is now 30.5%.

Both rental costs and mortgages are on the rise. The average cost of a monthly mortgage in Tampa is up 25.3% from a year ago to $ 1,301. Rent on the Tampa subway averages $ 2,059, but the study did not say whether the average was for all apartments and rentals, or certain types, like one or two bedrooms.

The Redfin study also said that “skyrocketing rents in some of the most desirable cities suggest there is an overall shortage of homes, and not just homes for sale.”

Florida Realtors survey data agrees. Studies in Florida from October found that the available inventory of single-family homes, townhouses, and condos for sale in the state had declined significantly and more buyers were paying cash in 2021 for their news. houses.

Redfin examined the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States for changes in rental costs over the past year. Only one major metro has seen rental prices drop, St. Louis, Missouri, where rents are down 4%.

Redfin’s analysis notes in its study that “the prices in this report reflect the current costs of new leases and mortgages during each period. In other words, the average rent of $ 3,343 in the Anaheim metro area is not the average of what all tenants pay, but the average cost of apartments available to new tenants in August 2021. ”

Among the top 10 metropolitan areas with the fastest rising rents, ranked in the study, four of the cities are in Florida. West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami are the top three, with Seattle and Jacksonville finishing in the top five.

“The metropolitan areas with the biggest increases in rent prices – up more than 30% – were in Florida, Washington state, Oregon, Texas and New York,” according to Redfin.

Here is the ranking of each of the top 10 subways, with the increase in their rent over the past year.

  1. West Palm Beach, Florida (36%)
  2. Fort Lauderdale, Florida (36%)
  3. Miami, Florida (36%)
  4. Seattle, Washington (32%)
  5. Jacksonville, Florida (32%)
  6. Portland, Oregon (31%)
  7. Austin, Texas (31%)
  8. Newark, NJ (31%)
  9. Nassau County, NY (31%)
  10. New York, NY (31%)
Investors are buying houses in Tampa Bay at record rates, creating stiff competition Wed, 24 Nov 2021 22:01:29 +0000

For Lou Brown, a real estate agent for a company in Midtown St. Petersburg, it was unusual to represent a potential candidate. buyer who lost the home of their choice in a bidding war against an investor.

Now it is harder to think of cases where this has not happened.

“It’s very difficult for regular homebuyers… to compete with investors who are going out with their higher bids,” he said. “It is exactly what time it is. “

From July to September, investors bought homes in Tampa Bay at an all-time high, according to data analyzed by Redfin which began measuring in 2000. During those three months, one in four homes that were sold had an investor as the buyer. , for a gross total of nearly 5,000 properties.

Tampa Bay’s share of investor purchases was even higher than the record national average of 18%, ranking it as the seventh hottest metropolitan area for investors nationwide. No state other than Florida had more than one city in the top 10. The Sunshine State had four with Jacksonville at No. 4, Miami at No. 5 and Orlando at No. 8.

This chart shows the percentage of nationwide home purchases that were made by investors, which hit a record high in the third quarter. [ Courtesy of Redfin ]

This high concentration of investors has made it difficult for regular homebuyers using mortgages, which are easily outbid by companies that pay everything in cash, often at more than the asking price. Some of the most active activities take place in the pockets of Tampa Bay which include the few remaining affordable options, charging longtime residents, many of whom are minorities.

Local tenants trying to own property are the most affected, said Sheharyar Bokhari, senior economist at Redfin.

“Not only do they have to compete with other homebuyers coming from New York with a lot more money, but there are also investors who have everything in cash,” he said. “For these people, this is really concerning.”

With house prices growing about 20% in Tampa last year, people are “out of the woods” to make quick cash by flipping, Bokhari said.

“Some markets like Florida and the Sunbelt, they’ve seen a lot of people move there in the last year or so, and these are areas where (investors are) the most present.”

Investors began to become more important players in the real estate market after the real estate crash that led to the Great Recession.

But recent spikes in house prices and rents as well as stock market volatility during the pandemic has made investing in residential real estate even more attractive, Bokhari said. Flipping and renting houses are two lucrative propositions.

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Redfin defines “investors” as buyers with certain keywords in their names, including “LLC”, “Trust” and “Corp.” Which aim to capture both large institutional real estate investment firms and moms and dads. companies. Redfin compiled its data by combing through the county property records.

In the third quarter, one in four home purchases in Tampa Bay was made by an investor, a record.
In the third quarter, one in four home purchases in Tampa Bay was made by an investor, a record. [ Courtesy of Redfin ]

Chris Lai, a Tampa real estate agent with People’s Choice Realty, has noticed more investors. And they have recently started to behave in new ways. For a while, these buyers would focus only on new construction. Now they are also salvaging old homes, he said, and are generally interested in anything under $ 500,000. For these properties, investors are prepared to exceed the asking price, he said.

“It’s not the good old days,” Lai said. “They are ready to exceed appraised now. It never was, but… they’re here for the long haul. “

The high investor interest is good news for some, including homeowners who see their homes’ value skyrocket, said Michael Thompson, a Pinellas-based real estate agent with Keller Williams.

“People who maybe bought their house three or four years ago (…) are already sitting on gold mines,” he said. “All of this is being driven, in my opinion, by these hungry investors, cash buyers, first time buyers.”

All the activity is another indicator of the skyrocketing increase in the desirability of Tampa Bay for people flocking from across the country, Thompson said. Even though Tampa Bay prices have skyrocketed, they are still relatively cheap for people traveling to high-cost cities of New York and California, fueling “loads of cash purchases,” he said. declared.

Yet Thompson also represents a first-time buyer who has been looking for a home on and off for nine months. His client was recently beaten over a house in Clearwater for which he had offered $ 10,000 above the asking price. It closed for an additional $ 70,000.

“It all depends on which side of the fence you are on,” Thompson said. For regular shoppers, “he created this Wild West, kind of a chaotic downtown cowboy shootout.”

Some Tampa Bay zip codes are particularly magnetic to investors, according to Redfin’s analysis. St. Petersburg’s 33712, where Brown’s office is located in the southern part of the city, ranked No.1 with 37% of its third-quarter purchases coming from investors. The number 2 was 33570 in Ruskin at 35 percent, and the Ybor City zip code 33605 was in third at 34 percent.

This map shows the top five Tampa Bay zip codes with the highest percentage of home purchases made by investors.
This map shows the top five Tampa Bay zip codes with the highest percentage of home purchases made by investors. [ Times ]

These three zip codes have higher percentages of black or Hispanic residents and lower median household incomes than the Tampa Bay average, Census the data shows.

Brown, a longtime St. Petersburg resident and real estate agent, said he understands cheaper homes in his area are good values. But the high concentration of shopping also drives up costs for the many black families who have lived there for years, many of whom are renters.

“It was the zip code that suffered the most, that suffered all kinds of declines from the 1950s. As African Americans moved into neighborhoods, whites moved and there were more. difficult to obtain financing, property values ​​were falling, ”he said.

Brown said he’s seen similar trends in other cities across the United States, but it’s been “interesting” to see them happening “right in front of you.”

“Before, everyone was investing on the north side, until it was saturated, then they came from the south side,” he said. “To hell with affordable housing. “

Brown said today’s trends are almost the opposite of white theft.

“Sometimes there is a feeling of urban remoteness because they wait for the property to reach its lowest level and for the lower end of the (income) scale to live there,” he said. he declares. “All of a sudden, the inhabitants who were there are no longer there.

How Buying a Home Nowadays Can Affect Your Mental Health Mon, 22 Nov 2021 05:10:29 +0000

While looking for a home this summer, first-time buyer Xinyu Li felt emotionally overwhelmed. She and her boyfriend saw several rejected offers, and Xinyu compulsively checked the ads online.

“It was a lot of stress and anxiety,” she says. “I had to go to therapy.

Xinyu’s psychotherapist advised her on mindfulness strategies and suggested that she only check the online ads once a day. After Xinyu closed a condo in New York City and no longer spent endless hours looking for a home, she felt better and stopped seeing her therapist.

Buying a home is a stressful experience, even in normal times. Partly because of the size of the deal – a home is the biggest purchase most people make. Then there are the emotional considerations about lifestyle issues such as commute times, the quality of schools, and neighborhood crime rates.

Raising the ante for the sanity of homebuyers, the 2021 housing market is anything but normal. Prices are at record highs, stocks are very tight, and bidding wars are common.

These market conditions have escalated an always difficult process into one that can test the sanity of even the most experienced homebuyer.

“There is a deeply emotional connection to home ownership in general,” says Ryan Gorman, President and CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate. “In a difficult market and a market with limited stocks. There are more buyers than homes to buy. When something is emotionally important to you, financially important to you, and difficult, it can be quite stressful.

House prices on a tear

During the coronavirus pandemic, house prices have increased at double-digit rates. The typical American home sold for $ 352,800 in September, up from $ 311,500 a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors.

In Xinyu’s case, the stakes were even higher. She and her boyfriend paid $ 882,000 for their condo in Brooklyn.

These are the kinds of numbers that create high pressure situations, says Dan Ariely, behavioral economist at Duke University and author of Predictably Irrational and other books.

“All big purchases have the potential to create a lot of stress,” Ariely says. “By definition, big purchases mean that any mistake can be big. It’s inherent.

Bidding wars make many losers

While buying a home is always stressful, today’s inventory shortage adds a new wrinkle: Buyers with sharp elbows are fighting each other for homes.

Only one person wins a bidding war. If there are a dozen buyers vying for a home, 11 are losers.

“The biggest source of disappointment for buyers is losing a property,” says Xinyu broker James McGrath of Yoreevo real estate brokerage firm. “To avoid disappointment as much as possible, it is important to have appropriate expectations. Losing it always stings, but if a buyer knows their odds are 25 percent instead of 95 percent, it won’t be so disappointing.

Of course, the level of competition adds a new layer of stress. Buyers know they must bid aggressively to win in a bidding war, but this reality adds the risk of overpaying.

“A hellish experience”

The first buyer John Dempsey moved into his new premises in early November. He paid $ 255,000 for a townhouse in Wilton Manors, Florida.

The victory only came after a months-long home search which he describes as “a hellish experience”. Dempsey has lost auction wars over six properties – after each time imagining himself moving into the house he didn’t own.

“You place a very small piece of your heart in the house. And then all of a sudden the rug rips out from under you, ”Dempsey says. “You start to get discouraged. “

Dempsey struggled with an agent who often took hours to respond to his requests. He eventually moved on to a buyers agent with, the real estate and mortgage company where Dempsey works as an executive assistant.

“She was so communicative,” Dempsey says. “She said, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll have it.'”

Dempsey is happy at home in his new home, and says the experience has underscored the importance of feelings in the home buying process.

“I think people are forgetting the emotional connection that home has,” Dempsey says. “For me, home is your comfort. It is your peace.

How to Face a Tough Home Selling Market

Homebuyers often focus on the numbers. What is my credit rating? Where are the mortgage rates? How many houses can I afford? What deposit do I have to pay?

But emotions can be just as important, especially in an unbalanced market. Here are some tactics and tips to calm your mind and maintain your sanity:

  • Understand how crazy this market is. Gorman of Coldwell Banker suggests a “level-setting conversation” with your real estate agent to establish expectations regarding price, pace and level of competition. “Even if you’ve bought a home before, this market isn’t what it used to be,” Gorman says.
  • Prepare to lose. “Losing is no fun, whether it’s a game of checkers or auctioning a house,” says Gorman. The deep emotional issues involved in buying a home make the loss especially difficult.
  • Your pace. Xinyu’s frantic search for listings didn’t leave her close to landing a property. “There’s kind of a paradox there,” Gorman says. “I’m not sure that a long google search is going to give you more information. Hitting the refresh every 5 seconds probably stresses you out and doesn’t really help you.
  • Find an agent to guide you through the process. Dempsey says his first agent’s spotty communication messed up the process for him. Gorman is not surprised. “A lack of information creates a void that is often filled by fear,” he says. Gorman says “a calm conversation with a trained agent” is crucial.
  • Embrace the mindset of inevitability. Ariely says you should eliminate the yes or no part of the decision. “People need a new home, and there’s no option not to get one,” he says. By getting rid of that bit of uncertainty, you can focus on choosing the right home.
  • Give yourself a time limit. Ariely proposes, for example, to set a deadline of three months. Within that time frame, accept the best property you can find.

Learn more:

Expert expects ‘credit card debt explosion’ ahead of vacation – CBS Miami Thu, 18 Nov 2021 23:03:17 +0000

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – In Florida, the average credit card balance is just over $ 5,500 and experts say we risk creating more debt.

“We are going to see an explosion in credit card debt,” said Deanne Butchey, professor in the FIU’s Department of Finance.

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Many people have benefited from stimulus funds, child care funds and other government programs, but those safety nets are ending or have ended.

Butchey told CBSMiami, “The problem is, if you had savings, if you had stimulus money or tax credits, that was good, but very quickly that money ran out. So unfortunately people are going to accumulate this credit card debt. “

Americans owe $ 807 billion on nearly 506 million card accounts.

The median debt per American family is $ 2,700, while the average debt is $ 6,270. This figure of $ 5,500 for Florida’s debt puts us ninth in the country.

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“We have to recognize that the stimulus money has dried up. people need to finance their lifestyle and they probably will with credit card debt, ”Butchey said.

Then there’s inflation, which has driven prices up and we’re entering the holiday season, where plastic often flies in line.

“The wonderful thing about Prime is that you spend $ 10 today, and tomorrow you spend an additional $ 10, those dollars add up. Add up on your credit card where the average credit card rate – compounded daily – is 18 and a quarter percent, which is very high when you compare it to auto loans and home loans.

A monthly credit card balance can quickly get out of hand.

“People forget that credit card debt is extremely expensive,” Butchey said.

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The good news is that people typically pay off their credit card debt, and the spike in delinquency that some analysts feared at the start of the pandemic has yet to materialize.

How Douglas Elliman will deliver stock-based compensation Wed, 17 Nov 2021 14:02:00 +0000

Douglas Elliman Inc. CEO Howard Lorber and 4400 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, Florida 33137 (Getty, Google Maps)

The new publicly traded Douglas Elliman will look a lot like the old one, but if investors cooperate he will be taller, richer, and based more than 1,200 miles from his longtime home on Madison Avenue.

And no, it’s not just about severing ties with its parent company, tobacco conglomerate Vector Group, as Elliman said when he announced the spin-off last week. In documents filed with regulators Nov. 10, the company touted its ability to retain talent with stock-based compensation and use access to capital markets to target acquisitions and invest in cutting-edge technology. .

While some details remain vague – and the company declined to comment – it is clear from the record that executives envision a company better equipped to compete nationally with public competitors ranging from Realogy’s brands to Compass.

Biggest change: Elliman’s corporate headquarters will be located at 4400 Biscayne Boulevard, the same address as Vector, instead of the New York offices that have long housed CEO Howard Lorber and most of the senior executives and agents of the brokerage house. Although Elliman has not detailed his decision to move, many companies have moved to Florida in recent months citing lower taxes and a more user-friendly business environment. The brokerage itself, run by Scott Durkin, as well as property management and development marketing, will remain in New York City, Elliman said.

While strengthening his position in New York, South Florida, California, Colo and Texas, Elliman said he also plans to enter and expand into new markets. He’s bullish about the market: Average home prices, in New York City in particular, will rise through the remainder of 2021 and through 2022, Elliman said.

Elliman also hopes his new structure will allow the company to offer more attractive incentive compensation that will “improve” hiring and retention and be more aligned with its business and growth plans. Hopefully, the company said a sustained stock price will support merger opportunities without diluting Vector shareholders.

He also hinted that the average commissions earned by agents, 5.3% in 2017 and 4.9% in 2020, could increase. The national rate is now around 5.8%, Elliman said, citing data from HomeLight.

“This expanding market presents significant commission income opportunities,” Elliman wrote.

Risks abound, as the company noted on the file.

Elliman said his stock, which will trade under the symbol DOUG on the New York Stock Exchange, could be volatile as his fortunes will be inextricably tied to the plight of the housing market without the “more predictable cash flow” of tobacco and money. real estate. investment firms.

Here’s a breakdown of Elliman’s new features once the spin-off ends. It is subject to approval by Vector’s board of directors and the SEC and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Action rewards

Only one other major New York brokerage, Compass, provides the opportunity for agents to tap into their own firm’s equity, and this quickly became a sought-after advantage during the firm’s aggressive recruiting drive. Eight months after its IPO, however, the stock has lost 45% of its value.

Now Elliman can bring his own actions to the table. The company will have 10 million shares to offer as a reward to agents, employees, executives and acquisition targets, according to a management incentive plan filed by the company. This figure will increase by up to 4 percent per year. Elliman has set general criteria for qualifying for stocks, although he hasn’t revealed exactly how he would structure them.

“The purpose of the plan is to attract and retain employees, non-employee directors and consultants and to provide additional incentives to these people in line with the long-term success of the business of the company,” Elliman wrote. in the file. Retention has averaged around 90 percent over the past three years.


The company is also setting the stage for cash awards, which will be set by Elliman’s compensation committee, made up of directors appointed by the board. The committee will administer all of the company’s actions and cash rewards and may delegate its duties to Lorber, who will continue to use Vector’s private jet, car and driver, $ 7,500 per month in expenses, and two memberships to one. club, according to the record.

Not for everybody

However, Elliman’s new stock and cash rewards will not be standard company policy. The terms of Elliman’s 10-year management plan specifically state that the rewards will not be standardized.

“The company is not obligated to extend uniform treatment to participants under the plan,” Elliman said in the filing. “The terms and conditions of the rewards do not have to be the same for each participant. “

Participants have been defined in the plan as employees, non-employee directors and agents who have been “selected” by the compensation committee to receive awards.

UPDATE: This story has been updated to add in the fourth paragraph that the brokerage itself will remain in New York.

Patriot Bank of Connecticut Announces Merger to Become “Largest Digital Bank” in United States Mon, 15 Nov 2021 18:54:23 +0000 STAMFORD – The parent company of Stamford-based Patriot Bank on Monday announced a merger to create the ‘largest digital bank in the United States’, but officials say they are keeping branches open and not planning layoffs .

Through a “reverse branch merger,” Patriot National Bancorp will acquire American Challenger Development Corp., which was formed in January 2020 to establish a new digital national bank headquartered in Stamford.

Patriot is the latest of several Connecticut banks to announce a merger deal this year. People’s United Bank, based in Bridgeport, is acquired by M&T Bank, and Webster Bank, based in Waterbury, is combining with Sterling National Bank.

“The markets are moving towards a more digital banking environment. For Patriot, this is a transformative opportunity to move to the forefront of the future of the bank, ”said in an interview Patriot Chairman Michael Carrazza, who will remain on the board of directors of the company as vice president after the merger. “Patriot will remain intact, which creates even more opportunities for its employees and customers. “

Following the announcement, Patriot shares closed at around $ 15 on Monday, a 50% jump from Friday. Once the merger is complete, Patriot will continue to operate under the symbol “PNBK”.

The merger, which has an “implied total transaction value” of approximately $ 119 million, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022. To support the transaction, Patriot announced deals with investors to provide $ 540 million in as part of an $ 890 million recapitalization program.

Patriot has 130 employees and operates branches in Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, Milford, Norwalk, Orange, Stamford, Westport, as well as Scarsdale, NY. at Westfield Trumbull Shopping Center. In addition, it has Small Business Administration loan offices in Stamford and various locations in Florida, Georgia and Ohio, as well as an operations center in Rhode Island.

“This merger is about construction, not consolidation,” Carrazza said. “We intend to hire more employees – especially in the state of Connecticut – and not let anyone go.”

Raymond Quinlan, CEO and board member of American Challenger, will serve as CEO of the merged company.

“We are building a digital bank that will leverage the best of technology and operational excellence to serve our customers and our communities,” Quinlan said in a statement. “This will be evident in the design and pricing of our banking products, in our delivery of high quality personalized services and in our clear commitment to corporate social responsibility. We believe in “banking for good” and through our actions we will demonstrate that we are a goal-oriented financial institution. “

American Challenger will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Patriot, and the bank will operate in two divisions. The Patriot Bank division will continue to operate the existing Patriot Bank business alongside a US Challenger division.

Patriot will adopt American Challenger’s proprietary technology platform for its operations, allowing the bank “to operate with a largely fixed technology cost structure, unlike the typical and more variable cost structure of most banks,” said company officials said in their announcement.

“We have a world class team,” said Carrazza. “Second, we have significant capital. Third, we have a team that can execute and a track record to back it up. And we have a compliant, well-functioning platform from which to launch. These four ingredients will make it America’s largest digital bank. There is no other competitor who has all of these ingredients.

Customers can expect to see post-merger benefits, including “competitive rates” on its products and offerings such as video customer service, account opening and funding initiation in less than one hour. minute, as well as mortgages that close in as little as 20 days, according to Patriot officials.

“The branch network will remain in place,” Carrazza said. “Customers are free to continue using the traditional banking network. This increases it by allowing these abilities to be digitally distant. “

As of September 30, Patriot was operating with total assets of approximately $ 952 million, net loans of approximately $ 705 million, and total deposits of approximately $ 735 million. For the first nine months of 2021, it recorded net interest income of nearly $ 19 million, up 16% from the same period in 2020.

Also on Monday, American Challenger announced plans to launch a strategic partnership with a subsidiary of Sunlight Financial Holding, a funding platform for solar and energy efficient home improvement projects in the United States, as part of a program of loan-to-buy of up to $ 1.75 billion. The initiative will focus on loans for solar power systems, as well as battery storage.

“American Challenger was founded to share digital profitability with the consumer through better pricing and bring a new banking experience to the segment of the population that research shows is looking for a partner to help them achieve even more, a simpler and smarter way. American Challenger President and Chairman Felix Scherzer said in a statement. “This segment consists of sophisticated consumers of banking products and services, spanning generations ranging from Generation Y to ‘Gen X’; from those who have started to build their personal wealth, to enterprising people in their prime.; twitter: @paulschott

Even Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been hit by soaring housing prices caused by the pandemic Fri, 05 Nov 2021 17:38:00 +0000

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  • Photo by Elise Elder / Fresh Take Florida

Count Governor Ron DeSantis among the owners with the seller’s regret? The waterfront home near Jacksonville that DeSantis owned for nearly a decade until it was sold after moving into the Florida governor’s mansion has been valued about 50% since the deal .

This means that DeSantis effectively lost $ 232,000 selling it just a year before the pandemic caused housing prices to spike in the United States. In an interview, the new owners of the house in Ponte Vedra Beach said they were enjoying their good fortune – and didn’t even know they were buying the governor’s house until months after the deal was struck.

DeSantis, 43, lives with his wife and children in the governor’s mansion in Tallahassee and currently does not own any property, according to government financial disclosure documents he submitted a few months ago. He estimated his net worth at $ 348,832, of which about $ 164,000 he and his wife took advantage of when they sold the house for $ 460,000. It is now worth around $ 692,000.

The governor apparently put the proceeds from the sale of this house in a conservative financial account with the USAA which has risen in value from $ 205,000 to $ 235,000 over the past year, an increase of about 14%, according to records. That’s less than half of what the S&P 500 earned over the same period.

The governor could have used the money: he is hardly rich by the standards of politicians of such national importance. He still owes over $ 22,000 in student loans from his years at Yale, where he graduated in 2001, and Harvard, where he graduated in 2005.

In contrast, former Governor Rick Scott estimated his fortune to be at least $ 255 million when he became a United States Senator. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., A Democratic primary candidate to challenge DeSantis for re-election, is worth at least $ 1.5 million, according to financial reports he filed in August. Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who was running against Crist to take on DeSantis in November, estimated her net worth at $ 970,244.

No one thinks that DeSantis’ top-earning years are not ahead of him: after leaving office, big politicians can become highly paid network commentators or earn big bucks by lobbying, writing commentaries. books, giving speeches or consulting in politics.

“He could continue in politics indefinitely,” said Mac Stipanovich, a respected former lobbyist and political activist. “Or he’ll go back into the private sector and do pretty well because he’s a former governor of Florida.”

DeSantis first bought the house in Ponte Vedra Beach in 2009 for $ 307,500 and took out a mortgage for $ 314,111 – a year before marrying his wife, Casey, and several years before getting involved in politics. Most recently, he’s been praising him since at least 2017, when DeSantis was in Congress in Washington, records show.

The governor, who now earns $ 134,181 a year, said through his press secretary Christina Pushaw that the family had sold the house to avoid maintaining a separate residence outside the governor’s mansion. At the time, he owed at least $ 263,000 on the mortgage. As a member of Congress, DeSantis earned $ 174,000 per year.

The governor’s financial records showed he had earned up to $ 5,500 the previous year by occasionally renting the house, but its rising value meant that property taxes alone would have exceeded $ 5,000 a year, leaving almost no more rental money to pay off the principal and interest on the loan.

Adding to the pain caused by the sale, DeSantis initially put the home up for sale for $ 485,000, but ended up accepting $ 25,000 less than the asking price two months later, according to records. The pandemic hit the United States less than a year later and the home’s value has skyrocketed.

The three-bedroom, one-story home with a large palm tree to the front and a swimming pool to the rear sits among well-maintained upper-middle-class suburban homes littered with holiday decorations in a golf community in waterfront south of downtown Jacksonville and north of St. Augustine.

The new owners are retirees Ellen and Jim Healey. Healey worked as a mortgage banker while his wife worked for the Department of Defense. They briefly rented the house until they moved there permanently from Georgia in 2020.

The couple – she’s a Democrat, he’s a Republican – said they spent about $ 85,000 renovating bathrooms, paving a back patio and renovating the pool. Neither see themselves as boosters for DeSantis, claiming they disagreed with the governor’s pandemic policies.

“We are not against him, but we are not for him,” said Ms Healey, 58.

The couple never met DeSantis when the property was sold and said they didn’t know who owned the house until a family member told them about it.

A local real estate agent, TJ Jarosik of Ormond Beach, said market prices have risen during the pandemic in a way no one expected, but have started to stabilize. The homes generated multiple offers, above asking price, on the first day they were listed.

“Interest rates are historically low, and with everything shutting down since the onset of COVID-19, I think a lot of people and businesses have realized they don’t have to be in the office every day. Said Jarosik.

Pushaw attributed DeSantis’ policies to the strength of Florida’s economy, including house prices.

“Governor DeSantis is aware that home values ​​have increased across Florida,” she said. She added that her decisions as governor “have strengthened our state’s economy despite the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The house near Jacksonville was not the only house that once belonged to the governor. DeSantis left Ponte Vedra Beach in 2016 as the boundaries of Congress shifted, placing his former home in Florida’s 4th Congressional District.

DeSantis and his wife bought a three-bedroom Palm Coast home for $ 242,000 in October 2016, just before he was last elected to the United States House in Florida’s 6th Congressional District, according to real estate records for Flagler County, along Florida’s east coast.

This means that for nearly two years, from late 2016 until mid-2018, the DeSantis family, with two young children, simultaneously took out two mortgages on two modest homes in Florida while she was then Rep. DeSantis juggled life in Washington. He slept on a couch in his office in the US Capitol, showered in House’s gym.

The family sold this home in May 2018 – during their campaign to become governor – for $ 275,000 after trying unsuccessfully for six months to sell it for up to $ 324,900, records show. The buyer was Marc Rhoades, a former Kansas Republican lawmaker and White House official under the Reagan administration, who still owns the house. Its value is now estimated at around $ 425,000.

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Surfside Victims Attys ask to postpone mediation on fund split Wed, 03 Nov 2021 17:45:00 +0000
By Carolina Bolado (Nov 3, 2021, 1:45 p.m. EDT) – Lawyers representing victims of the Champlain Towers South condominium collapse told a Florida judge on Wednesday that their second attempt at mediation on how to divide the fund had collapsed and suggested postponing another trial until after the property was sold.

On June 24, the partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside, Florida claimed the lives of 98 people. (AP Photo / Gerald Herbert, File) In a Zoom hearing before Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman, the group’s senior lawyers explained that they had worked in good faith a second time to negotiate funds for those who have lost property and those who …

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