Arizona Republic: “Scottsdale is fighting a lawsuit filed by two residents who claim the city’s contribution toward improvements at the McDowell Mountain Golf Club constitutes an illegal subsidy. . . . John Washington, a former Scottsdale mayoral candidate, and Mark Stuart, a business owner, sued Scottsdale after the City Council signed off on a deal to contribute $1.5 million toward renovations at the north Scottsdale clubhouse.
Arizona Republic: “Frank Becerra Campos, 66, of San Diego, and two other men ran advance-fee mortgage-rescue companies that collected at least $669,743 in up-front fees from more than 260 homeowners ‘in exchange for loan modification services they utterly failed to provide,’ according to court documents. . . . Under two business names, the men charged up-front fees ranging from $2,500 to $4,500 and promised homeowners their mortgage principal balance and monthly payments would be reduced by about 25 percent, a news release by federal prosecutors said. Court documents said, ‘Not a single homeowner received a reduction in the principal balance on their mortgage loan’.”
Azcentral.com: “A federal appeals court has rebuffed a bid by the four managers of a bankrupt Arizona company to escape paying a $3.7 million verdict for securities fraud. . . . The judges also called it ‘undisputed’ that all four knew they were committing fraud by lying to investors about the nature of what they were getting. . . . The Arizona Corporation Commission earlier this year ordered Tom Hirsch, Harish Shah, and Howard and Berta ‘Bunny’ Walder, along with an affiliated entity, to pay $189.8 million in restitution and more than $4.6 million in administrative penalties for defrauding investors.”
The lawsuit arises from $190 million in investments made by an Arizona company called Radical Bunny, LLC, into a failed company called Mortgages, Ltd.
Bottom Line: If you offer to sell or sell a security, you must comply with federal and state securities laws or a court will find you liable to repay the losses suffered by the investors. See an experienced securities lawyer before you offer or sell a security such as stock or membership interests in a limited liability company when people are investing substantial amounts of money.
Arizona like the rest of the country has suffered through the real estate bust. Many prognosticators predicted that people who lost homes through foreclosures and short sales would be out of the real estate market for many years due to the bad credit that arises from defaulting on a home loan. The good news is that the prognosticators may have been wrong. A story in the Arizona Republic says:
“Thousands of new Phoenix-area homeowners are proving the experts wrong. These ‘boomerang buyers’ — so called by real-estate insiders because they were out of the market and have now come back — have returned as a major market force much earlier than expected. Many buyers are qualifying for a new loan only a few years after defaulting on their last mortgage.”
If you have an existing FHA loan on your primary residence and a fairly good credit score, you may be able to take advantage of the FHA Streamlined Refinancing Program, which eliminates many of the complex steps involved in a typical FHA refinance. No appraisal is required as long as the borrower reduces their payment by 5 percent, which has caused many to liken this program to the HARP 2.0 program.
Key requirements of the FHA Streamlined Program include the following:
- Your original FHA loan must have been taken prior to 2009.
- You must have made payments on time for at least one year and must be current on your payments at the time of application.
- Your lender must be FHA approved.
- You must have owned the property for at least 6 months prior to refinancing.
- You will be limited to the amount of your original loan unless you pay for a new appraisal to show that the home value has increased.
The Arizona Housing Department awarded $20 million in tax credits to 18 projects last week and has worked out deals for the projects to be completed in almost half the time. These credits are expected to save each developer approximately $1 million on new Arizona projects and encourage additional housing development over the next decade. Read more…