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South Florida residents fight for real estate deposits

Another South Florida condo-hotel is scheduled for sale on March 14 at a foreclosure auction in Fort Lauderdale. The sale of the property was ordered by the Broward County Circuit Court as part of a foreclosure judgment filed against the developer by the loan holder. The property was once linked to the famous real estate tycoon Donald Trump.

According to the Circuit Court, the developer owes the loan holder $140.6 million in principal and an additional $25 million in interest for a grand total of $165.6 million. The developer reportedly never completed construction of the Fort Lauderdale condo-hotel, and many of the condo buyers sued to recover deposits.

According to Donald Trump, his involvement with the property was fairly tenuous. He told a local news source that developers of the South Florida project licensed his name to sell units. The property was initially advertised as the Trump International Hotel and Tower. It was said to be a $200 million project. Apparently, more than 100 people put down deposits on condos.

Whenever someone purchases a property, such as a condo, home or business, it is important that the buyer and seller are clear about each other's obligations. Sometimes real estate transactions become extremely complicated, requiring contract negotiations to make a closing truly equitable. Too often, people's expectations are undermined by surprises or delays, and sometimes skilled advice is necessary to help oversee all of the real estate documents and help protect a client's interests should the transaction take an unexpected turn.

Source: palmbeachpost.com, "Unfinished Trump condo-hotel in Fort Lauderdale for sale March 14," Doreen Hemlock, February 21, 2012

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