Former Miami Dolphins, Joey Porter and Daunte Culpepper, facing foreclosure in Florida

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Don’t blame embattled Miami Dolphins General Manager, Jeff Ireland, for the latest bad National Football League (NFL) news to emanate from South Florida.

Retired four-time All-Pro linebacker Joey Porter, who played for the “Fins” from 2007 to 2009, and three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Daunte Culpepper who barely lasted one season on the roster (2006), are both currently facing foreclosure in the same “Sunshine State” neighborhood. South Florida Business Journal reports (here and here) that Porter is delinquent on his $2.8 million mortgage that he took out on a 10,600 sq. ft. luxury home in Southwest Ranches, while Culpepper is late on his $2.93 million loan for a similar-sized property right around the block.

Porter, according to the report, purchased the $4 million, 2.3-acre property in 2007, which is around the time he came over from the Pittsburgh Steelers after inking a five-year, $32 million contract. In addition to not paying his mortgage, Porter has stiffed the Homeowner’s Association, which filed a lien against him for unpaid dues that date back to 2011.

Culpepper, meanwhile, dropped $3.67 million on his slice of paradise after coming over from the Minnesota Vikings in a trade, earning $8 million guaranteed in his first year. Unfortunately, Culpepper — who was coming off major knee surgery — struggled, was placed on injured reserve after just four games and cut when the season concluded. The Ocala, Fla., native — who starred at Central Florida University — washed out of the league after three more seasons and two different teams.

One can only hope that the Dolphins latest high-profile off-season acquisitions, wide receiver Mike Wallace and linebacker Daniel Ellerbe, have better luck on (and off) the gridiron.

Photo via Wiki Creative Commons Use license.

Adverse Possession: Florida Man Squats In Style, Takes Over $2.5 Million Boca Raton Mansion

Go big or go home.

Or, in the case of Andre Barbosa, go big and go into a $2.5 million bank-owned home in Boca Raton, Fla., that isn’t his, but claim that it is. Then, complete “adverse possession” paperwork (we define the term here) and file it with the county clerk.

Voila!

Technically, Barbosa is now allowed to live in the home, rent-free, and the local authorities are for all intents and purposes are handcuffed until Bank of America, which reclaimed the property through foreclosure last year, takes notice/action.

And if he pays the bills and property taxes the luxury property would eventually become his by default in seven years.

However, Bank of America doesn’t seem like it is about to let that happen, releasing the following statement on the “serious” matter (via WPTV.com):

“We have been in communication with the Boca Raton Police Department regarding the concerns with the occupants of 580 Golden Harbour Drive. There is a certain legal process we are required by law to follow and we have filed the appropriate action. The bank is taking this situation seriously and we will work diligently to resolve this matter.”

Adverse possession is not new; on the contrary, its roots trace back to 16th-century England (we first talked about it two years ago here). It was introduced in Florida decades ago so that farmers could make the most out of abandoned land.

However, with the foreclosure flood in the “Sunshine State” and banks overwhelmed with paperwork, more and more cunning opportunists are playing the adverse possession card while it’s still possible. In fact, 13 such claims were made in Palm Beach County in 2011, 19 in 2012 and six already in 2013.

None clearly as big (or bold), though, as Andre Barbosa.

Top 10 Most Searched Foreclosure Cities In The U.S.

Where are all the foreclosures?

Well, in today’s market, foreclosed homes are located in just about every corner of the United States. Long gone are the days when distressed real estate was hard-to-find, valuable treasure. Make no mistake, foreclosures, short sales and other distressed property types are typically still cheaper than their traditional counterparts; however, thanks to the mortgage meltdown a few years back and the current nationwide economic crisis, they are significantly more abundant.

In fact, there are so many foreclosures in some “hot spots” that banks and lenders don’t have the time or resources to repossess them in a timely fashion. That’s the reason some folks can live in their homes mortgage-free for months or even years, as well as the reason for the “shadow” inventory — abandoned/vacant homes not yet “in the system” — that sits idle for so long.

Indeed, foreclosures are essentially everywhere. And until the lenders and banks catch up, or until the economy levels out, or both, foreclosures will continue to remain everywhere well into the near future.

The good news is that foreclosed homes represent discounted real estate purchase opportunities. Banks and lenders are overwhelmed and are often eager to sell their assets as quickly as possible, even if it means slashing prices by as much as 50 percent or more. Always remember: Banks and lenders are in the money business, not the real estate business.

Cash is king.

So, since we’ve established that foreclosures are everywhere and that they still offer buyers and investors tremendous value — especially when you factor in historically low mortgage interest rates — we thought that we’d take a look at the most popular areas for foreclosure searches throughout the nation.

Just because there are more foreclosures on the market and unemployment is high, doesn’t mean that competition among buyers doesn’t exist. On the contrary, competition is stiff in desirable locations nationwide. In fact, it’s common for forward-thinking investors and others to cherry-pick the best deals, renovate and rent/re-sell them for profit.

It’s the primary reason Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) like Fannie Mae have had to implement programs such as “First Look,” which locks out investors from purchasing properties for a few days so first-time buyers don’t miss out on all the great opportunities.

In any case, here are the Top 10 most-searched cities for foreclosed homes for sale*:

  1. Los Angeles, Calif.
  2. Orlando. Fla.
  3. Fort Lauderdale. Fla.
  4. Miami, Fla.
  5. Houston, Texas
  6. Atlanta, Ga.
  7. West Palm Beach, Fla.
  8. Dallas, Texas
  9. Chicago, Ill.
  10. Las Vegas, Nevada
foreclosures

Florida, with four cities in the list, is clearly a major point of interest for many buyers and investors. That’s not too surprising, considering the climate and reputation for being a retirement and/or vacation home destination. In addition, the “Sunshine State” took a beating when the housing market crashed — it has consistently remained at or near the top of the collective foreclosure list since it tanked.

Even still, homeowners who paid too much at the height of the market are still struggling to get their heads “above water” on mortgages that simply no longer make sense (or cents).

It’s also no surprise that Los Angeles, where the population density is high and the real estate footprint is perhaps just as dense, sits atop the list. Houston, Atlanta, Chicago and Las Vegas are also in demand, indicating that if buyers and investors are interested in investing in these areas that they better be prepared and on top of their games.

Searching and finding foreclosures is clearly a small piece of a very competitive pie in many areas throughout the United States. It’s the first, albeit perhaps most important, step in a process that could mean the difference between making (or saving) tens of — if not hundreds of — thousands of dollars.

The best thing that you can do to improve your chances of success is to do your homework, know your target market inside-out. This way, you can identify a deal the moment you see it and are able to move fast to ensure that no one else beats you to the punch.

Timing is everything even when foreclosures are everywhere.

*Foreclosure data provided by Foreclosure.com

Fannie Mae Foreclosures Sold In Bulk

Pacifica Real Estate Group, a real estate investment and management firm based in San Diego, Calif., recently purchased 699 foreclosures in Florida from Fannie Mae in one very large bulk transaction.

According to PalmBeachPost.com, Pacifica paid $12.3 upfront and will have to provide Fannie Mae with 90 percent of the proceeds from the homes included in the portfolio until the collective sales reach $49.3 million. Once that threshold is satisfied, the companies will split any future profits down the middle.

Fannie Mae stands to collect a projected $78.1 million windfall as a result of the landmark sale.

However, this deal is less about money and more about getting properties in a struggling South Florida housing market, which was among the hardest hit in the mortgage meltdown several years ago, repaired, marketed and sold, as well as rented, as soon as possible.

“The transaction is designed to promote home price stability, improve quality of housing stock and enhance rental inventory of markets by utilizing a rent-and-hold strategy,” according to a summary included in the report.

Fannie Mae typically sells its assets one-by-one via HomePath.com, offering buyers nationwide with special offers and incentives to achieve the goal of homeownership. Competitive interest rates and the “First Look” program that ensures traditional buyers are not beat to the punch by cash-laden investors, are just a few of the many ways the the Government-Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) is doing its part to equitably return the United States housing market back to normal sooner rather than later.

It’s a delicate balance.

To search for Fannie Mae-owned foreclosed homes available for sale in your area today click here.

Foreclosure.com Partners With Vendor Select To Grow Property Preservation Network

Boca Raton, Fla. – Sept. 3, 2012 – Foreclosure.com today named Vendor Select its exclusive vendor management company that will help the nation’s leading authority on distressed real estate information grow its network of property preservation contractors and real estate agents.

Foreclosure.com forged this strategic alliance to meet the ever-growing demand from its subscribers, as well as clients, to identify qualified property preservation contractors to assist with the repairs and renovations of foreclosed properties, among others, in all corners of the United States.

“We have provided homebuyers and investors with direct access to local real estate agents throughout the nation for many years,” said Jim Houston, Foreclosure.com Vice President. “Our Community Expert Program has created countless opportunities for real estate agents and home sellers/investors to connect. This evolution was just a natural progression of the model in response to the huge demand for qualified, skilled contractors and vendors,” he said.

Vendor Select provides its clients with a robust mechanism to manage vendors across all disciplines in the property preservation and real estate arena. Contractors and agents have the ability to create a profile at no cost in the platform with the ability to improve their ranking based on several elements, including education, among others.

For example, through Vendor Select the vendors may participate in certification programs — Property Preservation and Field Services program and Certified Short Sale Agent certification — relevant to their chosen lines of work. Additionally, the Vendor Select network will be available to forward-thinking banks, servicers, asset managers and private equity firms that want to leverage a turnkey network of professionals for their needs.

“We see where the industry is going and we intend to have solutions for each phase of the distressed asset industry,” said Houston. “Providing the industry with a state-of-the-art platform to search for, vet and hire vendors of all classifications will help the industry at large and get us closer to healing a struggling housing market.”

Real estate agents, brokers, contractors and vendors who are interested in expanding their businesses with VendorSelect clients are encouraged to sign up for inclusion in the national network at www.VendorSelect.com.