Miami Auctions Aims at Insider Deals

Ken McLeod has the figures on this, having done detailed statistical analysis, and capable of testifying as an expert on the usual outcome of these sales. The important point being “why would the “bank” let the property go for 60% of distressed market price — even to an insider?” Answer: because it is all a game to them. The money is free. They don’t have one dime invested, they have already been paid their fees and now that they have the house too they get to share in the spoils. Talk about situational versus sustainable ethics!
Every Auction should be conducted like this. It would at least take some of the greedy momentum out of this market.
November 26, 2009

Miami-Dade Hopes Online Auctions Will Help Reduce Backlog of Foreclosures

MIAMI — Buying into Miami’s foreclosure glut will soon be a whole lot easier.

Seeking ultimately to eliminate a record backlog and a system that favors insiders, Miami-Dade County announced plans on Wednesday to use online auctions for the thousands of delinquent properties that have made South Florida a center of the recession., the Web site, will become fully operational on Dec. 7, making Miami-Dade the largest of 12 Florida counties in the process of replacing courthouse auctions with online sales.

County officials here expect the number of properties sold, now about 450 a week, to triple, slowing the growth of an inventory of 110,000 foreclosures. “The goal is to make it more convenient for people to bid and to research properties,” said Harvey Ruvin, the clerk of courts. “It kind of levels the playing field.”

The online system would end, or at least make digital, what many officials describe as a process steeped in speculation, trickery and, occasionally, physical conflict.

For centuries, property auctions by government have been in-person affairs; the laws of many states require that they take place “on the courthouse steps.” And in Miami, with 7,000 properties entering foreclosure each month, that has often meant that auctions were held in small, dank rooms where a handful of investors or their employees would jockey for properties.

Sometimes, the investors — typically dressed in T-shirts and jeans to suggest the absence of wealth — were accused of working together to keep prices low. In other cases, they would compete intensely. In Miami and elsewhere in Florida, scuffles have broken out as one investor tried to block another, or tried to sell a property at a higher price than he paid minutes earlier.

Mr. Ruvin said that he installed cameras and a full-time police officer a few years ago to keep things under control.

He said he looked forward to making the system computer-based, so bidders would make offers from home. “My approach is to serve more and more people online instead of in line,” he said.

A change in state law last year, allowing sale by “electronic means,” has made it possible. And in the eight Florida counties that already have online foreclosure auctions up and running — including other areas hard-hit by the real estate predicament, like Lee County — more potential buyers have become involved.

Lloyd McClendon, the chief executive of, which has contracts to run the county auctions across Florida, said nearly 11,000 bidders had registered, including at least one person from New Zealand.

“It opens it up to a wider audience, and really the sale prices are more in line with what they should be,” Mr. McClendon said. “Before, these bidders would do deals among themselves. This is fairer to all who are involved.”

15 Responses

  1. Mario and zurenarrh,
    I looked this up – I think the loan was done in December 2008 (it said it in the article. I looked for securitization “deals” but could not find an asset class that would easily apply to this deal. But they could have listed it under anything. I did not find anything under CIT deals either. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, it just means I did not find it.

    Dan Edstrom

  2. zurenarrh,
    Of course they securitized it – they securitize everything that isn’t nailed down. Oh wait, even if it is.

    When I say EVERYTHING, I mean EVERYTHING. Wall Street investment banks have what is called the “repo desk”. They put up collateral to borrow money from other banks. What is this collateral? Usually it is any “promise to pay”. These are receivables and they can be in the form of literally anything. They even securitize bad debt. But it goes beyond even a “promise to pay”. Take a look at how “hedging” and credit default swaps work. These are what I call “promises to pay based on an event”. This leads to other areas such as insurance – securitizing the receiveables for insurance payments, the securitizing of the end result – such as life insurance payouts if you die (this is a receivable right?), etc. You can securitize any risk (catastrophe, death, orange crops, weather, credit, you name it).

    Securitization (in my opinion) just takes the risk out of something and spreads it to others. This is generally a good thing – I am sure it was when it first started out. But, people in general are greedy and what can we say about Wall Street? Even more so. Just assume that the are throwing away all underwriting and over hyping what the “investors” are purchasing. They are taking away all of their own responsibilities while taking in all of the cash. What is left for the investors? A big bag of toxic waste.

    Here is another trick of the trade. The investors purchase the toxic waste (disguised as a bag full of goodies). The investors are DUPED into holding on to this bag for a as long as possible. How are they duped? Because while everything is falling apart around them, they still get their payments. The entire thing falls apart but they are lulled by a payment stream that keeps on giving. Then, one day it stops delivering and they go to the goodie bag to try to recover some of their investment and they find out that they are left with a big pile of crap that has been picked through by all of the players in the middle. By the time they get it NOTHING of value is left. After all, the investors agreed to let the servicers and trustee(s) (and their agents) get paid FIRST out of their efforts to recover any property secured by the securitization.

    Dan Edstrom

  3. Dubai business not in a good condition. Then how will depend upon these trusts.

  4. Summary Judgment Standards

    Summary judgment is appropriate if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); accord Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986); Vitkus v. Beatrice Co., 11 F.3d 1535, 1538-39 (10th Cir.1993). A factual dispute is “material” only if it “might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505. A “genuine” factual dispute requires more than a mere scintilla of evidence. Id. at 252, 106 S.Ct. 2505.

  5. Whoops–I see this meeting is in Phoenix, AZ. not Harrisburg, PA. My bad!

    Will Brad or Neil be going to this? Or did they go–I see that it started today and continues tomorrow…

  6. Mario,
    I’m listening to the FL Supreme Court. I’ll email you. This Harrisburg, PA meeting sounds like THE BOMB. They are alleging all the correct issues, i.e., the bank never lent money and ALL mortgages are void ab initio.

    If there is anyone reading this who can go to the Harrisburg meeting, please go and take a blank DVD. Let us know what’s happening!

  7. Mortgage Revocation Seminar


    NOVEMBER 27-28, 2009, 10 AM TO 5:00 PM

    Freedoms Phoenix Workshop
    750 W Amelia Ave (Major Crossroads: 7th Ave and Indian School)
    Phoenix, AZ 85013
    (623) 252-9CAM (CameraFRAUD Even


    Mickey Palotea of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is once again coming to Phoenix on November 28 and 29, 2009 for a 2-Day Workshop: How to Stop Foreclosures! This will be the formal start of our group. If you want to save your home(s) you will need to be there. ALL are welcome. We will go over the process, laws, rules and documents for court.

    The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania group has had 150+ wins and only 4 losses so far. We know what caused the losses and it will not be repeated. People have beaten the banks and we are developing a boiler plate document to kick the banks butt in State or Federal court. We would like to file the documents within a couple of weeks after that.

    ALL mortgages are illegal, ab initio, and you owe the bank nothing. They never lent you money, it was a scam from the beginning. Our goal is to get at least 200 people to go down to the court at one time in Phoenix and file the documents to stop the banks. It does not matter if you already lost the house to foreclosure, if they are currently foreclosing, if you are not even close to losing the house, or even if it was an investment home. We would like to file the documents within a couple of weeks after this workshop.

    There is no charge, no fees, etc. It’s all free. Everyone is donating their time and resources to help people keep their homes and squash the banks before they squash us.

    You can pass this information around. If interested, you will need to attend a meeting and learn about what is going on and start doing paperwork very soon.

    We are here to help you and to stop the banks. We are not here to make a profit from you. We all work together and no one charges or pays anyone. You will fill in your own documents and go down and file them yourself. Everyone shares all the information and helps each other. If you are not willing to help and are only in it for yourself, we don’t need you. But, if you want to save your home and maybe your country, and don’t want to pay an attorney, and are willing to do the work and help others, this is where you need to be. We are winning, and you will probably get to keep your home and never make another payment. You may even be able to get back homes lost, or compensation for such.

    It looks like a lot of people are coming. Lunch break will be between 1:15 and 1:45 p.m. There are a 7-11 and a Taco Bell across the street, but I advise bringing your own drinks and munchies. If you have folding or collapsible chairs, I would bring at least one for yourself, or prepare to stand.

    Again, there is no charge. However we do have costs we will be accepting donations for the generous use of the meeting space. This way they can keep its doors open and water the tree of liberty.

    The workshop will be video taped and anyone who brings blank DVDs can have copies made right then and there, at least for yourself and a few others.

    Be sure to bring a pen and paper!

    Abby Clarke

  8. zurenarrh,

    help me by finding the date city loaned the money and i would at least have a start date, this is done by looking for news articles that made comments about this loan, people need to work.

    I cannot do all this work alone we need to get together and work together. Neil has been working his butt off I guess, most people are just fooling about and doing nothing in the end the bank walks away with the house.

    I posted a link on a discussion that the state supreme court is making on rules of civil procedure that is a 4 hour long listen,

    If we do not stand up here we will all have to move and the Dubai funds will buy all the property for nothing, we will move to another country. Florida is the epicenter of the housing mess, it is a judicial state we have the chance to do something for our kids and for the nation. Get up and work.
    here is my email

  9. zurenarrh,


  10. please listen to this

  11. Mario,
    That’d be sweet if you could expose the fact that Citi took $8 billion of taxpayer money, lent it to Dubai FOR A PROFIT, and then created a trust in order to sell debt-backed securities for EVEN MORE PROFIT…all the while taking people’s homes through fraudulent foreclosures here in the U.S. and not lending money to American cities or American taxpayers…

  12. zurenarrh,

    but it is a given that the Dubai business is in trust and we should start looking for these trusts, later on I will help to find this trust with info I have. I am busy now but I will help.

  13. Where can I apply for this type of bailout? I need a lawyer “who gets it ” in Arizona. The fee for an attorney who gets it………….is almost the same cost as a bailout…………..things that make you go…………um…………….

  14. I love this line in the story:

    “A Citibank official was quoted at the time as saying the $8 billion came from the bank’s own funds and third party sources.”

    First of all, the “third party” would obviously be the taxpayer.

    Second of all, banks don’t loan “their own funds.” The amount they “loan” is created by the amount pledged in the promissory note. Once that note is signed by the “borrower,” the “lender” deposits the note into an account and and writes a piece of paper, i.e., a check–or just sends digital information that serves the same function–to the “borrower.” There is no exchange of anything with inherent value–no cash, no gold, property, no nothing. It’s all, as Neil has put it “vapor.” The bank has risked nothing because it lent, literally, nothing–even the bank’s books are “balanced” by the “loan” on one side of the ledger and the deposited note on the other side of the ledger. But now suddenly Dubai owes Citi the $8 billion + the interest.

    I wonder if there is a trust somewhere set up to sell debt-backed securities off of the Dubai loan. Wouldn’t be a big surprise if there were…

  15. US outrage over Citi loan to Dubai

    The US public will be “outraged” by Citibank’s $8 billion loan to Dubai just six weeks after the bank was bailed out, US House of Representatives domestic policy subcommittee chair-man has said. Dennis Kucinich commented on the Dubai loan and other US banking investments as a congressional panel released a report that strongly questioned Citibank’s actions. The report, shown to 7DAYS, cites the Dubai loan as the largest of the “questionable transactions” by banks after the US government bailed them out. It notes that the loan to Dubai’s public sector came on December 14, just six weeks after the US government gave Citibank a $25 billion bail-out.

    The report quotes Win Bischoof, then chairman of Citi, as saying the bank agreed to the Dubai loan because “we continue to place the Gulf region among our globally most significant markets”. The report also questions JP Morgan’s $1 billion investment in India and Bank of America’s $7 billion investment in China. “When the American people find that their tax dollars, which were supposed to be used to get us out of this financial crisis, are instead being used to ship jobs and investments overseas, there will be outrage,” Kucinich said. The report notes the loans were not illegal and that it is not known if they were directly funded by bail-out funds. A Citibank official was quoted at the time as saying the $8 billion came from the bank’s own funds and third party sources. The report was released as the committee prepares to question banking chiefs about their use of bail-out funds.

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