Bank Foreclosures Listings Continue to Hit Florida Properties

by on Foreclosure Listings

Bank foreclosures listings continue to batter the commercial property sector in South Florida. The crisis that started in the residential sector is now engulfing commercial properties in many cities of the country. Every week, news on commercial foreclosures continues to appear in business journals.

This week, among commercial foreclosure actions filed in South Florida was a lawsuit that sought to foreclose on the $3 million mortgage secured by a South Beach commercial building owned by South Collins Property Investment, which is headed by Raymond and Dani Mitri.

South Collins purchased the property in 2003 for $1 million and then took a development loan worth $2.9 million in 2008 using the property as collateral. With the loan still unpaid, lender FirstBank Puerto Rico is set to seize the building, which is occupied by clothing store Oyuki.

Another property that will likely go into bank foreclosures listings is a portion of the Century Grand residential project in Doral. A total of 152.9 undeveloped acres of the 370-acre housing project are being claimed by Wachovia Bank to recover a mortgage loan that has grown to $65.6 million.

Sergio Pino and several of his development companies took out the Wachovia loan to develop Century Grand into a commercial and residential site, with 4,600 townhomes, a commercial complex with residential units on top floors, a recreational center, a charter school and a church. But only one sales center was built on the site.

Pino last modified his mortgage loan in 2006 to $75 million using his Atlas Property I enterprise. The other parts of the Century project were used to take out a loan of $20.7 million from Ocean Bank in Miami and a loan of $76.7 million from BankUnited.

In addition to the foreclosure lawsuits in connection with the Century Grand project, Pino is also facing a separate lawsuit filed by BankUnited to enforce a personal guarantee he made to enable Century Grand I to obtain a $34.3 million loan. BankUnited claimed that the loan has become outstanding because Pino did not pay the $5-million real estate tax on the land.

Another foreclosure lawsuit tormenting Pino is an action targeting an uncompleted office building in Coral Gables. Mercantil Commercebank has filed a case to collect on the $4.4 million loan it provided to Pino to develop the building.

With the number of commercial properties entering bank foreclosures listings in the state, Florida has not only been among states topping records in residential foreclosures; it has also been among states topping lists of commercial foreclosures.