Sunday, June 9, 2013

Phony Title Transfer Created, Recorded By Unknown Phantom In Attempt To Hijack Ownership Of Vacant S. Florida Hotel In Foreclosure Voided By Bankruptcy Court After Mortgage Holder, Unwitting Owner Inform Judge Of Rogue Deed

In Deerfield Beach, Florida, the South Florida Business Journal reports:

  • Someone's plan to buy a hotel for only $10 didn't work out.

    U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Erik P. Kimball voided a fraudulent deed that attempted to transfer ownership of the Holiday Park Hotel & Suites in Deerfield Beach and then dismissed the property owner's Chapter 11 filing.

    Deerfield Station, owner of the 87,081-square-foot hotel and the 5,698-square-foot restaurant at 1250 W. Hillsboro Blvd., was hit with a foreclosure lawsuit in 2010. PNC Bank holds a $16.5 million mortgage on the property. York Residential, the managing member of Deerfield Station, planned to redevelop the 8.4-acre site as a transit oriented development to take advantage of the nearby Tri-Rail station.

    The property owner filed Chapter 11 in 2011. Then things got weird.

    In December, a deed was filed in Broward County transferring the hotel to L & L Properties of South Florida, of Sebastian, for only $10. The document claimed that L & L Properties was a subsidiary of Deerfield Station so the deal should be exempt from documentary stamp taxes. The deed was apparently signed by Gerald R. Massey III, the managing member of Deerfield Station.

    This took PNC by surprise. A few months later it filed a motion in Bankruptcy Court to void the deed as a fraud. James W. Carpenter, the bank’s attorney, produced a statement from Massey saying that he never signed the document and that L & L Properties wasn’t a subsidiary of Deerfield Station. Massey said that wasn’t his signature.

    Judge Kimball agreed and voided the deed. Not long after, the judge granted PNC’s motion to dismiss the Chapter 11 case so it could pursue its foreclosure lawsuit.

    According to PNC’s motion to dismiss the case, the hotel has no active operations and the longer the case drags on, the greater risk it poses to the property. Deerfield Station wasn't able to obtain new financing.

    There isn’t an L & L Properties of South Florida in state records.

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