Foreclosure Increase Leads to Rise in Vacant Bank REO

Recent article posted by Jacob Passy on September 9, 2016  on National Mortgage News website:

The percentage of vacant bank-owned properties is larger now versus a year ago as banks are completing more foreclosures, according to Attom Data Solutions.

Overall there are fewer abandoned properties, as roughly 1.4 million, or 1.6% of all residential properties, were vacant at the end of the third quarter, RealtyTrac’s parent company Attom reported in its U.S. Residential Property Vacancy and Zombie Foreclosure Report Thursday. That figure is down 3% from the previous quarter and down 9% year-over-year.

Similarly, the number of zombie foreclosures fell 9% from the third quarter of 2015 to 18,304. As a share of the total properties in the foreclosure process, 4.7% were vacant.

But as the number of real estate owned properties has grown, it has led to an increase in bank-owned vacant homes. Attom found that there were 46,604 vacant bank-owned residential properties at the end of the third quarter, which represents an increase of 7% from the previous quarter and up 67% from 2015.

This vacancy situation is the result of a seller’s market that has motivated lenders to complete foreclosures on vacant properties, according to Attom Data Solutions Senior Vice President Daren Blomquist.

“While that has reduced the number of vacant properties in the foreclosure process — so-called zombie foreclosures — it has also resulted in a corresponding rise in the number of vacant bank-owned homes,” Blomquist said in a news release.

“Assuming that the foreclosing lenders are maintaining these properties and paying the property taxes, they pose less of a threat to neighborhood quality than zombie foreclosures, but they still represent latent inventory in an inventory-starved housing market.”


Posted here by:

Mike Cathell,
Broker/Owner, Investment Property Consultant

Real Estate Services of SWFL, LLC
Real Estate Services of Citrus County, LLC

Cell:  (239) 770-6250   Fax:  (239) 288-2505
Real Estate Services of SWFL, LLC
#Florida Real Estate     #Cape Coral Real Estate    #Fort Myers Real Estate
#Real Estate Investing   #Property Investments   #Wholesale Properties
#Wholesale Florida Properties  #Commercial Real Estate Funding






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Mike Cathell,
Broker/Owner, Investment Property Consultant

Real Estate Services of SWFL, LLC
Real Estate Services of Citrus County, LLC

Cell:  (239) 770-6250   Fax:  (239) 288-2505
Real Estate Services of SWFL, LLC
#Florida Real Estate     #Cape Coral Real Estate    #Fort Myers Real Estate
#Real Estate Investing   #Property Investments   #Wholesale Properties
#Wholesale Florida Properties  #Commercial Real Estate Funding


Decisions Decisions…LLCs vs. Land Trusts for Real Estate Investors?

Good Information from Steve Gibbs of Gibbs Law Firm:

standing man and 2 way street to illustrate decisions involved in choosing an LLC verses a Land Trust?

Hello Friends & Colleagues!

This week’s topic is a key asset protection question for real estate investors who hold multiple properties.  This question concerns how to hold real estate investment property, and this depends upon the goals and preferences of the investor.

The 2 most common “recommended” ways to hold real property investments are an LLC or Land Trust.

Exploring the pros and cons of these estate planning options is the stuff of this week’s article.

For Florida Investors Doing Estate Planning, Florida LLCs and Florida Land Trusts Are Both Effective Ways To Hold Real Property Depending Upon One’s Goals.

An Easy Way To Think About The Benefits and Detriments of LLCs Verses Land Trusts Is That LLCs Are Arguably Simpler To Establish and To Administer Whereas Land Trusts Offer a Some Added Asset Protection Benefits.

LLCs are extremely simple to set up in virtually every State and everyone in the real property world, from brokers to County workers, essentially knows about them.  This means that people are not typically confused by your asset protection structure (of holding assets in an LLC) and this means that your daily life may be less complicated.   LLCs are extremely flexible, and if prepared properly, offer key asset protection benefits.  Of course, by prepared properly, I mean that setting one up yourself without an Operating Agreement may not be an effective strategy, whereas, getting professional help and creating a solid LLC structure goes a long way.

If you set up an LLC for estate planning purposes to hold your real property investments, you’ll need to decide whether you’ll be the only owner of the membership units (a single member  LLC) or whether you’ll have other partner members (multi-member LLC).  In many jurisdictions, such as Florida, multi-member LLCs offer a more solid asset protection plan than the single member LLC.

My recommended process to create an LLC is to file Article of Organization with your State of choice and then have supporting documents created to support your LLC.   The State will require a renewal fee every year and you’ll need to decide who your Registered Agent will be…whether you or a third party.   For more information about what should be considered in creating a solid LLC, visit our previous post.  After this, the real property may be transferred to the LLC and you’re good to go, noting that the LLC needs to be administered with certain formalities.

The Land Trust option is different because it typically is not filed with the State and thus offers greater privacy and anonymity.  A Land Trust is essentially holding real property by contract.  So, the Trust document (contract) is created and the Trustee (who must be a third person or entity) is appointed by the Trust.  The Trustee will essentially hold the real property for you or your entity of choice as the Beneficiary.  So, privacy is an added benefit for Land Trusts.   Key disadvantages in my experience are that City and County officials tend to more easily become confused by Land Trusts.  You also need to be comfortable essentially conveying your title to a third party as the Trustee if you go this route, noting that the Trustee will be bound by fiduciary duties and the terms of the Trust.  Land Trustees often charge annual fees as well.

If you decide to go with the Land Trust option, you can still utilize an LLC as the Beneficiary of the Land Trust, so as to essentially double your asset protection.  For more information about Florida Land Trusts, visit here.

Real Estate Investors In States Other Than Florida, Texas, Arizona, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, North Dakota, Virginia and possibly California, may not have the estate planning option of a Land Trust.

The states referenced above are the only ones that have land trust statutes and generally the real property must be situated in the State that the Land Trust is created.  This is a key distinction with LLCs because a Florida LLC can hold real property located in Texas, and this is usually the case with LLCs in various States.

Moreover, the Trustee ideally should also be located in that same jurisdiction as the Trust and the real property, so the rules are more restrictive than LLCs, because the LLC Managers can be anywhere although the Registered Agent must be locally based in the State.  Also, with Land Trusts, if you have multiple real properties in the same State, they must be “contiguous” (next to each other) in order to title them in the same Land Trust, and this is not the case with LLCs.

Of course, all of the above is a basic distinction and a great asset protection plan may utilize both Land Trusts and LLCs.  All of the above should also tie into your overall estate plan and this may require directing the real property in your LLC or Land Trust to your Revocable Living Trust upon death.

As always, I hope this clears up a bit of confusion and…

Until next time.


Contact Gibbs Law Office Today.

For estate and business attorney service in Fort Myers Florida, call us at 239-415-7495 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

Gibbs Law Office, PLLC
8695 College Parkway #2330
Fort Myers, Florida 33919

Tenant Screening Guide

For those looking to rent their home rather than sell, this is a great chart to reference when screening tenants. Call Goss Realty Group to get your Northern VA home sold or rented! 703.951.3773:

To Landlord or Not to Landlord?

The need for Rental Properties is on the rise in SW and Central Florida and many are jumping in with both feet.  Problem?  They are making Newbie mistakes.  Mistakes that are easy to avoid with a bit of thought and lots of preparation.

Not Knowing the Local Laws:

There are very specific laws governing Landlord-Tenant relationships.  These laws vary from state to state, county to county , even city to city.  In many counties, there are Apartment Owner groups.  If not, there is plenty of information online or at your library.

One example is the timeline a deposit is to be returned when a tenant vacates the property.  Laws that dictate written communication between landlords and tenants concerning late notices.  A few minutes researching these laws can save you lots of time and money when the tenant moves.

But it is my friend’s daughter renting the apartment –

Your prospective tenant can be your best friend, a friend of a friend or even a family member.  Just because you are told they are a great renter does not make it true.  A background check and a credit check should be done for all prospective tenants.  I have known family members who do not have an inkling about their sibling’s poor payment record or even evictions.

There are several online credit report applications for landlords.  Some even  cost below woman-construction-carpenter-installing-electrical-box-power-drill-on-white$50 per applicant.  By the way, ALL prospective tenants should have background checks.

What is a reserve and why do I need one?

Many Landlords do not estimate their expenses properly.  The lawn, the pool company and even bug control are the norm.  But many landlords forget regular maintenance and repair from wear-and-tear.  There are replacement costs and always unexpected repairs.

A reserve or extra funds for emergencies should be set aside each month from the rent to cover these unexpected expenditures.  A Landlord needs to estimate these expenses and put them aside from the collected rents.  Also, only plan your expense reserve based on 10 or eleven months rent.  There may be a month or two the property sits empty between tenants.  Just because the income stops, does not mean the expenses stop.

Renters’ Insurance for everyone.

This should be a no-brainer but one part is overlooked many times.  The apartment and tenants are always covered.  What is forgotten most often – the tenant’s belongings.  The landlord may be responsible if a leak, for instance, ruins the tenant’s furniture.

In some states, a landlord can demand the Tenant to carry Renters’ Insurance.  Check your state and local laws.  Always protect “your stuff” and “their stuff”.

If you are unsure of your local laws, check with the local Housing Authority, the Library or the Board of Realtors.  Many times, books on Landlord-Tenant Laws are available.

Mike Cathell,
Broker/Owner, Investment Property Consultant

Real Estate Services of SWFL, LLC
Real Estate Services of Citrus County, LLC

Cell:  (239) 770-6250   Fax:  (239) 288-2505
Real Estate Services of SWFL, LLC
#Florida Real Estate     #Cape Coral Real Estate    #Fort Myers Real Estate
#Real Estate Investing   #Property Investments   #Wholesale Properties
#Wholesale Florida Properties  #Property Rentals



Real Estate Investment – Coral Springs, Florida

12468 NW 19th Pl Coral Springs, FL 33071

Beautiful custom built Mediterranean style home in the Greens of Eagle Trace subdivision. Built in 1997, this home is located on a cul de sac and offers 6 bed, 5.5 baths with 4793 square feet of living space, and an attached 3 car garage. The curb appeal is breathtaking as you pull into the circle driveway with the palm trees and grand columns. Step into the foyer with tall ceilings and hardwood floors for a dramatic entrance. The rest of the home is a mix of ceramic tile and wood floors. There is a white stone floor to ceiling fireplace off the kitchen. The kitchen is huge, ample storage, prep space, and plenty of room for everyone to gather around the center island or at the breakfast bar. The home has lots of windows allowing for tons of natural light. Off the living room and some bedrooms is access to the screened in back patio. In the backyard, you will find an in-ground pool perfect for those Florida summers.


  • 6 Beds
  • 1 Half Bath
  • 5 Full Baths
  • Size: 5,087 Sq. Ft.
  • Other
  • Built in 1996
  • County: BROWARD
  • Subdivision: GREENS OF EAGLE TRACE
  • 1 Floor
  • Lot size: 17,797 Sq. Ft.
  • HOA Dues: $200 / MONTHLY
  • Fireplaces: 1
  • Deck/Patio
  • Backyard
  • Garage
  • Swimming Pool

Asking Price:  $655,000

We obtain these properties through auction.  Buyer needs to close within 15 days.  Contact through email at  Put property address in email subject line.

Following property fees apply:

Buyer’s Premium: The greater of $625 or 4.5% of contract amount
BUYER Pays at Close
Technology Fee/Administrative Fee : $399
BUYER Pays at Close
Earnest Money : Lesser of $15,000 or 3.0% of the purchase amount.  Minimum of $1000.
BUYER Pays at Contract Approval

12468 Nw 19th Pl, Coral Springs, FL 33071