Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Big Jump In Listings this Week

...and especially year-over-year.

The MLS for Eastern Monmouth is now at 3852 up from 3777 last week. In the same week last year there were 2975 houses for sale in Eastern Monmouth County.

Anecdotally, it looks like many of the houses that were delisted before the holidays seem to be making their way back on to the MLS at lower prices. I bet we get back to the 4000 count by Superbowl Sunday and go into the "spring buying season" with record levels of inventory.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I took my townhome off the market in December because of the amount of homes for sale in my area. So I do not think I will sell this year after all. I just can't compete with all that other stuff lying around in Tinton Falls waiting to be sold. Anyway, it's a nice place, just too small. And by the way, we are not over our heads on the mortgage as out neighbors are to the right. We got a fixed 5.65% 30 year when we bought. We also decided it's cheaper to rent a storage unit for some of our overflow stuff. It may work out better overall.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007 9:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

$10M in Dwek loans "suspicious"

Prosecutor, U.S. attorney notified
Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 01/25/07

FREEHOLD — Almost $10 million in loans involving Solomon Dwek's collapsed real estate empire have been referred to authorities for possible criminal prosecution, according to the court-appointed manager of Dwek's holdings.

The manager, Donald M. Lomurro, has not accused Dwek — or anyone else — of obtaining loans for residential property purchases improperly, but he said "I'm suspicious there are crimes. The suspicion I have is theft."

Lomurro said he informed the U.S. Attorney's Office for New Jersey and the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office of his findings.

Dwek is facing federal bank fraud charges on allegations that he bounced a $25 million check last year. His empire of more than 350 properties in seven states is being dismantled by a judge to pay off more than $340 million in claims against him. Many of his investors have claimed fraud.

Lomurro said the suspicious debts include five mortgages totaling $3.3 million borrowed in the name of Dwek's wife, Pearl, even though she does not own the properties, Lomurro said.

Lomurro also identified $3.1 million in loans issued to Pearl Dwek or a company owned by her husband to buy properties in which the previous mortgages weren't paid off, Lomurro said.

And in another case, two mortgages worth a total of $1.2 million were borrowed against a property owned by Pearl Dwek. But she denied any knowledge of the loans identified by Lomurro, according to a court filing.

Solomon Dwek's lawyer did not return a call for comment.

Some of the findings were first reported by the Asbury Park Press in August, including the discovery of mortgages issued to Pearl Dwek on properties she did not own. The Press also found that the signature of a key Dwek property lawyer cited by Lomurro had been faked on various mortgages filed in 2006.

The failure to pay off old debt on some the properties identified by Lomurro has caused major problems for a couple who sold their Nighthawk Lane home in Jackson to Pearl Dwek last February.

The sale was to have paid off $370,000 in mortgages on the home of sellers Carl and Susan Wagner. The Wagners thought that's what had happened until they received a foreclosure notice from their bank in October, said their lawyer, Walter P. Burrell of Red Bank.

"As a result, my clients' credit rating has been destroyed," he said. "They entered into what they thought was a legitimate sale and retired and moved to North Carolina, only to find out that their mortgage wasn't paid off."

In one of the cases, a loan of more than $1.2 million was issued in Pearl Dwek's name on a Bridlemere Avenue property in Interlaken that she never owned, Lomurro said.

The property is the former home of area businessman Henry V. Vaccaro Sr., who said Solomon Dwek had defaulted on his contract to buy the property last April. The property was subsequently sold to someone else, but Lomurro said that Countrywide Home Loans nevertheless gave Pearl Dwek a loan to buy the house.

Lomurro said that Dwek's property management company, under the supervision of the court, has been paying the problem mortgages since last year. But the problem loans were not identified until December when Lomurro appointed a new manager to run the company.

Lomurro has asked Superior Court Judge Alexander D. Lehrer, who is overseeing the case, for permission to stop paying the mortgages.

Lawyer's records sought

A common theme in the loans identified by Lomurro, all issued in early 2006, appears to be the purported involvement of 76-year-old Jerome Shapiro of West Long Branch.

Records indicate that Shapiro handled the closing for Pearl Dwek in at least five of the nine properties Lomurro cited, and Lomurro has asked a judge to order Shapiro to turn over all records he has related any Dwek property he worked on.

But in August, Shapiro told the Press that he didn't do any work for the Dweks in 2006. Rather, Shapiro said, his signatures on those documents were forged, an assertion backed up by forensic document examiner J. Wright Leonard of Philadelphia. He reviewed some of those documents for the Press.

But Shapiro did say that he had previously allowed Dwek's mortgage broker, Joseph S. Kohen, to sign mortgage documents for him on other deals. Shapiro also said that he had allowed Dwek and Kohen to move millions through his lawyer's trust account from January through April of this year — without knowing the source of the money.

Shapiro said he now believes the money — $7 million — was mortgage money intended to purchase specific properties. Shapiro said without his knowledge, the banks had been told that he was acting as the closing lawyer. He has since put in a claim with Lomurro to be reimbursed for the money.

Legal experts have described what Shapiro admitted to as a serious breach of a lawyer's duty.

"It sounds like Mr. Shapiro may be concerned about his own potential criminal liability through, in part, the laundering of the proceeds of criminal activity," said former federal prosecutor Scott S. Christie.

Thursday, January 25, 2007 8:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone checked the Realty Times local market conditions? They seemed to have wiped out each market and have a "national market" condition - which of course is reported to be slowly moving ahead. I guess they couldn't get anyone willing to stick their neck out and lie about specific neighborhoods this time.

Thursday, January 25, 2007 10:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me where to find property transfers for LBI?? Would think it would appear in the Asbury Park Press but can't seem to locate the right link. THX

Friday, January 26, 2007 8:21:00 AM  

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