Business Monday

August 24, 2014

South Florida condo expert faces foreclosure on his Miami Beach condo

Condo expert Peter Zalewski is facing a foreclosure suit on his own condo unit.

Peter Zalewski, who has made a career of tracking the ups and downs of Miami’s condominium market, is getting an up-close and personal look at distressed real estate.

On July 23, Zalewski and his wife were hit with a foreclosure suit on their oceanfront condo, a 994-square foot unit at The Collins at 6917 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach.

According to a suit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, Bank of America is seeking $239,780 in principal, interest and advances owed. The suit alleges that Zalewski failed to make payments beginning Oct. 1, 2011.

Zalewski started Condo Vultures LLC, providing information on foreclosures and short sales, when the condo market was in distress. With the revival of the condo market, he switched focus to Cranespotters.com, which collects extensive data on the pre-construction condo market and operates bus and boat tours that highlight the current boom. He writes a monthly column on the condo market for the Miami Herald.

In an interview, Zalewski told the Miami Herald that he made “a business decision” to stop paying the mortgage. He said he had been marketing the condo unit privately, and after the court filing, he has put it on the Multiple Listings Service for $519,900.

“I’m confident it will be dealt with. I’m confident the lender will get paid his money,” he said. He said he has substantial equity in the unit.

On Friday, Zalewski said “I still have not been served” with notice of the suit.

Zalewski was hit with an earlier foreclosure action on the same unit in August 2009, a case filed by a predecessor of Bank of America, but he resolved the matter a year later and the suit was dismissed.

The foreclosure was first reported in the South Florida Business Journal. Zalewski said the publicity comes with the turf. “If I can comment on others, I can take others commenting on me.”

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