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Rubio's mortgage mess

Rubio State House Speaker Marco Rubio abruptly amended his financial disclosure forms Friday after The Miami Herald asked why they lacked a $135,000 home-equity loan he obtained from a bank controlled by his political supporters.

Rubio and his wife bought the West Miami home for $550,000 in December 2005, with a $55,000 down payment. A month later, Rubio qualified for the equity loan from Miami-based U.S. Century Bank because an appraisal valued the home far higher than the purchase price: $735,000.

Real-estate experts said the deal -- on which Rubio gained $185,000 in equity in just 37 days -- was unusual. But the 36-year-old Republican said Friday that it was all above board, that he obtained no special favors and that the failure to disclose the loan was just ``an oversight.''

''There's nothing unusual about the loan or the application,'' Rubio said. ``They went out and ordered the appraisal.... They said I qualified for $135,000. I took the equity line.''

Rubio said the appraisal was legitimate, considering the heady days of Miami's real estate boom, but experts aren't so sure.

''It looks a lot like somebody's currying favor with an important political person,'' said Michael Cannon, a market analyst and executive director of Integra Realty Resources-Miami whose real estate column appears in The Herald. ``People off the street don't get this deal because he just purchased the property for $550,000. If it is a true equity loan, there has to be equity in the house to make the loan.''

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This is one of the dumbest stories this paper has ever run. You guys should be ashamed of yourselves. Who the hell is the Herald to appraise properties?

no wonder he wants to cut property taxes and raise the sales tax . . . or service tax . . . or anything else anybody can pay for him . . .

What does property taxes have to do with an equity line.

This guy Cannon sounds like an idiot. Did he do an appraisal? Is he more of an "expert" than the guy who actually visited the property and did an appraisal.

This article is a disgusting smear job.

Truth Squad

Rubio is above the rules...they don't apply to him. Wonder who's property appreciated faster...Hillary's cattle futures or Rubio's house? As always, the act may be bad, but the attempted cover-up magnifies the transgression. The more we know about Rubio, the worse he looks.

Bill

Just confirms what most of us already know...Rubio is a self absorbed self service piece of political slime.

Truth Squad, how can you cover up a publicly recorded document. How do you think the Herald found it?

An equity line on his house makes him slime? Did he steal tax dollars? Did he make money? This is a loan and a liability. Not a contract.

Ralph Martinez

HERE WE GO AGAIN...THE HERALD PROTECTING CARLOS ALVAREZ.. AND THIS GUY (RUBIO) HAS NOT EVEN DECLARED WHY DON'T THE HERALD PURSUE ALVAREZ' FOR PROTECTING HIS SISTER WHEN HE WAS PD CHIEF AND RIPPING OFF MEDICARE A (1 MILLION+)AT THEIR PHARMACY ON SUNSET ST AND MANY OTHER PECCADILLOS LIKE PROMOTING HIS PARAMOUNT EVELYN TO LT, HIS FREE TRIPS W/EVELYN GETTING HIS SON, A PD GRAVY JOB ETC..ETC...

a

Okay, so either he got a really good appraisal for the refi, or someone sold him the home below market...

Regardless, he has mortgages totalling $630,000 that he has to pay off. Given the recent trend of devaluations in Miami-Dade County, I would be surprised if he could sell his property for what he owes on it right now...

Unless someone bails him out by purchasing the home for more than it is worth, I see this as something he will need to live with...

And if you look at the information online, he purchased the house new... so he probably locked in a pre-construction price... and his neighbors to either side paid the same price, or less than him for their new homes.

A home equity line is not a crime. However, playing with numbers and getting political favors smacks of impropriety. But, this is typical of Rubio/Rivera. They are both men who only care about their own power and ambition. This story should not come as a surprize to anyone. Actually, this is one of the lesser schemes these two have pulled. Herald, if you really want something, start talking to people off the record and then do an investigation on what you hear. You will be amazed!

cynical idealist

The sharks are circling and think they smell blood. Just because the Herald does a story doesn't mean they're trying to trash Rubio simply to help Alvarez. Folks in Dade focus on Dade and think the world revolves around them. It does not! The Herald wants to play state-wide and try to make sure Rubio doesn't have a chance at Governor in 2010. Once they kill that, then they may try and take him out of the Mayor's race. They're trying to use the innuendo that he got some special favor beccause he's an elected official. What they fail to realize is he's sharp and has connections and that's why he did well on the deal. The fact he's an elected official is icing on the cake for the bankers...scumbags that they are.

A better story would be how he got a house below market. Particularly at that time. A better stor would be who sold it to him that cheaply. Same story for his parents' home. Timing is everything, isn't it?

There must be two appraisals. The first appraisal required by the lender to purchase the home. The second appraisal done by Century. If the first appraisal matches the purchase price, then the second appraisal raises legitimate questions for further investigation.

IRON HORSE

I disagree that Marco Rubio obtained any type of illegitimate second mortgage. My wife an I purchased a home in November 2004, for $270k. We put 20% down (54k). The home appraised for $270k and 30 + days later we closed. Then we immediately applied for an equity line on the home to get our 20% back, for financial reasons (we borrowed the down payment from our retirement account to avoid the mortgage insurance). Our home, about 45 days after we closed on the first mortgage, appraised for $350k. The increase in value was a 30% gain, we thought we paid a good price for our home. We were excited to have $134k in equity (equity line) in our home. ($80k increase in equity plus 54k down payment = 134k in equity). Mr. Rubio paid $550K with $55k down payment which equals $495k owed. Mr. Rubio only obtained a 135K equity line. If his home increased like ours did by 30%, then his $550k home would be worth $715k. We obviously do not live in as nice a neighborhood. So the fact that his home increased by a little more than 33% does not trouble me in the least. In fact, my neighbor, just a few months after us purchased a smaller home than ours for $365k. Of course, now it’s not worth that kind of money. But that's another problem.

Give me a break

Guy's give me a break here. Too much analysis on a line of credit he has to pay back.

Why is everyone ignoring the bigger problem in the skyrocketing crime we are experiening here in Dade.

The Herald if it want's another Pultzer Prize should look at he recent crime statistics. Now that would be a much better story, than some schmucks line of credit!

a

Once again people... he most likely got a pre-construction price on the home...

He paid the same, if not more than his immediate neighbors for similar homes. Records are online.

He has a an equity loan he must pay back. He has a mortgage he must pay back. With declining values in Dade over the past year, he probably now owes more than he could sell the home for.

soundmiami

News flash: MIAMI HERALD INVESTIGATION UNCOVERS AMEX GAVE RUBIO A BLACK CARD.
Fine print: it has a 23% rate and Rubio has to pay $500 a year premium but that's not newsworthy so we'll stick with:
AMEX GIVES RUBIO A BLACK CARD

Deborah

Want to talk truth and honesty in journalism, let's talk about how the media won't disclose all of Obama's miss steps, cover-ups, and concealments. This country had the opportunity to elect a man of the utmost integrity and honor and someone who had NO skeletons in his closet and the liberal media treated him like dirt under their feet. Never again in my lifetime will we have a man of his stature be willing to give up his very nice life to serve his country and have nothing to gain from it personally. I am disillusioned beyond belief.......

Sandra

The Republicans lost the Presidency because the majority of the country voted against their extreme far right agenda. Get over it you lost and the R's will lose agsin in 2014.

The deal that was given to Rubio, no matter what you think, will be a problem for his run for the Presidency.

Rubio doesn't hold up under pressure. Who could remember his speech everyone was watching him wipe the sweat away.
Sandra

diane

down payments should be just that..down payments to secure a mortgage and hold in place. wehnever anyone (forget Rubio for the moment) secures a mortgage and within the early years of the mortgage capitalize on the 'equity' it is false equity..that is there is no leeway for the economy..stupid banks..the rest of us get stuck with the downfall of poor decision making.

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