Urban Thier & Federer, P.A. (“UTF”), has received many inquiries from Lake Austin Reserve purchasers inquiring about Malbec Investments and the telephone calls, emails, and paperwork they are receiving from or on behalf of the Malbec Investments hedge fund and/or Lake Austin UK’s David James, a former Instant Access Properties/IAP employee. Purchasers have also reported that they are being asked to sign a NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement – something that should cause all purchasers to proceed with caution and consult their own attorney). To date, purchasers for over 500 Lake Austin Reserve units have already retained UTF to ensure that they are legally and bindingly released from, and free of, any liability under their Agreement for Sale contract with Lake Austin Properties I, Ltd.
It appears that, according to Malbec Investments and/or Lake Austin Properties I, Ltd., the remaining Lake Austin Reserve purchasers (those who are still contractually obligated to purchase a Lake Austin Reserve unit) are presented with two basic options:
1) sign another contract agreeing to purchase a Lake Austin Reserve unit from Malbec Investments (or an affiliate of Malbec Investments), or
2) sign paperwork provided by, or on behalf of, Lake Austin Properties I, Ltd. and/or Malbec Investments agreeing that they will not continue with the purchase of their Lake Austin Reserve unit, that their remaining escrow funds will be transferred to Lorrells, LLP, a UK law firm with no Florida attorneys or connections, into the Lorrells LLP Solicitors Client Account, and agree that a certain percentage of the funds (apparently at least 25 percent) can be retained by Lorrells, LLP, Lake Austin Properties I, Ltd. and/or Malbec Investments.
However, all Lake Austin Reserve unit purchasers have a third option – to retain a Florida Bar licensed attorney and law firm to represent only them and their interests.
UTF strongly cautions purchasers to ensure that they protect themselves. It appears that none of these parties represent the purchasers. Accordingly, if an issue arises at some future date (such as a challenge to the validity of any release, a demand for payment of the other 70-75 percent due under the Agreement for Sale, a failure to receive funds, etc.), it does not appear that any of these parties will be there to protect purchasers’ rights or interests. For example:
– Lorrells, LLP, has no Florida office, no Florida attorneys, and would not be able to render an opinion as to the status of your obligations under the Agreement for Sale (which is governed by Florida law). Moreover, it is not clear to UTF who has hired Lorrells, LLP, and how they are connected to Malbec Investments, Lake Austin Properties I, Ltd., David James, and/or other interests.
– Malbec Investments is not a developer – it is a hedge fund seeking to profit from the Lake Austin Reserve by purchasing the existing Lake Austin Reserve mortgage and note, foreclosing out all other parties’ interests and then selling units to purchasers who agree to continue with their purchase (see prior UTF Lake Austin Articles regarding unit valuations, purchaser considerations, etc.).
– Lake Austin Properties I, Ltd., and Lake Austin Reserve property is already in foreclosure.
Only a Florida Bar licensed attorney can take legal action to enforce any contractual release in a Florida Court under Florida law. UTF believes strongly that the top priority for purchasers is to ensure that they are legally and bindingly released from any contractual obligation to purchase a Lake Austin Reserve unit and to pay the 70-75 percent balance of the Agreement for Sale purchase price (see prior UTF article). Purchasers should consider which law firm has a Florida and UK presence, as well as the resources and track record to defend any challenge that may arise to any release of liability and that can ensure that you actually receive the remaining escrow funds.
In conclusion, Lake Austin Properties I, Ltd., appears to be willing to embrace any scheme that might salvage its interests – be it a David Lloyd resort, a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) or a hedge fund. However, in our opinion, these schemes do not change the relevant purchaser analysis (see prior UTF article). It is clear that Lake Austin Properties I, Ltd., Malbec Investments, and/or others would prefer that you do NOT hire your own attorney to represent your, and only your, interests. However, to date approximately 1,000 Lake Austin Reserve purchasers involving over 500 Lake Austin Reserve units have made the decision to retain UTF to represent them and their interests (see prior UTF article). You can also read client testimonials at UTF Testimonials.
Urban Thier & Federer, P.A., encourages all purchasers to do their own independent due diligence and research. You can also learn more about Lake Austin Properties I, Ltd.’s Lake Austin Reserve Grande Palisades, The Avalon and Magnolia Woods Resort phases via these previous articles:
- Lake Austin Properties I, Ltd. – Twelfth Update – Lake Austin Reserve Purchasers Secure Judgement
- InformationLake Austin Properties I, Ltd. – Eleventh Update – Lake Austin Announces Deal with Malbec Investments
- Lake Austin Properties I, Ltd. – Tenth Update – Urban Thier & Federer, P.A. Answers Lake Austin Reserve Purchases’ Questions in Person in the United Kingdom and Provides Factual Information
- Lake Austin Properties I, Ltd. Ninth Update – Lake Austin Properties I, Ltd., Raises Bankruptcy and Other Issues to Encourage Grande Palisades, Avalon and Magnolia Woods Purchasers to Continue with an Economically Unjustifiable Purchase.
- Lake Austin Properties I, Ltd. Eighth Update – Lake Austin Reserve Developer Visits United Kingdom to Propose REIT Concept
- Lake Austin Properties I, Ltd. Seventh Update – The Importance of Understanding Your Chosen Law Firm’s Litigation Strategy and Your Own Litigation Priorities
- Lake Austin Properties I, Ltd. Sixth Update – Lake Austin Joins Forces with IAP/IAP Global Veteran to Replace The Affinity Partnership, Ltd.
- Lake Austin Properties I, Ltd. Fifth Update – The Grande Palisades and Lake Austin Properties I, Ltd. High Pressure Tactics
- Lake Austin Properties I, Ltd. Fourth Update – The Future of the Grande Palisades and the Oversupply of Disney Area Condominium Hotels (Condo-Hotels)
- Lake Austin Properties I, Ltd. Third Update – Fuel USA and Affiliated Attorneys and Solicitors
- Lake Austin Properties I, Ltd. Second Update – The Affinity Partnership, Ltd. and Related Entities
- Lake Austin Properties I, Ltd. Update – Status of Buyers’ Deposits
- Lake Austin Properties I, Ltd. Grande Palisades, Avalon and Magnolia Woods – Status and Rights
We encourage all purchasers to interview any attorney that they may be contemplating to retain and to ask that attorney for their experience, record in this area of the law, number of cases taken to final judgment, number of cases affirmed on appeal, number of attorneys in the firm, firm staff, resources, etc. We sincerely believe that purchasers should not retain an attorney or law firm until they are confident that 1) the law firm has the experience and resources to represent their best interest and 2) they fully understand the law firm’s litigation strategy.
The Florida Bar, which regulates all attorneys who are licensed to practice law in the State of Florida, provides strict guidelines which prohibit us from referring to past successes or results obtained for other purchasers in this or other developments. However, we can provide you with this and other information in response to any inquiry. Accordingly, we encourage you to contact us via the “Contact Us” page and we will promptly respond with additional information.
With attorneys in Orlando, Florida, Munich, Germany, and Manchester and London, United Kingdom, Urban Thier & Federer, P.A., Urban Thier & Federer, Rechtsanwälte and Urban Thier & Federer Limited continue to assist buyers throughout the United States and European Union countries who are seeking to terminate their pre-construction purchase agreements. Most cases can be handled on a contingency fee basis (client is responsible for costs).
We encourage you to explore our websites – www.urbanthier.com (United States office), www.urbanthier.de (German office) and www.urbanthier.co.uk (UK office) to learn more about Urban Thier & Federer, P.A., Urban Thier & Federer, Rechtsanwälte, Urban Thier & Federer Limited (SRA Number 559959) and their attorneys and practice areas. Urban Thier & Federer, P.A.’s representation of buyers includes litigation of cases in state court, federal court and arbitration proceedings. We encourage you to become informed of your rights and options. You should also ensure that any law firm you consult or retain to represent you has the experience, resources and ability to take your case through trial and appellate courts, if necessary.
Please note that Urban Thier & Federer, P.A. does not represent you and cannot take any action on your behalf unless and until you enter into a formal written Legal Representation Agreement.
John L. Urban – Shareholder