and Nicolas Brasseur MISE & Agrave; DAY
Nearly 300 Quebec snowbirds are preparing to lose their homes in Florida after the purchase of their mobile home fleet by two unscrupulous American companies. & nbsp;
Two days after the opening of the American land border to Quebec winter visitors, Renaud Bourque is preparing to cross customs at Champlain in New York State. & Nbsp;
“This is my 18th year,” says the electrical contractor from Saint-Georges-de-Beauce. However, this year, the heart is not there.
After three days of driving, Mr. Bourque finally arrives at Twin Lakes Travel Park at the wheel of his van. & Nbsp;
“This is the last year that I am coming back here and I am very emotional. I never thought I would be deported ”, he laments in front of the cameras of JE , which will devote a program to this case this evening at 9 pm. & Nbsp;
< strong> NOT ALL RICH & nbsp;
Like nearly 300 of his compatriots, Mr. Bourque learned through a simple Facebook post at the end of October that the Twin Lakes was sold and that mobile home owners who rent space there would be evicted. & nbsp;
On November 13, the septuagenarian came up against reality: an eviction notice was stuck to the door of his mobile home, in which he claims to have invested $ 200,000. Residents must vacate the premises before the end of May 2022.
“There will be tears!” These are people who have put the savings of their entire lives. Not all of the rich people in Florida. Not all houses are $ 200,000 houses. There are $ 7, 10, 15,000 ”, he storms. & Nbsp;
SECRET SALE & nbsp;
The Twin Lakes Travel Park was, until recently, owned by two Miami lawyers who decided to sell it. & Nbsp;
Josée Brassard lives in a pretty trailer bordered by a small lake, which she bought last April. & Nbsp;
“It was my dream to become a snowbird,” says the resident of Quebec. & Nbsp;
Josée Brassard and her dog Chico will have to leave the mobile home park where they live in Florida before the end of May 2022.
She had to borrow $ 70,000 to buy her trailer from another Quebecer. Today, his house is worthless. No other park of its kind will allow her to move her because she is too old, like many others at Twin Lakes. & Nbsp;
” How will I do ? Where am I going? What I am told is: manage yourself, the good woman! »She laments. & Nbsp;
While the owners were busy selling the land, sales of mobile homes continued without Quebecers knowing that their investment would soon be worthless. & nbsp;
“I think when snowbirds bring in money, it's fine, but otherwise, they don't care,” denounces Josée Brassard.
The Twin Lakes Travel Park & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;
- Spans 40 acres and owns 360 lots mostly occupied by mobile homes & nbsp; & nbsp;
- 90% of residents are Quebecers & nbsp; & nbsp;
- Landlocked between Fort Lauderdale airport, highway 595 and highway to Florida's Turnpike toll & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;
Residents believe they've been fooled & nbsp; & nbsp;
Residents of Twin Lakes Travel Park feel like they've been fooled into the $ 64 million deal, according to the 'association that represents them. & nbsp;
“Profit came first. This secret has been kept so that the residents will not leave. […] It would have been the least thing [to warn them] “, indignant Christian Schoepp, the lawyer appointed by the residents' association.
On the buyer side, the two associated companies have not recalled our Bureau of Investigation. & Nbsp;
The majority company, Industrial Outdoor Ventures, is headquartered in Illinois and registered in Delaware, a tax haven; A further 285,000 US and foreign companies are registered at the same address in Delaware.
The minority company, Stockbridge Real Estate, specializes in real estate investments and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.
The vendors, Sherrie Marbin and Jay Cohen, are two Miami attorneys who owned the mobile home park for almost 20 years. Ms Marbin reportedly received offers from multinationals like Amazon and Fedex, but ultimately picked buyers from California and Illinois, some US media reported. & Nbsp;
Joined at her law firm in Aventura, near Miami, she initially refused to reveal her identity before sending her son, Josh Cohen, to meet with the JE team. & Nbsp ;
He maintained that his mother had signed a confidentiality agreement preventing him from warning Quebec snowbirds that a transaction was taking place. & nbsp;
Asked about the Quebecers who lose their investment, Mr. Marbin declared that anyway the snowbirds “had a home in Canada”. & Nbsp;
The buyers do not recognize the legality of the association created by the residents to defend their interests. & Nbsp;
“They are closing the park to make a big profit and try not to pay Quebecers”, affirms Me Louis Saint-Laurent II, the Florida lawyer who incorporated the association in 2011.
Florida law stipulates that Mobile home owners who do not own their land in a park that is the subject of a sale are entitled to compensation up to $ 6,000. & nbsp;
But both buyers and sellers of Twin Lakes Travel Park say that it is not a mobile home park, but rather a fleet of recreational vehicles, for which the law provides no compensation. & Nbsp;
During our visit, however, there was only a handful of this type of vehicle against several dozen mobile homes.
-Félix Séguin and Nicolas Brasseur
Not to be missed, all the details on the show JE broadcast on TVA, Friday evening at 9 p.m.
SEE ALSO … & nbsp;