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Monday, August 26 2019 @ 12:32 am EDT

Malibu Beach Resort - Progress and Update

Real Estate By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - I attended a meeting yesterday morning with the primary actors and lawyers who continue to work towards a solution with regards to the deposits paid by investors in the Malibu Beach Park & Resort in Gorgona. They continue to work towards achieving the same goal of placing a large parcel of land in a specified trust, to sell that land, and then use the money to return deposits to all investors. This was the decision reached back in January when they developed a plan on how to move forward and to clean up the mess left behind by the Econoplade disaster. In April 2010 this press release appeared in local Panamanian newspapers, and today now more than two months later significant and tangible progress is being made towards achieving the strategic goal. It's taking time because there are many specific and complicated steps to be accomplished and there are four primary actors involved. For example there is the management of Malibu, the trust company that currently holds the land, the new trust company, and a company that holds a small previously existing mortgage on the land. So, there are four "actors" and all paperwork and decisions have to be coordinated with and agreed to by all of them, making the entire deal more complicated and time consuming to bring to fruition.

Entering Into The Trust: Anyone who currently holds a contract in the Malibu project needs to immediately contact the law firm of Almanza y Almanza if you have not already done so, in order to formally and officially enter into the new trust. This is the only way to receive a refund for the money paid to Malibu as a deposit. Almanza y Almanza can be contacted at telephone number 209-8029, via email to vcastillo@aa-panama.com, or by visiting the website www.aa-panama.com. Yesterday at the meeting Gabriel Almanza told me "we are doing everything we can to communicate openly and directly with all investors - tell them to call me directly at my cell phone in Panama 6090-3110, day or night, weekends, I don't care..." He wanted to emphasize the message that the "bad old days" of not getting an answer or a response are over. "We now have a plan, we are putting that plan into action, and we are very close to achieving a solution for all of the investors who invested their money in the Malibu project. There are already about 220 investors who have been registered in the new trust." He explained how investors will have to sign a new contract that in effect cancels the old contract in return for a refund of the original deposit paid.

Stringent Oversight and Requirements: The new trust is being managed and administered by Financial Warehousing of Latin America, Inc. (FWLA). They were recommended to the Malibu managers by Banco General. FWLA has adopted an exceptionally conservative approach in this case, and have been very demanding in the list of requirements. In the long run this is good and healthy for all involved, however it has also made the entire process slower and more demanding, requiring more time to complete all of the requirements so it's a double edged sword. Things like a physical inspection of the property to be placed in the trust, the creation of a new topographic map, a new independent survey and study of the land to include the placement of survey stakes to make were there is no over lapping with adjacent parcels, all paperwork and taxes up to date, etc. In short, everything is being certified, verified, and checked, once, twice, three times - to make sure everything is in order. The good news is that now almost everything has been done and the trust is practically ready to go.

Three Buyers Waiting: The managers of Malibu have received offers from three different groups of buyers who have expressed interest in the property. Of those, two groups are local Panamanian investors and the third is an international group. The price for the land has been set well below current market value in order to create a "quick sale" situation because they want to sell the land and proceed as quickly as possible in order to put the whole "Econoplade train wreck" behind them and to move forward. However, all of the potential buyers are simply waiting right now for the trust to be established, and they will proceed to move forward with their offers and negotiations once that step is complete, and not before.

My Original Prediction Stands: A few months ago I predicted that Malibu investors will probably start to actually receive refund checks before the end of 2010. One of the faults and weaknesses of the Malibu management is to have a tendency to make overly optimistic projections and estimations with regards to time and actual delivery. I still think that if checks are going out by November and December 2010, that will still be a victory and excellent news. The most important part of this entire evolution is to remember that there are hundreds if not thousands of people out there who got involved in other projects or investments who are not hearing this kind of good news. They got ripped off, their money is gone, and they have no practical hope of ever seeing a refund or of getting their money back. However Malibu investors will, in fact, be seeing that refund check. Maybe not as quickly as they might have hoped, but at least there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it's not an oncoming train. Patience, folks, patience...

Copyright 2010 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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