Wednesday, May 6th, 2020
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In the past 24 hours, landlords have filed at least two lawsuits against major retailers over nonpayment of rent.
And South Florida lawyers say these are just the start as brick-and-mortar retail faces a new and unexpected hurdle: the coronavirus.
The lawsuits follow the Florida governor’s executive order requiring store closures and mandating social distancing restrictions.
In one case, discount clothing retailers Ross Dress for Less and Ross Stores are defendants in a suit from Palm Springs Mile Associates and Philips Lake Worth, pending in the Miami Division of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Attorneys including Danielle Garno, head of the retail legal
Washington Prime Group owns regional malls and shopping centers. When I first came on board, I was adamant we not use the word ‘mall’ until a good friend and titan in our industry told me to stop worrying about semantical nuancing and just make it better. As a matter of fact, WPG and many of its peers have done just that by diversifying tenancy, activating common areas, capturing the nexus between physical and eCommerce (think BOPIS and fulfillment) as well as respecting the demographic constituency we serve.
Our particular bread and butter is Middle America. This is not necessarily a geographic reference (albeit we do own assets in Kansas). It is more of a sociocultural perspective which, by the way, captures pretty much every race, color and creed which define our country and quite frankly makes it interesting. Our guests are folks who drive trucks, fix things,
Photo: EmirMemedovski/Getty Images
During the current financial crisis, you may ponder the idea of simply stopping payment on your mortgage. It is an option that some may want to consider in difficult times, but it is a bad decision all the way around.
The reason: It will affect your credit for years to come and is likely to result in the loss of your home. As a topper, the bank doesn’t really want your house. Lenders are willing to help and would rather not foreclose.
So don’t adopt the tactic of pooh-poohing your payment and hoping for the best.
According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, almost 7% of all mortgage loans are currently in forbearance as of April 19. That’s up from just under 6% the week before. To give some perspective, at the beginning