The National Credit Union Administration has entered the real estate market along Florida's Gulf Coast in a big way as it struggles to sell hundreds of properties it ended up holding from three large credit union failures: Norlarco Federal Credit Union, Huron River Area Federal Credit Union and New Horizons Community Federal Credit Union.

The credit union regulator became the biggest landlord in the adjacent developments of Cape Coral and Lehigh Acres after it took over the three credit unions, which helped finance a scheme known as "Millionaire University." The venture promised investors a chance to earn a guaranteed 14% return by quickly flipping to-be-constructed homes.

NCUA is projecting the final loss on the failure of Norlarco, the one-time $320 million Fort Collins, Colo., credit union, to be $6.5 million, and for Huron River Area, the one-time $360 million Ann Arbor, Mich., credit union, to be about $41.7 million. The loss at New Horizons of Denver is expected to be smaller.

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