Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hard Money Lenders

Hard Money Lenders that lend in the Roanoke Area:

Jim Sexton 540-353-7077

Dawn R. Lynch - Rehab Financial Group 877-643-9066

Community Buying Group Lenders (FirstKey)
Kyt Willberg 816-875-3706 or 816-282-6310 X 110 or 844-474-5074

Ron Dell 201-280-5214

T.Y. Funding & T.Y. Mortgage ask for Yesh Khanna or Sonya Khanna 540-534-8878

REI of Virginia has hard money as well for good deals that have or will have equity. Contact Dallas for details.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Some Code Enforcement Stats

Number of violations given in one fiscal year (2012) - 6,765

Number of rental certificates issued in one fiscal year (2012) - 967
If every inspection was $25 per inspection (many would be $75 or more from multiple visits) than the city generated $24,175 from this rental inspection program. Realistically with many inspections costing $75 or more the city has generated roughly $35K in rental certificated per year.

The fiscal year 2013 budget for the code enforcement department is $1,253,840

 Cost per violation given is roughly $185.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Rules A Landlord Should Live By For Protection

Drama Reduction
It is not uncommon for a landlord to be assaulted or killed by their tenants. This has happened in Roanoke on a number of occasions. Below are a few tips that you should live by. I have always done the exact opposite of this and due to getting older now since I broke the big 40 number I wish to lower the drama level in my life by a few notches.

Live Out Of A P.O. Box - Never let your tenants know where you live. I'm the kind of guy that ends up reinventing the wheel. Every single tenant I have knows where I live as they often drop their rent payments off in my mailbox. Bad Idea! This has lead on many occasions to tenants vandalizing my property when in the process of or after being evicted. They often get caught considering the fact that my house is like Fort Knox and there are security cameras all around it recording on a DVR that will hold 7 days of continuous footage. I have also had tenants show up at my house wanting to fight. BAD IDEA doing that! I'm a big guy and can definitely hold my own. Threatening me on my personal property equals a serious beat down.

In my efforts of reducing the every day drama I am now relocating to an undisclosed location outside of the city. I'll call it my bunker.  Rehab is underway.

Let Your Maintenance People Do Set Outs -  I like to be there and help with carrying peoples couches and personal belongings out to set them on the curb when the sheriff shows up for a writ of possession. The big smile on my face while we do this really irritates deadbeat tenants. However if you don't like conflict you are best off not showing up. The deadbeats won't be mad at your maintenance people as they are just doing their job. You are the evil landlord who evicted them because they decided to get one over on you and not pay what they owe.

Now I intend on just having my contractor do my set outs. I really don't care too much about pissing my deadbeat tenants off anymore. Used to be a source of entertainment. My focus and literal payback will be on garnishing their wages or seizing their bank account.

Mail Your Pay Or Quits - To avoid face to face drama, mail your pay or quit notices by first class mail to your tenants. This is a change that I have already made. I have had some pretty heavy drama when dropping off pay or quit notices and wish to avoid that. Our Real Estate Attorney, Ross Hart told me that you do not legally have to send pay or quits by certified mail. Good info as it saves me money.

Have Pleasant Conversations On The Phone - If your tenant gets irate on the phone tell them calmly, "I didn't get involved in this business to listen to your attitude. Call me when you calm down and we will talk." And simply hang up on them.... They will likely blow up your phone for the next 30 minutes. Don't answer it. If they call the next day they are often completely different people and you can at that time have an adult conversation.

Do Not Collect Rent - I just recently stopped collecting rent. Not only was it taking an exorbitant amount of my time running people down but you are also going to end up having some nasty conversations from time to time. Send a letter to all of your tenants stating that you will no longer collect rent. It is their responsibility to get the rent to you by X date. Or just do what I did and don't collect it and just send out a pile of 5 day pay or quits on the 5th and let it play out. 2 months ago I did this. Out of 44 units I sent out 15 pay or quits on the 5th. On the 6th and 7th everyone started to call me. By the 11th I had only one eviction to serve which I was already expecting. Last month I did the same thing but this time I only had to send out 7 pay or quits. And had most of what was owed by the 11th. A few deals with tenants who paid partial payments. I expect this month most of my residents will be conditioned to get their rent to me. This is a business. AEP, the Water Authority and the Gas company don't go around collecting their bills. You shouldn't either.

Have A Payment Location - Some people are late or want to pay cash instead of check or money order so have a payment location within the city where tenants can pay you the same day and you don't have to wait for the mail which may put them past your filing for eviction date. The key is that this payment location is not at your house or your business. This payment location should be something operated by another location that has nothing to do with your business. Similar to what AEP does with the Stop In Stores. I'm still working on a solution for this. Haven't come up with that yet.

Be Armed - If you are showing properties to prospective tenants in war zone type areas, get your concealed weapons permit and carry a gun on you as I do. You could avoid all of this by getting a property manager but some of us like to keep all of our money. Most of the time you will be fine but you never know what will happen and you will be best off if you can at least protect yourself if necessary. I'm a big guy and can hold my own as said before but I'm not going to bring my fists or a knife to a gunfight.

If you are interested in getting your concealed weapons permit Click Here:

A recent reason below of why you should be protected.

News from

An elderly landlord was found beaten and incoherent in his apartment in the Woodmont neighborhood on Monday, according to this week’s Arlington County crime report.
The man was in his 80′s and police believe the assailant was a prior tenant who owed the landlord money, said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 10/22/12, 3300 block of N. Lorcom Lane. On October 22 at 8:35 am, a resident of a multi-unit dwelling found his elderly landlord in his bedroom incoherent, with a orbital fracture of the right eye. The victim had been assaulted but struggled to recall the incident. The investigation is ongoing.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Former Roanoke Landlord Gets 13 More Months In Prison

Has This Man Lost His Mind?
Or Was It Always Gone?
Former Roanoke City west end landlord gets another 10 months and then another 3 months to top off another prison sentence for ditching the country and getting caught in Mexico while on probation.

After White got caught he sent a message to the U.S. District Court that while he was locked up he was given a cocktail of drugs that changed him. White is apparently now capable of "communicating with beings that opened certain paths to (him) and allowed (him) to explore certain hidden and obscured aspects of the human experience."

I've been trying to get that same thing to happen to me with the communication from beings but it seems that I am just too closely tied with reality to make it work.

White later said his prison sentence was simultaneously difficult and disorienting. These beings lead him to be able to read Egyptian Heiroglyphics and he is now living in multiple layers of reality. That he has no real existence and he broke free on May 4th which was when he went on the run.

Sounds pretty complicated to me. I'm a big fan of the keep things simple stupid slogan.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Backed Into A Corner, Open Letter

 This is a followup to The Commentary Rogue Code Enforcement

Unfortunately Dana Horne-Shambry backed me into a corner with relentless attacks that were clear violations of the law so I was forced to send her a trespassing notice. Below is the trespassing notice and the image attached you can click on which will enlarge to read. It is Dan Webb's response to this trespassing notice. Below that is my final response.


DATE & TIME OF INCIDENT: 06/17/2011 05:48 pm
9/21/12 and 9/27/12

You, Dana Horne-Shambry, are hereby notified pursuant to
Virginia Code § 18.2-119 and 55-248.31:01 that you are hereby barred from entering in or upon the premises or cartilage of the property of the address:

All properties owned by Dallas Powell, Lowes Homes LLC, DeTrak LLC, Melrose Associates LLC and Star Equity LLC.

You may not trespass on any of the above listed properties without either, Dallas Powell or Larry Wilson in presence and an accompanying supervisor from Roanoke City Code Enforcement.  Further, you are hereby notified that if you are found entered upon the above premises after the date of 9/28/12 without the presence of Dallas Powell or Larry Wilson and a supervisor, your presence shall be deemed a trespass upon said property herein described and the owner, or duly authorized representative shall take every measure permitted by law to prevent such trespass, which shall include arrest by a police officer.

Should you enter or cross my property, I will notify the Police Department and seek a criminal complaint against you in the General District Court for trespassing and or apply with the magistrate for a warrant for trespass.

I, Dana Horne-Shambry
Of xxxxxxxxxxxxxx St.
Lynchburg VA 24501

 I have fully read and understand the significance of the above notice of trespass and
voluntarily affix my signature.

__________________________________       ______________________
(signature)                                                            (date)

(signature of property owner / agent)                        (date)

***REASON: Illegally entering the property of a rental unit with a valid rental inspection. Neighbors fence does not constitute probable cause.

I hereby certify that I served this Notice upon the named trespasser by:
________Delivering a copy of it personally to the trespasser.
____X_ _By phone or verbally.
________Service by certified mail with return receipt requested.
____X___ Service by email and standard mail.

 Dear Dan,

This message is in response to your letter dated 10/10/12 regarding the notice of trespass that I sent Dana Horne-Shambry on 9/28/12.

You are referring to the property 621 Hanover but this is not a property that I own. My complaint now, as then was about her continual involvement with 1336 Melrose Avenue, NW Roanoke. A house that  has always had a valid rental certificate since I owned it.  A rental certificate that Dana gave to me. She was fully aware what the inside of 1336 Melrose Apt 1 looked like. It looked the same as it always did since she gave me the rental certificate.

You can read my posting here for full details of what my complaint with Dana is about.

One thing that is not included is a violation she gave me behind 425 Bullitt on property I don't even own. I spent $1,000 cleaning up someone else's property and cutting their brush down so she would leave me alone even though it was not my property.

You state that on September 21st 2012 there was a compliance date of a trash citation that was dated September 7th 2012. I received no trash citation. I have never had a problem getting my mail so it was clearly not sent to me.

As a matter of fact, Dana clearly stated in her code violation for 1336 Melrose Apt 1 that she entered the premises due to a fence violation, a fence that I do not own.  Therefore she was yet again illegally on my property according to Virginia Code 18.2-119 and Virginia Rental Inspections code 36-105.1:1 after she had already been sent a trespassing notice on 6/17/11.

Dana had absolutely no probable cause to indicate that there are any code violations inside 1336 Melrose Apt 1, a unit with a valid rental certificate. Skirting around the law is not something that I have seen judges being favorable of in the past.  I am not saying that I am intending on taking Dana to court at this point in time. I am just making a point that she needs to contact me or my contractor to enter my property due to her previous violations of the law.

As I clearly stated on 9/28/12, Dana Horne-Shambry is not allowed access to any of my properties without the presence of me, my contractor Larry Wilson and one of her supervisors. A simple phone call is all that is needed. My properties are on the bar program with the city. I'm sorry but I have no other option than to protect myself from Dana.

Best regards,

Dallas Powell

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Landlord Drama


As landlords, we all have drama from time to time. Sometimes tenants like to include you in their drama. Landlording low income property has a greater share of this garbage that you have to deal with. I have had my share of it lately. So I'm going to give you a couple examples of what it's like landlording low income property. The more you have the more you have to put up with. Many of my residents are great hard working people but I always end up having a few at a time that are problem children.

So a couple days ago I see some of my tenants moving out. The woman on the lease there (Telaya Nicole Wickline) had her mom and drug dealing girlfriend (Diamond) living with her that she said she wanted out of her house. I thought the mom and GF were leaving. Later that night I got a call from the tenant downstairs and a couple tenants next door that she kicked out a couple windows on the way out.  I found that the next day that she also trashed the place and smeared food all over the kitchen walls.

Telaya and I were on good terms, never any arguments or anything prior to this negative behavior. I don't understand this at all. She was a little behind on rent but I was working with her to catch up.


Yesterday I got a call from one of my tenants that at one of my Quads the tenant upstairs kicked down the main front entrance door because they forgot their keys rather than calling me or maintenance. Apparently they banged on the windows of one of the lower units which woke up her children and due to that she refused to open the door. So they kicked it down. I really don't get it. What the hell is a matter with people these days. If I got pissed at someone in that house I wouldn't go to another persons car and beat their windshield in. So why would they kick my door in when I did nothing to them.

There are some very serious cultural problems in this country that need to be resolved. I can assure you though, each and every person will be held accountable for their actions....

Criminal charges first, civil charges follow....

Life as a low income landlord. Reports from the past week. Thought you may find it interesting what I go through on a weekly basis. The above vandalism is not typical. Happens once and a while but rare. Below reports are every day drama.

Tenant reports: Tenant catches someone breaking into their car over by the Rescue Mission. They call the cops. I believe the dirtball got away.

Tenant reports that neighbor next door to her is mad at her and keeps turning her in for petty things. She was sitting on her porch and she says that the parents hold up a 9 year old girl in the window and pulls the girls pants down. Essentially moons her with their daughters rear end.

Tenant wishes that I would be their payee so I went ahead and did that. Their check is send to me and I take my rent out first and help manage their bills by allocating them money to pay the rest of what they owe. If you do this you have to keep accurate records of what is paid for what and receipts for everything.

And lots more but not that interesting. He said she said stuff....

Monday, October 1, 2012

Tax Penalty to Hit 6 Million Who Don’t Buy Health Insurance by 2016


By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar | September 24, 2012

Nearly 6 million Americans — significantly more than first estimated— will face a tax penalty under President Barack Obama’s health overhaul for not getting insurance, congressional analysts said. 

Most would be in the middle class. The new estimate amounts to an inconvenient fact for the administration, a reminder of what critics see as broken promises. 

The numbers from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office are 50 percent higher than a previous projection by the same office in 2010, shortly after the law passed. 

The earlier estimate found 4 million people would be affected in 2016, when the penalty is fully in effect. 

That’s still only a sliver of the population, given that more than 150 million people currently are covered by employer plans. 

Nonetheless, in his first campaign for the White House, Obama pledged not to raise taxes on individuals making less than $200,000 a year and couples making less than $250,000. 

And the budget office analysis found that nearly 80 percent of those who’ll face the penalty would be making up to or less than five times the federal poverty level. 

Currently that would work out to $55,850 or less for an individual and $115,250 or less for a family of four. 

Average penalty: about $1,200 in 2016. “The bad news and broken promises from Obamacare just keep piling up,” said Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, who wants to repeal the law. 

Starting in 2014, virtually every legal resident of the U.S. will be required to carry health insurance or face a tax penalty, with exemptions for financial hardship, religious objections and certain other circumstances. 

Most people will not have to worry about the requirement since they already have coverage through employers, government programs like Medicare or by buying their own policies. 

A spokeswoman for the Obama administration said 98 percent of Americans will not be affected by the tax penalty — and suggested that those who will be should face up to their civic responsibilities. 

“This (analysis) doesn’t change the basic fact that the individual responsibility policy will only affect people who can afford health care but choose not to buy it,” said Erin Shields Britt of the Health and Human Services Department. 

“We’re no longer going to subsidize the care of those who can afford to buy insurance but make a choice not to buy it.” 

The budget office said most of the increase in its estimate is due to changes in underlying projections about the economy, incorporating the effects of new federal legislation, as well as higher unemployment and lower wages. 

The Supreme Court upheld Obama’s law as constitutional in a 5-4 decision this summer, finding that the insurance mandate and the tax penalty enforcing it fall within the power of Congress to impose taxes. The penalty will be collected by the IRS, just like taxes. The budget office said the penalty will raise $6.9 billion in 2016. 

The new law will also provide government aid to help middle-class and low-income households afford coverage, the financial carrot that balances out the penalty. 

Nonetheless, some people might still decide to remain uninsured because they object to government mandates or because they feel they would come out ahead financially even if they have to pay the penalty. 

Health insurance is expensive, with employer-provided family coverage averaging nearly $15,800 a year for a family and $4,300 for a single plan. 

Indeed, insurance industry experts say the federal penalty may be too low. 

The Supreme Court also allowed individual states to opt out of a major Medicaid expansion under the law. 

The Obama administration says it will exempt low-income people in states that opt out from having to comply with the insurance requirement. 

Many Republicans still regard the insurance mandate as unconstitutional and rue the day the Supreme Court upheld it. 

However, the idea for an individual insurance requirement comes from Republican health care plans in the 1990s. 

It’s also a central element of the 2006 Massachusetts health care law signed by then-GOP Gov. Mitt Romney, now running against Obama and promising to repeal the federal law. 

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said the new report is more evidence that Obama’s law is a “costly disaster.” 

“Even more of the middle-class families who President Obama promised would see no tax increase will in fact see a massive tax increase thanks to Obamacare,” she said. 

Romney says insurance mandates should be up to each state. The approach seems to have worked well in Massachusetts, with virtually all residents covered and dwindling numbers opting to pay the penalty instead.

For Affordable Health Insurance Solutions ask about REI of Virginia's OPTIMA Health Link
 Carico Insurance Agency- (540) 772-3362  ~Authorized~   OPTIMA Health/REI Broker

Friday, September 21, 2012

Abuse of Power – Rogue Code Enforcement


The code enforcement department in the city is much tougher on investors than any of the surrounding areas. I have not heard a single comment from our 550 member investors in Roanoke City to suggest otherwise.

It’s common to hear landlords and other property investors in the city say things such as “I will never buy another property in the city” or “I’m going to sell everything I have in the city and just buy in the county.” Statements such as this are most often associated with recent dealings with the Roanoke City Code Enforcement Department.

Investors moving their money out of the city creates a glut in the real estate market and significantly worsens the housing crisis and property values for everyone within the city. It also has a dramatic impact on revenue collected by the city due to the lower property values associated with the high supply and low demand issue that is created. This is why it is so critical for the city to maintain a positive business relationship with those who invest their money within it.

Landlords in the City of Roanoke are getting handed the short end of the stick and it’s unfortunate that our city would treat it’s small business owners in this manor. Especially when we own 63% of the single family homes in the city. Counting apartment complexes and multifamily houses the number is roughly 85 to 90%. Wow, think of the property tax we pay. The city largely operates on what we give them. And we really feel it every time property tax bill time comes around.

In the last article we talked about Code Enforcer Craig Sisson and policy related issues. Craig Sisson, although I don’t know him, I would suspect he is a pretty good guy. He should have called me so he could find out what the status was of the hoarding tenant that refuses to take her personal belongings out of her yard but he is infact following the policy that has been set in place by his management. Management does not want code enforcers contacting the landlord with anything but threats of both civil and criminal action in court as they are uninterested in developing positive relationships with those who own most of the city. We all know that people should be held accountable for their own actions but this is not something that the Code Enforcement department agrees with at this point in time either. Every single person I have ever talked to including tenants believe that people should be held accountable for their own actions. How do you feel about this? If you disagree, I think you may have had too much of the blue Kool Aid and should taper back some.

Then we have personal agenda driven enforcers like Jeff White who has focused all of his efforts on going after landlords while leaving code violations at owner occupied property un-cited. REI of Virginia to date has had 14 complaints in the past month from members about Jeff that range from things such as slapping inoperable vehicle stickers on a registered licensed vehicle that had a low but not anywhere near flat tire which was not in plain sight from the road to threatening criminal convictions on a landlord who had a gutter that dripped one drip every couple of seconds. A clear power trip that is way out of hand with his continual boasting about how he has been building houses since was 6 years old and is a Class A contractor who has more experience than anyone around. Good for you Jeff, that’s all I can say about that. I’m proud of you Jeff.

But the worst type of code enforcer for all investors to deal with is the one that has a personal vendetta against you. The one that for some reason no matter how nice you are tries to go after you at every opportunity they get. That code enforcer for me is Dana Horne-Shambry.

The very first house Dana got to learn on was one of my houses. She was gung ho and ready to slap some violations on my house that I just at that time purchased and went through a major renovation. I like to take these junk boarded up houses and make them nice tax producing pieces of property. And yes, I do feel like I should get an award for that. I increase the value of not only my property but every property around it. I produce massive amounts of additional revenue for the city every year due to this and help surrounding property owners get top dollar for their home when they sell.

Back to the point, it’s easy to miss a few things here and there when the whole house was a complete disaster when you started with it. However the ones surrounding it Dana could care less about as one is falling apart and boarded up, another I’m surprised hasn’t fallen down yet and another has a fence that is in continual need of repair as the neighborhood children tear it up on a regular basis. I fixed it for the neighbors once because it is an eyesore that  boarders my property but I won’t be fixing it again.

Dana walked around and got every little thing she could on her first inspection as she was taking her baby steps in her new job which is always a little comical to me considering the fact that I have been working with the seasoned code enforcers in this city for a long time and they always have a significantly more professional attitude. But regardless on weather I technically had to fix this issue or not, I did so anyway knowing that she is still getting her bearings and is still not fully aware of what the law dictates.

Then it came to a point where every time Dana came back out she continually added things that were not discussed in previous meetings that were well over the top including trying to tell me what kind of building material was used to boarder a bathtub and a gutter end piece that had a missing screw which is when I decided it was clear that for some reason Dana had some problem with me and she was now deciding that she would make me pay for whatever it was.

She at that time was asked to step off the property and to not return without a supervisor.

The next run in with Dana was when I bought a house for a fellow landlord with his money as he was not able to attend a sale and was transferring it to him via quit claim deed in a few weeks. The landlord got busy fixing up the place to help the neighborhood get rid of this eyesore but made the mistake of fixing it without getting a permit and Dana caught him. He also went ahead and rented the place when complete without a rental certificate. Well, my LLC was presently the owner. Dana contacted me with the typical threat letter and I contacted her by phone as a normal civil human being would. I told Dana about the situation and told her the property would be transferred to the other landlord the following week.

Regardless of my attempt of positive communication, Dana proceeded  to file charges against me personally. Not my LLC which was the owner but ME. I was served for 6 different issues, 2 of which were criminal. One of which she did right and served the LLC and one which she broke the law and served me personally which is still on my record and costs approximately $600 to get expunged, damages of which I will likely seek legally in a court of law in a personal lawsuit against her.

Now Dana and I have had our most recent run in where she has personally attacked me again. Remember the neighbors fence I was talking about previously that the neighborhood hoodlums keep tearing up? This fence runs along my and their property line. It is easy to tell who owns a fence in every situation because the better looking side ALWAYS goes on the outside. The framing supportive parts of fences are always on the inside. Dana knows this very well. She is not a stupid woman. She also knows who owns the fence from multiple online requests for service that she has not acted upon.

Well… a couple days ago Dana saw this as an opportunity to go after me again and enter my house.

Let me give you a few quotes from the law so we are all on the same page and have an understanding of how and why Dana broke the law.

Virginia Code 36-105.1:1 Rental inspections; rental inspection districts; exemptions; penalties.

The law states:  “G. Exemptions from rental inspection ordinance. Upon the initial or periodic inspection of a residential rental dwelling unit subject to a rental inspection ordinance for compliance with the Building Code, provided that there are no violations of the Building Code that affect the safe, decent and sanitary living conditions for the tenants of such residential rental dwelling unit, the building department shall provide, to the owner of such residential rental dwelling unit, an exemption from the rental inspection ordinance for a minimum of four years.”

The house that Dana checked has a valid rental exemption certificate which was given to me by her and nothing has changed since she checked it last time.

The ONLY way allowed by LAW that a code enforcer may enter a property after the landlord has been given a rental exemption certificate is “If the residential rental dwelling unit becomes in violation of the Building Code during the exemption period, the building department may revoke the exemption previously granted under this section.”

The Code Enforcement department uses this language to enter your unit when a tenant calls because they are being evicted. I just so happened to be in the process of evicting the tenants in the unit she checked so I naturally assumed that they called code enforcement to vindictively get me back for kicking them out.

I contacted my tenants to find out why it is that they called code enforcement if they had a problem instead of calling my maintenance people to come and fix it. I always have had a policy of fixing whatever kinds of problems my tenants have. Keeps happy tenants and helps me get my rent on time.

Their answer I have saved by text is “We are not the ones who called those people but the lady that came said you would think we did. She said she needed to look around. Whenever we call maintenance they come by, why would we. She said she wanted to look around to see if anything was wrong. So we didn’t think nothing of it.”

I was shocked to find this out but instantly recognized that it was Dana going after me again. She has broken the law that dictates what can and can not be done in blighted areas that have been set up as rental inspection districts. Dana did not have a legally acceptable reason to enter my house due to a neighbors fence. She does not legally have the right to take me to court for the neighbors fence either as she has suggested she will do. This is outright harassment and I now have no other option than to serve her with a trespassing notice. Dana will not be allowed on any of my properties from this date out without me being present and a supervisor accompanying her.

So are these stories highly unusual things that happen when dealing with the Roanoke City Code Enforcement department or are they commonplace? I hear stories every week from our members and am only telling what I have experienced as I am not at liberty to discuss their matters. Most landlords are fearful of saying anything or disturbing the waters as they will end up getting put on the blacklist and will get nailed by all of them on a regular basis. However I am of a different mindset on this matter because someone has to clear the air so landlords in Roanoke City can attempt to change the corporate culture within this city department to be a culture that consists of working together rather than working against. A culture that promotes positive behavior by both the city and the property investor where we can work together to develop solutions to the blight issues we face.

A critical first step to end blight and increase the property values across the city will be to end this negative culture the Code Enforcement Department has developed and working on a positive healthy relationship with property investors so we all see that the city doesn’t hate business anymore. 

Our leadership in the City Council, Mayor and City Manager and Upper Management are not of this mindset however sometimes all of the red tape and various layers of government can make it difficult to see what is going on.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Breaking News!!! Armed Robberies In SE Roanoke


Please make sure that you tell your tenants in SE Roanoke to not open the door to anyone that they do not know as their are robbers at large.

My tenants in the 10th block of Bullitt Ave in SE Roanoke were held by gunpoint by two black males and one white male who demanded their money or they would shoot them and kill their children that were being laid on top of by her sister to attempt to stop the bullet.

My tenant made the mistake of answering the door at 3am. Her sister told them to go away because she didn't know them after looking out the peep hole and then my tenant cracked it to talk to them and they kicked the door in the rest of the way and introduced a reign of terror to these poor girls and their children that will never be forgotten.

The criminals got someone else down the street as well. 

Tell your tenants to keep the lights on all night long, make sure you have peep holes in their doors and deadbolts to keep it securely locked and instruct them to not answer the door for people they don't know.

SE Roanoke is a war-zone right now. A rash of auto break ins, blocks of car windows getting smashed and many criminals on the run. Do what you can to help keep your tenants safe.

Monday, September 17, 2012

I Am A Criminal In The Eyes Of The City of Roanoke

So if you do a criminal background check on me you will find that I have a "dismissed" criminal charge of Failure to Comply With the Statewide Building Code that was given to me by Dana Horne-Shambry. The house did not belong to me. And also a failure to notice that my sticker on my license plate was out of date. Woops...

Now I have a new criminal charge that I have to defend myself on that was given to me by Craig Sisson. Craig sent me a letter that one of my new tenants had a large "outdoor storage" pile of stuff in the back yard. I drove by the house to see if this was true and sure enough... She has a pile of furniture and other random items outside in the back yard that she had not yet moved into the house. I asked her if she could get it up no less than 5 times and my contractor told her on multiple occasions as well. I can not legally take her belongings and get rid of them without going through the eviction process. So clearly I am in a bind.

Craig failed to call me even though all of them have my cell phone number. Would have been a nice thing to do but I guess Craig wasn't feeling that nice that day. Just had me served with criminal papers. But the police officer did give me a call and serve me by phone.

The tenant was late on her second month of rent and she asked my contractor if I would waive the late fee because she didn't know where to pay. I agreed to do so as long as she got up that pile of stuff the same day. Which didn't happen. It is still sitting there. Still a source of blight in the neighborhood. I don't like it and I'm sure the neighbors don't like it either. I even pleaded with her that she will end up getting me put in court and she still has refused to get up her stuff.

I am wondering exactly why it is that the city code enforcement department did not take the accountable tenant to court and subpoena me as a witness as they are allowed to do. The code enforcement department has already talked with the city attorney and the city attorney said that would be an acceptable option. Taking the tenant to court would permanently stop her from doing this not only at my house but every house she lives at in the future in the city. But the code enforcement department decided it would be better to take me to court for what this tenant has done. Unbelievable.

And to make matters worse, what happens down the road when I decide to take a presidents position at a major corporation and the board of directors has human services do a criminal background check? Sure, they will see these "dismissed" charges but it will leave a suspicion that I am not a law abiding person regardless if it was dismissed or not. I do not like having charges, even dismissed ones on my record. And I have been told it costs $600 to have a dismissed charge expunged.

Is this policy that the code enforcement department has to not hold the tenant accountable for their own actions a good method of putting an end to the blight conditions that we face? Are blight issues such as this a result of a landlords poor management of his or her business or a result of tenants refusing to comply with the city code knowing that they won't be held accountable anyway?

When you tell your children to do something do they always do exactly as told? How about if you tell a grown adult to do something... Do they always listen? Yes, I MAY be able to force her out through an eviction court process which takes time. And she will move on to another landlords house in the city and do it all over again as she has never been held accountable to date as per her criminal record background check. So the problem goes on and the city blight issues will never change without some minor policy changes. There are a few bad apples in the city that will remain bad apples as long as they never get a smack on their hand or to their wallet.

Friday, August 31, 2012


So you think you are insured? Against what? I cannot fathom what must go through your mind every day and night wondering what you might lose! It does not have to be that way. You pay hard earned money, so ask the questions! Insurance is vital to your prosperity. Who do you trust? Your friend, your neighbor, your cousin? Hire a professional as you would for lesser interests.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


The Cap and Trade Bill is bad for the housing market and especially bad for landlords and tenants! Below are some questions I answered for a internationally known editor and photojournalist that is doing an article on this bill.

Essentially HR 2454 is a Cap and Trade Bill that will require you to retrofit all of your property and make it energy efficient to comply with revised building standards. Insulation, double pane windows, energy efficient Heat Pumps, storm windows and doors, etc. You will not be allowed to sell it if you don't retrofit it. It was introduced in 2009, then amended and re-introduced in 2012, where it passed the House and is currently before Committee in the Senate!!!

Since the vast majority of energy efficiency incentives for Va homeowners expired in 2011, how do you and your associates feel about the Cap and Trade Bill that will require E E updates to homes?

We strongly believe in our free market system as that is the foundation of this great country. It's not a wise idea to impose regulations upon it that will further harm the housing industry.

Supply and demand governs our economic system. In order to increase demand of items that are cost prohibitive, there has to be a payoff. Either the price of these energy efficient items decrease via federal and state tax breaks to companies that produce them or the government continues to offer rebates to those who purchase them. This will spur a higher production level which will in turn decrease costs to produce which will be passed on to the consumer in industries that are required to compete with each other to survive.

Would you urge our Senators to include amendments to the current Bill that will assist landlords in outfitting homes to comply with the new EE requirements?
How do you think it will affect our housing market in Roanoke since most of our homes are older - either historic or the glut built in the 60's and 70's?
In this economy, how do you think it will affect Landlords and those purchasing property for rentals?

Reducing our dependance on foreign oil should be a priority as it is a national security issue. Allowing drilling permits and development of new technology such as effectively using hydrogen and or ethanol alcohol etc will take care of that. Most of the energy used within our homes is from coal, natural gas and nuclear, all of which are from American companies that employ American people. Saving energy in these areas is also wise but should not be confused with the real objective of reducing our dependance on foreign oil.

The Cap and Trade bill requires that all new homes have to fall within the new energy standards in order to be sold. This will have a negative impact and stall the growth of the new home and building construction industry across the United States.

If this bill is enforced on existing properties it will completely crush the real estate market and the economy again along with it.

It is advisable that our senators and house members both on a federal and state level continue to offer tax rebate programs to assist property owners in making energy efficient products a reality so older homes can be economically retrofitted with energy efficient products. These tax rebates should extend to small business owners and landlords as well as these energy efficient products will directly result in trickle down economics and the end user low income tenant will reap the benefits.

How do you feel as a landlord, and one with multiple properties, that it will affect your tenants if you have to refit their rentals with Energy Efficient updates?

As a landlord, retrofitting multiple properties will require financing to do so. Financing that is difficult to come by with the currant market conditions. Those that are able to obtain financing will be forced to substantially raise rents across the board to cover the costs of the loan and it's interest. Those who can not obtain financing will be in violation of the law and will not have the financial means for compliance.

It is critical that there are amendments to what is currently proposed to protect landlords so the cost doesn't have to be passed along to tenants in an already bad economy.

Dallas Powell, VP REI of Virginia

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Western Virginia Water Authority - Full Frontal Attack On YOU!!!

The Western Virginia Water Authority LOVES Landlords as we are the new guarantee that all bills will be paid eventually...

The Western Virginia Water Authority has asked me to send this information to you as they have now stepped up their game and have decided that you as the landlord of a tenant that did not pay their water bill will be the victim due to the passing of HB 567.

As you know, landlords have been legislatively made responsible for paying a tenants unpaid water bill even though the Water Authority has a contract between themselves and the tenant and not with you. Billing a third party for a product or service that they had no beneficial use of is not morally or ethically right. 

The New Attack On Landlords Includes: (Effective July 1st 2012)
A. The Authority is now requiring you to provide an authorization form that signs the property owners rights away acknowledging that there is a contract between you and the water authority rather than just between them and the tenant. And if you don't they have decided that they will not allow water at your rental property essentially shutting down your business. THEY WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO RENT YOUR PROPERTY WITHOUT GIVING THEM THIS AUTHORIZATION FORM.

B. If the landlord has a lien put on their property from a tenant that did not pay their water bill, and the lien has been on the property for at least 2 months, they can shut down the landlords business by refusing to turn the water on until the tenants delinquent bill is paid. They say they are not enforcing this provision right now but we all know they eventually will.

C. The Authority now no longer has to get a judgement against the tenant which was legally required before. The Authority previously told REI of Virginia that they refuse to do so due to the cost of taking their customer to court, a cost that landlords have to face on a regular basis in order to evict a non paying tenant. There will be no way for a landlord to tell when doing a background check if they are renting to a new tenant that has previously not paid a water bill at another property.

D. There is an increase of a court filing fee to the landlord from $2.00 to $5.00 which will be added to the lien amount.

E. The Authority can now add an additional 20% to the tenants unpaid water bill in what they will call a "collection fee" in order to stick it to the property owner after the tenant doesn't pay their water bill. And the Authority can charge interest on top of that. The Authority appears to have decided that they will charge the collection fee but won't charge interest at this time.

F. When the lien is released the Authority will mail the landlord a notarized lien release form which you can take down to the courthouse and have recorded yourself to release the lien. The Clerk can not charge the landlord for doing this at this point in time.

G. The Authority will put the lien on the landlords property after they have submitted the tenants debt to the State's Set-Off Debt Collection Program which I believe is where the state attempts to take the money out of the tenants tax return. Do not pay any lien until this point as it appears that this is their ONLY means of debt collection from the tenant.

H. The Authority can not legally file a lien for less than $25. The Authority is allowed to let the tenant build up a delinquent bill for 3 straight months. Any lien that small is not foreseeable due to this. The maximum that the authority can charge a landlord for is 3 months of delinquent tenant water bills. The Authority has made no decision to cut the water off at the drop of a hat due to non payment.

I. Your tenants water deposit in this new "Program" will be $150. THE AUTHORITY IS REQUIRED BY LAW TO COLLECT A SECURITY DEPOSIT THAT WILL COVER NO LESS THAN 3 AND NO MORE THAN 5 MONTHS OF YOUR TENANT NOT PAYING THEM. Apparently the Authority feels that the average water bill can not go over $150 in 3 month period of non payment and abuse by your tenant.

J. When the property is sold, the lien's rank as high as unpaid taxes so they will have to be paid before the mortgage gets paid. They are at a higher priority than the mortgage.

K. If your tenant has Section 8 or is on ANY kind of Need Based local, state or federal rental assistance, the Water Authority will not be able to legally charge them a deposit so ALL of their delinquent bill will be paid by the landlord.

So what is a landlord in Greater Roanoke to do? You can put all water bills in your name and raise your rents across the board to cover tenant abuse and non payment of water..... You can charge up to 2 months worth of rent for a deposit which hopefully will cover any liens that you may get however in these trying times it's hard enough for someone to come up with one month security deposit.... Are you going to have to change your rental criteria? Unfortunately this new "Program" makes it difficult to rent to those who get "needs based rental assistance" such as Section 8, etc. since they don't have to pay a water deposit and all delinquint bills will be paid by the property owner.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Former Roanoke Landlord Falls Off The Deep End


Bizarre Letter From Bill White To Roanoke City Officials

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

FHA Distressed Asset Stabilization Program

So this September the FHA has announced that they will start a distressed asset stabilization program to help keep people in their properties.

They will allow banks to sell pools of high risk loans that are at least 6 months delinquent if the homeowner is not in bankruptcy. In order for the banks to sell these loans to investors they must have exhausted all steps in the FHA's loss mitigation procedure and already started the foreclosure process.

They have regulated what you note buying investors do. At purchasing these notes you must work with the buyer for at least 6 months to find creative or flexible solutions that FHA does not typically offer. No more than half of these properties can become REO properties "foreclosed on and owned by you the investor/note buying bank". And you as the investor have to hold the loan for at least 3 years if the note can not be brought out of default. So you better buy these right if you are required to hold the other half of the properties that can not become an REO for 3 years with potentially not getting a single payment from the homeowner.

Selling Your Flip In Todays Market

It's a tight market to rehab and resell property. Most investors at this point in time are buying and holding. It is more critical than ever that those that are involved with flipping property purchase extremely low and leave enough room for plenty of profit so you can lower your price to a point where you are at today's golden rule of approximately 15% below the ARV, After Repair Value.

It is the goal of a flipper to turn their property in the shortest amount of time and if you are selling 15% below it's fixed up market value in most cases you should be able to unload it within 3 months. From the worst to the he nicest house on the block for 15% below the ARV is your objective.

In selling your rehab your largest obstacles are as follows.

(Information from a report published by Integra Realty Resources from a survey of non-homeowners from 25-50 in 11 large markets.)

85% of potential homeowners say that market conditions are favorable to buying a home but unemployment and job instability make many of them unable to do so.

21% are not planning on buying because of an uncertain economic outlook.

24% are afraid of making a bad investment. Prove to  your potential buyers that they will have equity from the day they move in to overcome this.

31% will not be buying a property due to not having down payment money.

So you know the largest obstacles to home-ownership from this study. Develop a strategy to overcome these obstacles and sell your property. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Age And Sex Laws For Children In Your Rentals

So here's some info on age and sex laws for children in your property. Information obtained by Karl Kleinhenz who is head of Fair Housing for Roanoke City and DSS.

There are no United States laws that dictate an age that siblings of any sex can share a room. Parents can make reasonable decisions as to who can share what room in their household.

Child protection agencies can make judgements about children sharing rooms on a case by case situation. In some cases they require separation based on sex when the oldest child hits puberty, sometimes they require children over the age of 5 to be separated by sex.

Foster care children can have different regulations as they are wards of the State. The state may require that they are separated by sex or other things.

Landlords and public housing may have rules for tenants of how many bedrooms are required per number of people in the family. The rule is generally 2 people per bedroom per the hud occupancy standards. But this is not set in stone. The landlord may also require that children be separated by sex. The government does not require this. And you are not in violation of the fair housing laws if you have these rules as long as your rules pertain to everyone.

With exception of rules placed by child protective services or the government in the case of foster care, in general it is left to the landlord or parent. Code enforcement can not regulate this as there is nothing for them to regulate.

As far as how many people per bedroom goes the law dictates that HUD may not make judgement on this. It is left to the landlords and sensibility. The general rule of thumb is 70 square feet of space per person in a bedroom. But this also is left to interpretation.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Using Life Insurance in Business Succession Planning


By Julius Giarmarco

Giarmarco, Mullins & Horton, P.C.

Life insurance can play an important role in a business succession plan. Following are some of the common ways in which life insurance can be integrated with many of the tools, techniques and strategies commonly used in business succession planning.

Estate liquidity: Some business owners will wait until death to transfer all or most of their business interests to one or more of their children. If the business owner has a taxable estate, life insurance can provide the children receiving the business the cash necessary for them to pay estate taxes. Using life insurance (owned by an irrevocable trust) to pay estate taxes is particularly useful to business owners because business interests cannot be readily liquidated. Life insurance is also a much easier (and less expensive) alternative to deferring estate taxes under IRC Section 6166. The children receiving the business may also need life insurance to pay estate taxes at their deaths. Typically, the insurance policy will be owned by an irrevocable life insurance trust so that the beneficiaries will receive the death proceeds both income and estate tax free.

Estate equalization: A business owner can use life insurance to provide those children who are not involved in the business with equitable treatment. Leaving the business to the active children and life insurance (owned by an irrevocable trust) to the inactive children equalizes the inheritances among all of the children. It also avoids the need for the active children to purchase the interests of the inactive children -- perhaps at a time when the business may be unable to afford it. Depending on the particular facts and circumstances, the insurance may be owned by an irrevocable trust for the benefit of the inactive children -- and the insured(s) may be the business owner or the business owner and his spouse.

Buy-sell agreements: A properly designed buy-sell agreement can guarantee a market and fair price for a deceased, disabled or withdrawing owner's business interest, ensure control over the business by the surviving or remaining owners, and set the value of the business interest aside for estate tax purposes. Life insurance is the best way to provide the cash necessary for the business or the surviving owners to purchase a deceased owner's interest. In many instances, the cash surrender value in a life insurance policy can also be used tax free (by surrendering to basis and borrowing the excess) to help pay for a lifetime purchase of a business owner's interest.

  • Non-qualified deferred compensation pans (NQDC): A nonqualified deferred compensation plan can be used by a small business to provide members of the senior generation with death, disability and/or retirement benefits. An NQDC plan may be particularly useful in those situations where the senior members have transitioned the business to the junior members and are no longer receiving any compensation from the business. An NQDC plan is also useful to ensure that key employees remain with the business during the transition period -- a so-called golden handcuff. Because life insurance offers tax-deferred cash value growth and tax-free death benefits, it is the most popular vehicle for "informally" funding NQDC plan liabilities.

  • Key man insurance: Many family businesses depend on nonfamily employees for the company's continued success. To guard against financial loss due to the absence of an indispensable key employee, many companies take out key person life insurance.

  • Section 303 redemptions: IRC Section 303 allows an estate a one-time opportunity to remove cash from a corporation (equal to the amount of estate taxes and administrative expenses), at little or no tax cost, through a partial redemption of stock. To ensure that the corporation has sufficient funds with which to accomplish the Section 303 redemption, the corporation can purchase a life insurance policy on the shareholder's life.

  • Hedge strategy: Life insurance can also be used to provide a "hedge" against the business owner's premature death in connection with a grantor retained annuity trust. For example, if the business owner established a GRAT and died before the end of the set term, the life insurance could be used to pay the estate taxes on the GRAT assets that would be included in the business owner's estate. In addition, if a sale with a private annuity is used, life insurance could provide funds for the business owner's spouse (and/or other family members), since the annuity payments would terminate on the business owner's death. Similarly, life insurance could provide funds for the business owner's spouse and other family members should the business owner die prematurely after using a self-canceling installment note to sell the business interest. In all of these situations, it is advisable to have the life insurance owned by an irrevocable trust so that the insurance proceeds will escape estate taxes.

  • Family bank: When the decision is made to leave the business to both active and inactive children, it is usually advisable to leave the active children with voting interests and the inactive children with nonvoting interests in the business. In addition, put and call options can be given. Generally, a put option given to the inactive children allows them to require the active children (or the business itself) to purchase all or a portion of their interest in the business at a set price and terms. Without a put option, there may be no practical way for an inactive child to benefit from owning the business interest unless and until the business is sold. Conversely, a call option given to the active children (or the business itself) allows them to purchase the business interests of the inactive children upon a set price and terms. Without a call option, there may be no effective way for the active children to avoid the potential conflicts that can occur between the active children who are receiving salaries and bonuses and the inactive children who are not. By having the active children own life insurance on the business owner's life, a "bank" is created to provide the funds to satisfy any such puts and calls. Typically, the policy will be owned outside of the business entity, such as in a trust for the benefit of the active children or by a limited liability company owned by the active children.
THIS ARTICLE MAY NOT BE USED FOR PENALTY PROTECTION. *For further information, or to contact this author, please leave a comment and your e-mail address in the forum below.  

For information on this & other strategies for Wealth & Asset Protection please contact our agency for a free consultation:  Carico Insurance (540) 772-3362

For the Recently Widowed, Some Big Financial Pitfalls to Avoid


There are few more wrenching events in life than losing your spouse.
But to make matters worse, the death of a life partner also unleashes a torrent of financial tasks. And more often than not, it is a woman — a widow — who is taking them on.
Women live longer than men, and they’re likely to outlive their male spouses, given that decades ago, many women married men a few years older. Plus, gender roles being what they were, men often took on most of the household finances.
As a result, many widows aren’t as familiar with investing, insurance and taxes as their dead husbands were.
Even if widows were the household money whizzes, however, they’re likely to find themselves navigating an overwhelming mix of emotions. There is grief and despair, fears both rational and irrational and often a desperate urge to take action — any action — that will allow them to move on. But with important financial decisions, speed can make a mess of things.
Last week, in the first of a series of columns about financial mistakes that particular groups of people repeatedly make, I wrote about physicians and what we can learn from their blunders.
The pitfalls for widows are well-enough known that there are books for them, including “New Widow Financial Lifeline” and “Moving Forward on Your Own.” I also recommend a 20-page offering on the Web site of Timberchase Financial, a financial planning firm that works with many widows, called “What Do I Do Now?
But even a brief pamphlet may be too much for the grief-stricken to digest right away. In the meantime, widows can avoid many of the big financial pitfalls by keeping just four things in mind.
THE RUSH Some financial tasks you must do within a month or two of a spouse’s death. Keep paying the bills, including any quarterly tax charges. Make sure you understand how your health insurance works, if it comes from your dead spouse’s employer. Collect on any life insurance policies, especially if cash is running low.
Just about everything else can wait a little longer because you will probably not be in the clearest frame of mind. “I did not know my Social Security number one day when I was filling out a form,” said Kathleen Rehl, a financial planner in Land O’ Lakes, Fla., who is the author of “Moving Forward on Your Own.” “I had helped widows before. But when I became one, I really got it. I was stuck in shock phase.”
Jennifer M. Murray, who is also both a widow and financial planner, has a rule for her own widowed clients, who make up 50 percent of her practice: no irreversible decisions soon after the death of a spouse.
It can be hard to resist big, decisive moves, though, given that a lump sum insurance check may be landing and a widow may desperately want to march through every important decision and get on with her life. But hasty decisions about, say, paying off the mortgage can lead to a lot of regret if you need more liquidity years later.
Then there are the bad actors who prey on the recently widowed. Many surviving spouses immediately crave secure investments offering regular income that never runs out. So you’ll no doubt hear from people selling all manner of annuities, which have the tendency to enrich the salesperson at your expense.
Even if you’re certain that you want this sort of lifetime income stream, have an independent financial planner who is earning only fees from you look it all over. In fact, if you’re tempted to do anything quickly with a significant chunk of your net worth, pay three different professionals for another opinion, just to be sure that you know what you’re in for.
THE HOME One problem with rushing to, say, pay off your mortgage is that it may not ultimately be wise to remain in a house.
Even if the mortgage and real estate taxes seem manageable, there is the lawn, snow removal and the endless repairs that go along with homeownership. “All of these are expenses that most women don’t seem to anticipate until they happen,” Ms. Murray said.
When her husband died in 2004, she was 43 years old and decided to stay put with her two children in Chatham, N.J. The house isn’t big, and neither is the mortgage; her son handles snow and the lawn.
Ms. Rehl, who is 64, also stayed in her Florida home when her husband died in 2007, but she understands the instinct to put it on the market and flee. “That empty house can be terrifying,” she said.
Often, adult children will urge their widowed mother to move in with them in a different city. Ms. Rehl suggests caution here. “The idea of living with your son and not being alone may sound wonderful,” she said. “Granted, that might be the right decision. But maybe think in terms of a long visit first, and then come back and think.”
THE PURSE It isn’t just annuity salesmen who see widows as a source of income. People much closer to her may have the same outlook.
Adult children may see an opportunity to request an advance on their inheritance. Cunning offspring will push all the emotional buttons. “How can you deny me this when we’re going through so much emotional pain already?” they may ask. Or they may trot out this gem: “Dad would have given me the down payment money if he was still here.”
Saying no will not be easy. If you have a financial planner or accountant helping you, you can let that professional be the stingy one. And if you succumb to the advance-on-my-inheritance approach, put it in writing so that there’s no confusion later on why one sibling is getting a bigger share of any future estate than another.
Then, there are the not-always-gentlemen callers. Wily widows of means are wary of men seeking “purses” (or nurses, for that matter). “They thought I would be a soft touch,” Ms. Rehl said of some of the men who turned up in recent years. “I tell my widowed clients that it is probably a good idea to investigate them. I have done my own criminal background searches and discovered that one person who I didn’t date that long had a lien on his property and had declared bankruptcy in the past.”
The point here is not that all adult children are greedy and that all older men are gold-digging deadbeats. But with sadness comes vulnerability, and there is nothing selfish about saying no, a lot, in the first few years after you lose your husband.
THE GHOST Once you’re a widow, your budget and long-term planning needs will almost certainly change. Oddly enough, however, many men try to dictate financial advice from the grave.
People do this with the best of intentions, but it can be terribly misguided. Take the trust that Anthony J. Ogorek, a financial planner in Williamsville, N.Y., saw once. “He carved it in stone 30 years earlier that the money could only be in AT&T stock and AAA-rated bonds,” Mr. Ogorek said. Fast-forward to today: AT&T is hardly the monopoly it once was, and the United States government no longer has a pristine AAA rating.
Mr. Ogorek refers to this as “fighting the ghost,” where stubborn dead men leave concentrated collections of Cooper Tire & Rubber or United Parcel Service stock along with instructions never to touch it. And their widows, either as a gesture of loyalty or because they genuinely believe that this is the last bit of protection that they have left from their late spouse, can’t bear to defy them.
But it is rare that a concentrated position in any investment is good for a widow. “In the quest to protect her, he’s created a vulnerability,” Mr. Ogorek said.
Solving for this emotional trap can be relatively simple, though. It is possible, after all, that your late husband was right at the time and that the stock has done well and paid dividends. So your desire to take fewer risks isn’t tantamount to declaring his investment plan a failure.
But things change. And given that you’re in the middle of one of the most transformative ones of your life, you have every right to alter your investments a little bit, too.

Friday, May 25, 2012

X Roanoke Landlord Bill White Is On The Run From The Feds

Photo By New York Times of Roanoke Landlord Bill White
The Federal Marshals say former Roanoke landlord Bill White is on the run. I've been told that Bill lost the rest of his houses when making some deal with a bank for rehab money. I have 2 of them. Apparently Bill backed out after a while and gave up the properties. Another guy is now in charge of rehabbing them and once they are rehabbed he has a deal with the bank to purchase them.

The next news on Bill was that he was facing another 2 months in prison. Something happened that lead the courts to overturn a decision that a former judge made which required 2 more months to be served. It seems that he was being charged a second time for the same crime which I thought was illegal.

He then found himself in court again for distributing fliers for a book he wrote called "The Centuries of Revolution: Democracy, Communism, Zionism." Apparently they got him on littering charges and it appears they did this because they were not happy with the books content or politically incorrect content of the flyer.

There are many ways the government can go after a person if they are not happy with the message that they deliver to the public. We have a 1st Amendment in the United States Constitution that gives the people freedom of speech. And that freedom is supposed to include unpopular speech or politically incorrect speech. People have the right to say or believe as they wish whether you like it or not. And you have the same right to reject the message that they are conveying.

Bill was convicted of this crime of littering in Augusta County General District Court. He appealed and didn't show up to the trial and was fined $250 and ordered to pay $164 in court costs.

A criminal conviction is a violation of his probation. His littering charge is a criminal charge but a misdemeanor.

The Government is on the hunt for him. They found that he is no longer at his house as he is supposed to be.

Update: Bill White was caught in Mexico. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

House Hijacker

Scumbag Couch-Surfing In Your Crib And He Isn't Leaving Any Time Soon
Below is a trespassing notice that I have used on a few occasions.  I have been fortunate that when I used it they left as demanded. However I'm not sure if the city is enforcing this law. See Below where the specific Virginia laws are quoted. It seems to me that I always hear from the police trespassers are a civil matter but it doesn't look that way when I read the law.


DATE & TIME OF INCIDENT: _______________


You, Johnny Trespasser, are hereby notified pursuant to
Virginia Code § 18.2-119 and 55-248.31:01 that you are hereby barred from entering in or upon the premises or cartilage of the property of the address:
1234 Bad Tenant Ave. SE, Roanoke, VA 24013
 Further, you are hereby notified that if you are found entered upon the above
 Premises after the date of ___________, your presence shall be deemed a trespass upon said property
 herein described and the owner, or duly authorized representative shall take every measure
 permitted by law to prevent such trespass, which shall include arrest by a police officer. 

Should you enter or cross my property, I will notify the Police Department and seek a criminal
 complaint against you in the General District Court for trespassing and or apply directly with
 the magistrate for a warrant for trespass.
 I, Johnny Trespasser, 
Of (address) __NA_______________________________________________________ 
(city) _Roanoke_____________ (state) _VA________ (zip code) _________________  

I have fully read and understand the significance of the above notice of trespass and voluntarily 
affix my signature. 
__________________________________       ______________________
(signature)                                                            (date)
_____________________________________         _________________________
(signature of property owner / agent)                        (date)
Lease Agreement States:
b. NO ASSIGNMENT OR SUBLEASE: TENANT cannot sublease or assign this lease to any one else for
 any reason or allow anyone not approved in writing by LANDLORD to occupy the premises.
d. NO OTHER RESIDENTS ALLOWED; GUESTS LIMITED: TENANT will not allow any other individuals
 except those listed in this lease to reside in the unit. TENANT may have temporary overnight visitors provided:

1) any such visitors do not stay overnight more than fourteen days total in any three month period and 
2) there are not more than two overnight visitors at any one time.

I hereby certify that I served this Notice upon the named trespasser by:
________Delivering a copy of it personally to the trespasser.
________By phone or verbally.
________Service by certified mail with return receipt requested.

Virginia Law
Virginia Code § 18.2-119 defines the crime of trespassing as follows:
If any person without authority of law goes upon or remains upon the lands, buildings or premises of another, or any portion or area thereof, after having been forbidden to do so, either orally or in writing, by the owner, lessee, custodian or other person lawfully in charge thereof, or after having been forbidden to do so by a sign or signs posted by such persons or by the holder of any easement or other right-of-way authorized by the instrument creating such interest to post such signs on such lands, structures, premises or portion or area thereof at a place or places where it or they may be reasonably seen, or if any person, whether he is the owner, tenant or otherwise entitled to the use of such land, building or premises, goes upon, or remains upon such land, building or premises after having been prohibited from doing so by a court of competent jurisdiction by an order issued pursuant to §§ 16.1-253, 16.1-253.1, 16.1-253.4, 16.1-278.2 through 16.1-278.6, 16.1-278.8, 16.1-278.14, 16.1-278.15, 16.1-279.1, 19.2-152.8, 19.2-152.9 or § 19.2-152.10 or an ex parte order issued pursuant to § 20-103, and after having been served with such order, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. This section shall not be construed to affect in any way the provisions of §§ 18.2-132 through 18.2-136.

55-248.31:01. Barring guest or invitee of tenants. A. A guest or invitee of a tenant may be barred from the premises by the landlord upon written notice served personally upon the guest or invitee of the tenant for conduct on the landlord's property where the premises are located which violates the terms and conditions of the rental agreement, a local ordinance, or a state or federal law. A copy of the notice must be served upon the tenant in accordance with this chapter. The notice shall describe the conduct of the guest or invitee which is the basis for the landlord's action.
B. In addition to the remedies against the tenant authorized by this chapter, a landlord may apply to the magistrate for a warrant for trespass, provided the guest or invitee has been served in accordance with subsection A.
C. The tenant may file a tenant's assertion, in accordance with  55-248.27, requesting that the general district court review the landlord's action to bar the guest or invitee.

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