Monday, July 27, 2015

This Week Nothing. We Got Kicked Out

This week our guest speaker will be no one. Because we have been kicked out by the Brambleton Deli and are struggling to secure another location again. And once we do (I have no idea when that will be) I will do several hours more of work changing where we meet all over the internet. If we were getting paid for all of this bouncing around this could be a real money maker for us. Too bad we’re all volunteers.

We were told last week that we had several members in our group that would not eat and would just get water or nothing. The waitresses told us they only made $282 in total sales the previous week and “Ben” was mad. Amanda asked them if that was our notice and they said no. They said they wouldn’t do that to us and just throw us out with no chance to secure another location. But when Carla talked to Ben he said we’re done effective immediately when she asked if we had a couple weeks to find a place. He wouldn’t have us in there for even one more day. Which was a very nasty, mean spirited thing to do.

That’s pretty bad business I would say. Actually it is pretty shocking. That level of unprofessionalism is something I would expect more from a company like the Water Authority than a private business that has a good reputation… I thought. I guess he didn’t realize that there are 550 members of this group and all of us know and understand how a good professional business who values their customers operates. I will never eat there again there are plenty of other choices in Roanoke.

They clearly weren’t counting all of the alcohol that we drink in the bar afterwards as well. Ohh and I guess Ben didn’t consider the fact that the waitresses wouldn’t give anyone a menu or ask them what they want to eat. I have never been to a place that didn’t ask you what you wanted to eat. That was a first for me.

This was the process I personally went through each time there. And I was told by several other members they experienced the same. Each meeting I tried to flag them down to bring me a menu. Sometimes that took a while. Then I had difficulty trying to get their attention to order from that menu since they wouldn’t come back even though they knew I wanted to order. I would then get my food which was good. But every single time they wouldn’t bring silverware so I had to try to get their attention again for that. There were also difficulties keeping drinks full.

The waitstaff were nice. They just seemed to be highly inexperienced and weren’t trained to know that when a group is in a room you go to every single person and give them a menu and ask them what they want to eat. And beyond that, trained waitstaff also up-sell people and ask them if they want dessert or if they would like a mixed drink or something.

My point in telling you this is I can understand both sides of the argument. Ben clearly hasn’t done his job training his waitstaff. However I do know that there are some people that come to the meeting and get nothing. There would have been significantly less if they asked everyone what they wanted.

We need to do our end of things which is to eat in the restaurant since they are providing free space for us to meet. We have a couple of options. We can charge significantly more dues to cover the costs to meet in a hotel conference room or something in rows of uncomfortable chairs with no tables, food or drink or we can meet in a restaurant.

We decided to keep the dues down and have our meetings in a restaurant. There is NO restaurant that wants to give us free space to have our meeting without making some money off that space on their food and drinks.

Those of you that just want to get a water or something and prevent the restaurant from earning some money for that space that they give us to pay their rent / mortgage and other expenses don’t need to come to the meetings. Sorry I’m telling you so bluntly but that’s just the way it is. I can tell you for a fact that all of us officers that are doing this free volunteer work every week to keep the group going will quickly lose interest in doing so if we have to continually find a new place to eat due to complaints from the restaurant that there is a large portion of the group that isn’t getting anything. 

So those of you who won’t buy anything, shame on you for making us have to do all of this work to find another place. And Ben the head honcho of the Brambleton Deli, you should consider training your waitstaff properly. It’s not their fault they don’t know what they are doing. It’s yours!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Agressive Collections


We’ve got a great meeting lined up this week. Our speaker will be the very man who showed me how to correctly fill out my first garnishment. This man’s name is Spanky “The Collector” Macher.

This Armenian gentleman will be showing us how to effectively collect debt by every legal method out there that doesn’t include sending Bobbie Knee Caps or Johnny Knuckles.

Learn the how to procedures of debt collection as well as the pitfalls that you may experience. Learn the law from the creditor’s side of things and strategies the creditor can use to effectively collect debt.

Come on out, it will be a fun meeting!

See Ya Later, Alligator…

Strange QR Code Popping Up All Over Town

I’ve seen this strange QR Code popping up all over town. Strange because it’s nothing but a giant QR Code. Don’t know what it’s all about but it has some really interesting things in it pertaining to Roanoke City Council at their next meeting stealing property from some people and the sheer magnitude of job loss that we have experienced over the past few years in another article. Use your QR Code reader on your phone. If you don’t have one there is an app called RedLaser which is a great really fast reader. And if you don’t have a smart phone this link is where the QR Code takes you.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Dirty And Potentially Illegal Tricks Roanoke City Government Plays On Unsuspecting People At Tax Sales

Dirty Tricks People Play For The All Mighty Dollar

The tax sale is Tomorrow Wednesday July 15th at 12PM at the Roanoke City Civic Center. This message is a reminder to those of you novices that don’t know what you’re doing. The city WILL take you for a ride and you need to know and understand that before you bid. Be very careful making a deal with the city because they feel like they are above the law.

Roanoke City has a tax sale of real estate every 8 months to a year. I’ve attended every single one for the past 10 years or so and have purchased a few properties from these sales. I’ve learned allot of lessons over the years and the city has taught me that they can not be trusted and are willing to stoop to low levels that are shocking and most likely illegal.

It is important to expose this corruption within so those who are leading this city have an opportunity to resolve the issues and terminate the city employees who are taking part in this. I am expecting some changes to be made this year regarding disclosure as some people high up in the government ranks were shocked last year when I exposed the scams that were taking place amongst low level government employees. But I can tell you for a fact that they did not terminate any of the employees that were responsible and I could name each one of them.

Below are a few issues that I have personally witnessed or have been a part of. I’m sure there are many more.

Sales Advertised With Guaranteed Clean Titles Are Not Guaranteed Clean:
Roanoke City advertises in their tax sales that they are giving you a property that has a clean title and is free of all claims. I purchased a property back in 2007 that had a serious title problem. Years before the property was sold with the wrong lot information, it was mixed up with the lot next door. Which means the person next door actually is the owner of the property. No title company would insure it therefore no bank loan could be obtained as a result of the title problem and ability for the next door owner to lay claim to the property. I contacted the attorney working for the city at that time and he told me that’s your problem and sent me packing after paying 35K for the property. So lots of money and work for my attorney and we were fortunately able to get a clean title.

Property In SE Roanoke Torn Down Just A Couple Days Before The Sale And The Contracted City Attorney At That Time Contemplated Not Telling Buyers:
Roughly 5 to 7 years ago I was driving around last minute, a couple days before the sale, and saw one of the houses that was advertised for sale being demolished. When I got to the sale there was a photo of the house not demolished. I overheard the same attorney as before with my title problem talking to the guy in front of me. He was telling him that it was demolished but they seriously considered not telling the buyers as they don’t legally have to do so. I was shocked. It’s Unbelievable that anyone would even think about doing that. I’m sure that most people already did their research by driving around and viewing the properties long before I did and when they were looking at it it was there.

City Rezones Property And Hides That The New Owner Will Have To Convert It To Another Use:
Every once and a while the city rezones properties across the city. I think the last time they did it was in 2006. The law is that if a residential property is vacant for at least 2 years than it loses it’s CO and has to revert to a single family house. Almost every house at every tax sale has been sitting vacant for at least 2 years. It takes 2 years of non payment of taxes in order to be able to sell the property to get their tax money.

When a multifamily house is sold at these tax sales and you look online on their GIS you will see that they will leave the property listed as a multifamily even if they are going to force the property to be reverted to a single family due to sitting vacant for too long. Most people do not know these laws. Fortunately I have been doing this stuff for long enough to know what the city will pull on people as they have attempted to do the same thing to me or fellow investors I know.

If the property was rezoned as single family and sat there for 2 years the city will not let you keep it a Multi family. They will force you to get a permit and revert it to a single family house which could bankrupt someone who was not expecting those additional costs and just getting started out in investing. I have seen it time and time again.

There are MANY examples of the city hiding this information at the sale. As a matter of fact, Not a single time have I ever heard the city disclosing this information. Unsuspecting buyers pay big bucks for these properties thinking that they are able to continue operating it as a quad or triplex or duplex and then later find out that they have to dump many more piles of cash into it to bring it to the cities new requirements. Often they don’t have the money to do so and the deceptive practices that the city takes part in end up ruining the rest of their life due to that bad investment.

Take the property at 608 8th St SE that was sold at a tax sale many years ago. And the house is still sitting just as it was. The only difference is now the neighborhood gets to continue to look at that eyesore because the government hoodwinked the buyer who significantly overpaid for the house because he thought he was buying a Quadraplex. I bid on that house but couldn’t justify more than 5K due to the knowledge of the games that the city plays with peoples lives. This poor guy got in a bidding war with other novice investors and ended up sinking 20K into the property before any work was done.

Or look at a couple tax sales ago and the property at 1509 Chapman Avenue. Which appears to be a duplex to the novice however it was rezoned a single family house and will be required to be converted by the novice investor. Wow, wait until they find that out. And guess what. That property is back up for sale again. I wonder if the city gave the poor person their money back.

I’m willing to bet that I would hear some city employees defending their non disclosure of this information while stating that they legally don’t have to. I would find it hard to believe that they legally would not be required to disclose something of such significance. However if they aren’t required to do so they still have moral and ethical behavior that we should be able to count on.

If you are reading this and you agree with what they are doing and are saying in your mind that an inexperienced investor should not be warned  about this as they should have done their due diligence, than you have something very seriously wrong with you. Yes, I am calling you out specifically. You need to get help. You are an evil heartless person and need to go back in your hole. That’s right… I said it!!! The world would be better without people like you.

Now don’t get the impression that there was some big slip-up and the city “forgot” to tell the auctioneer. This happens at EVERY tax sale. And at EVERY tax sale the city pays it’s code enforcement department with tax payer money to be at the sale over in the corner taking notes on who the next owner will be as their attack will follow the new unsuspecting owners purchase. 

City Has Detailed Knowledge Of Serious Problems With A Property And Hide This Knowledge From Buyers:
Another property went up for sale at the past tax sale that had a huge fire in it a few years back. The city condemned the property after the fire and boarded it up. This property was 819 Campbell. The only reason I know that it burned is I own a property behind it. You can’t easily tell from the outside that this property was destroyed. I am being told that this year they will disclose information regarding fire damaged properties. I wonder if they will disclose which properties that are multifamily that they are going to force to be turned into a single family. Or any of the other dirty things they have up their sleeve.

I bid on this fire damaged property because I specialize in extensive rehabs. However I was only willing to bid at most $3,000 as it would take a substantial amount of money to rehabilitate it. Most people couldn’t do it.

Even though there were a number of the code enforcement staff and management in the building, they all decided to deceptively hide the fact that they condemned this building due to a bad electrical fire in the basement. I have been told by an unnamed city employee that they have, in their possession, a file on this property that includes all of the pictures of the damage etc but were unwilling to disclose it. It’s the law that things like this are disclosed by Realtors and knowledge of something like this and not disclosing it is FRAUD.

I have been told through the grapevine that in most cases they will not allow someone to back out of money owed to the treasury department but will make exceptions when friends of the city are involved. In this case the unsuspecting bidder of this property backed out which leaves the city offering the property to the backup bidder which was me.

So I contacted the auctioneer to purchase the property. But in doing so found that the new attorney used by the city who is responsible for the tax sales has a “friend” that he was trying to give the property to and they are not interested anymore in selling it to the backup bidder which is standard procedure. NICE, again this kind of corruption these days should be expected from our local government. The end result is the property didn’t sell as this message went out last year and we ended up exposing what was happening. There was a day and time where you could count on and trust in what government does but I’m very sorry to say that that is a time that has come and gone…

You may be saying… Dallas, if you have the knowledge of this, why don’t you stand up at the tax sale and warn people. Well, my answer is that I did. Both me and Dan tried to tell the auctioneer, city employees and other buyers at the sale that the city was advertising an incorrect higher Tax Assessed value of every property but we were quickly shut down as the auctioneer referenced his communication with the city attorney regarding people speaking up at the sale. He then restated that they are correct tax assessed values. The reality is that they were last years higher tax assessed values and no representation of todays assessed value.

So what do we do about it? Actually I don’t know the answer to that. That’s why I’m writing about it. It can serve as education to novice and moderate investors.

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