Archive for the ‘Government Incompetence’ Category

How you can lose your home over an erroneous $44 tax bill you didn’t know anything about

  • A 95-year-old church choir leader, Daisy Dolsey, thought she had paid her $639.47 property tax bill. But the District of Columbia still listed her as owing $44.79 — which turned out to be an error. She lost her $300,000 home because of this $44.79 erroneous tax delinquency while she was in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s.
  • 76-year-old Bernie Coleman, a retired Marine, lost his home over a $134 property tax bill he owed to the local Washington, D.C. government. The aging Coleman was struggling with dementia, so had no knowledge of this tax bill.
  • A 48-year-old math teacher almost lost his home because the tax office had erroneously credited his correct $1,400 tax payment to another taxpayer. He had to go to court to get his home back.

These are just a few of the horror stories reported by THE WASHINGTON POST  here and here.

According to the Post, of more than 200 homeowners in the District of Columbia who lost their homes to tax-lien foreclosures in recent years, one in three owed less than $1,000 in taxes.

The Scam

Here’s what’s happening.

Tax delinquencies are being sold to predatory collection companies and hedge funds — many of them run by former executives for J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank of America who know how to use the rules to foreclose quickly on your home.

The goal of these tax-lien foreclosure investors and hedge funds is NOT to collect the tax, but to make it impossible for you to pay your tax so these investors can quickly foreclose on your home to make a huge killing.

The way they do this is they buy tax delinquency liens from the government (often a modest delinquency that you might not even know about) and they immediately tack on interest, penalties, and attorneys fees.

Tacking on the attorney fees they supposedly spend to collect the alleged tax delinquency is the real kicker.

These attorney fees typically run about $300 per hour. So your $44 tax bill can quickly mushroom into a $5,000 or even $10,000 three-alarm fire.

Remember, these tax-lien foreclosure investors are not trying to solve your tax problem. They don’t care about the $44 you owe the government. What they want to do is quickly to turn your $44 tax problem into an unmanageable  $10,000 crisis (by piling on attorney fees) so they can quickly foreclose on your $300,000 home (as happened to Daisy Dolsey).

So your $300,000 home is stolen legally over a $44 tax issue — that might be an error by your municipal government’s tax office.

The victims of this legalized theft are typically the elderly and the infirm who might be suffering from Alzheimer’s or some form of dementia. This can also easily happen to soldiers returning home from Iraq or Afghanistan — especially if they’ve been wounded and are hospitalized or are suffering from PTSD.

But it can happen to almost anyone.

THE WASHINGTON POST reports that . . .

  • A 58-year-old bank employee almost lost her house in 2010 because the tax office mistakenly sent bills and notices to a wooded lot across from a strip shopping center in Virginia.
  • A 69-year-old hat designer was given the wrong payoff amount and had to go to court to save her home.

According to the Post, one in five District of Columbia tax liens was sold to tax-lien foreclosure investors . . . BY MISTAKE!  The DC tax office is so disorganized and dysfunctional that tax payments are routinely credited to the wrong taxpayers, or not credited at all.

Files of taxpayers with alleged tax delinquencies (many of them erroneous) are then sold to these predatory foreclosure investors.

The District of Columbia describes how this horrifying tax-lien auction program works here >>>

What’s happening in the District of Columbia is especially egregious. But we’re seeing the same trend in other municipalities — where local governments are strapped for money and are looking for every and any way to collect boatloads of quick cash.  The biggest pot of cash you likely have is in your home.

You can’t hide your home in your mattress.  You can’t move your home overseas. Your home is a big fat target for local governments and clever tax-lien foreclosure investors.

So, if you think of your home as a pretty “safe” investment,” think again.

Your home is a big fat stationary target — up for grabs.

Tax-lien foreclosure investing has become a huge multi-billion-dollar business in America.

As detailed by CNN, one of the leading buyers of tax liens in the so-called Fortress Investment Group — a $53 BILLION “alternative investments” hedge fund.  ”Several times a year, municipalities in 28 states, plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, auction off scores of property tax liens, also called certificates, to investors,” reports CNN.

These tax-lien auctions have become like Piranha feeding frenzies for tax-lien foreclosure investors.

This is how your $44 tax bill can end up in the hands of these predators, then quickly mushroom to a $5,000 or $10,000 delinquency after attorneys fees are tacked on. You must then either pay, or lose your home. These predators hope you can’t pay your bill, so they can scoop up your home.  It’s an evil business.

These people are experts on the rules and laws.  They’ve argued thousands of tax-lien foreclosure cases in court. They know how to game the system.

These predators, of course, know that most Americans can’t afford to pay lawyers $300 per hour to fight these sharks in court.

Could your home soon be seized by parking ticket investors over parking tickets you haven’t paid that you might not even know about — that you might not even owe?

Why not?

This is one reason why America is quickly becoming like a Third World country.

Who will want to buy property if it can be seized over an erroneous $44 tax bill?

Crony Capitalism” Has Become an Enormous Threat to Liberty

I used to be a big supporter of privatization — the contracting out of government functions to private companies as a way to save money because the private sector is so much more efficient than government. Clearly the government must use private companies.  The government is incapable of building fighter planes or making computers — can’t innovate or make much of anything.

The Soviet Union found that out.

But privatization and public-private sector partnership are fraught with peril. I’m starting to see public-private partnerships — “crony capitalism” — as a huge threat to liberty.

More and more, we are seeing government partnering with the more efficient private sector to shake down, abuse, and even imprison the American people.

With the explosion of private prison companies (which contribute truckloads of cash to the campaigns of judges running for judgeships) is it any surprise that one of every hundred Americans is now in jail or prison? Is it any wonder that we have more Americans per capita in prison than any other country in the world — more than Cuba, more than the Soviet Union under Stalin?

Google and the big Internet and mobile device companies have now been coopted by the NSA, the CSA, and law enforcement agencies to track and spy on the activities of every American, including monitoring your bank account (another quick source of cash for the government). We now learn that the federal government is tracking 80 percent of all credit card transactions. The government is collecting and storing all your emails, cell phone conversations, and Internet searches.

What we are seeing is the rapid evolution of government (at all levels) into an ultra-efficient mafia operation. But I much prefer the real mafia — the old fashioned Al Capone, Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky types. These guys only required 10 to 20 percent of your business as the price for protection.

DURBIN: Obama’s “Jobs Bill” Can’t Get Through Dem-Controlled Senate

But Obama continues to blame Republicans for not passing his “Jobs Bill” (really another “Porkulus” Bill) “right now”

THE HILL: Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said, at the moment, Democrats in Congress don’t have the votes to pass President Obama’s jobs bill, but Durbin added that that situation would change.

“Not at the moment, I don’t think we do, but, uh, we can work on it,” Durbin said, according to Chicago radio station WLS.

President Obama has been calling for Congress to pass his American Jobs Act since legislators returned from their August recess. The jobs plan is made up of a combination of tax increases on the wealthy, new infrastructure spending, an extension of the employee payroll-tax cut and additional funding for unemployment insurance benefits.

Read more here >>>

 

White House email warned of risky Solyndra venture; worried about potential political damage with 2012 coming up

WASHINGTON POST: A White House official fretted privately that the Obama administration could suffer serious political damage if it gave additional taxpayer support to the beleaguered solar-panel company Solyndra, according to newly released e-mails.

The firm had burned through millions of dollars and in January still tottered near collapse. The official wanted the government’s top budget official to warn Obama’s energy secretary about the risk, according to the e-mails.

Read more here >>>

Failed Solyndra spent $1.9 million lobbying Obama

NEW YORK TIMES: The 1,100 full- and part-time employees who were abruptly laid off two weeks ago aren’t the only ones whose paychecks have been affected by the sudden and dramatic failure of bankrupt solar energy company, Solyndra Inc.

Because for its brief lifespan, Solyndra proved to be pretty good for the lobbying community.

According to records filed with the Clerk of the House and a search of disclosure forms compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, Solyndra spent nearly $1.9 million on lobbying activities over a period of 43 months from 2008 to 2011.

About $1 million of that was earned by the company’s two in-house lobbyists, Joseph Pasetti and Victoria Sanville, over an 18-month period from 2010 until this year. But Solyndra has also had several big-name lobbying shops on its payroll, including established powerhouses Dutko Worldwide and Holland and Knight, which began representing the then-fledgling company in 2008.

Read more here >>>

James O’Keefe Strikes Again: Undercover videos show government workers helping Russian drug dealers, sex traffickers, terrorists get Medicaid benefits

DAILY CALLER: Conservative filmmaker James O’Keefe released the first installment in a new video investigation Monday morning, this one focused on Medicaid fraud. The first video in the series shows government employees in Ohio assisting two men who have described themselves as Russian drug smugglers with applications for Medicaid.

In the video, the men explain to Ohio Medicaid workers that they are Russian immigrants who sell illegal drugs, drive a modified McLaren F1 sports car with a gold-coated engine, and use their underage sisters to perform sexual favors in exchange for drugs.

In response, Ohio employees tasked with disbursing federal Medicaid dollars are shown coaching the men through the process of applying for benefits. “If it’s not something registered here, maybe I just wouldn’t mention it,” a Franklin County Medicaid officer named Traci Daniels tells the men, when asked whether they should mention owning a vehicle that retails for nearly $1 million, as they apply for government aid designed to help poor people. “Not that I can say that. You didn’t hear that from me. But, that would right there, that would throw him off. He would be immediately not qualified.”

Read more here >>>

Taxpayers paid California’s chief prison psychiatrist $838,706 in 2010

BLOOMBERG: A chief psychiatrist for California’s overcrowded prison system was paid more than any other state employee in 2010, according to payroll figures released today.

The doctor, whose name wasn’t released, had a salary range of $261,408 to $308,640 and collected a total of $838,706, according to data released by Controller John Chiang. The total includes bonuses or payout of unused vacation time or sick days, according to the controller’s office. Chiang’s office later issued a statement saying the figure was wrong and would be corrected, without elaborating.

The 10 highest-paid state employees each earned more than $500,000 in the 2010 calendar year, the figures show. In contrast, Governor Jerry Brown’s salary is $173,987. Seven of the top 10 were prison doctors or dentists.

“Governor Brown is concerned about high salaries and payouts, which are driven by a number of things, including court mandates, accrued vacation time and the last administration’s furlough program,” a spokeswoman, Elizabeth Ashford, said in a statement. “We are looking closely at why some individuals receive such extraordinary sums.”

Read more here >>>

Obama’s economists admit: ‘Stimulus’ has cost $278,000 per job

Plus . . . these were not jobs we needed. They were make-work jobs. Now the Stimulus is causing jobs to be lost.

WEEKLY STANDARD: When the Obama administration releases a report on the Friday before a long weekend, it’s clearly not trying to draw attention to the report’s contents. Sure enough, the “Seventh Quarterly Report” on the economic impact of the “stimulus,” released on Friday, July 1, provides further evidence that President Obama’s economic “stimulus” did very little, if anything, to stimulate the economy, and a whole lot to stimulate the debt.

The report was written by the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors, a group of three economists who were all handpicked by Obama, and it chronicles the alleged success of the “stimulus” in adding or saving jobs. The council reports that, using “mainstream estimates of economic multipliers for the effects of fiscal stimulus” (which it describes as a “natural way to estimate the effects of” the legislation), the “stimulus” has added or saved just under 2.4 million jobs — whether private or public — at a cost (to date) of $666 billion. That’s a cost to taxpayers of $278,000 per job.

Read more here >>>

SCAM: Obama pays GM dealerships $7,500 for each Obama Volt they take

GM dealerships are buying Chevy Volts, reselling them as used cars and then taking $7,500 tax credit.

A tax credit is the government writing you a check.

Obama Volt sales have averaged a dismal425 per month for the first four months of 2011 — even though GM has the capacity to build 17,000 Volts per year and even though the government (that is, the taxpayer) is paying you $7,500 to buy the Volt.

That’s how awful this car is. This is crony capitalism at its worst.

Read more here >>>

Government Motors Stock Down 22% Since Post-Bailout Public Stock Offering

After much fanfare over its public stock offering last fall and a peak in January of $39.48 per share, General Motors stock has been in a tailspin downward for the last five months months. It closed today at $31.84. Ouch!

President Obama calls the GM bailout one of the big successes of his Presidency.

GM hasn’t been helped with reports of shoddy workmanship from it’s labor union workforce.

For example . . .

Steering wheel falls off Chevy Cruze.  Worse than the Yugo?

WALL STREET JOURNAL: Imagine turning your car’s steering wheel, or giving it a gentle tug, and having it break away from the steering column. Now you’re speeding along holding the suddenly useless wheel.

It sounds like a vision from a cartoon, or every driver’s nightmare. And it happened to at least one driver of a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze compact car last month, and General Motors Corp. is recalling 2,100 of the cars as a result.

While the recall affects a relatively small number of vehicles, it is an unpleasant development for Chevrolet, which has been riding high on the success of its new small car. Chevrolet sold 50,205 Cruzes through the end of March. That’s well short of the 76,821 units Toyota sold of the Cruze’s main rival, the Corolla, but it is ahead of the 37,379 Cobalts Chevy sold in the same period. The Cruze replaced the Cobalt and is supposed to be a departure from that uninspired model.

Read more here >>>

Here’s the Video

Meanwhile, almost no one wants the electric-powered Obama Volt because it’s very expensive and only has a range of 40 miles per charge. Plus an enormous battery takes up much of the back seat.

Here was my assessment of the “Obama Volt” last summer

Looks like my predictions about the Obama Volt last summer have proven correct.

Reminds me of those old Soviet car factories that produced all those cars they couldn’t sell, or the hilarious Communist-built Yugo.

No doubt, ObamaCare will work something like that. You’ll go into the hospital to get your tonsils removed and come out of surgery missing a leg.

U.S. hits $14.3 TRILLION debt ceiling. Obama raids pensions to keep gov’t going!

Enron execs are in prison for a long time for doing things like this.

WALL STREET JOURNAL: The U.S. government is expected to hit the $14.294 trillion debt ceiling Monday, setting in motion an uncertain, 11-week political scramble to avoid a default.

The Treasury Department plans to announce Monday it will stop issuing and reinvesting government securities in certain government pension plans, part of a series of steps designed to delay a default until Aug. 2.

The Treasury’s moves buy time for the White House and congressional leaders to reach a deficit-reduction agreement that could clear the way for enough lawmakers to vote to raise the amount of money Congress allows the nation to borrow.

Read more here >>>

Govt Motors Cars Already Falling Apart!

Steering wheel falls off Chevy Cruze. As bad as the Yugo?

WALL STREET JOURNAL: Imagine turning your car’s steering wheel, or giving it a gentle tug, and having it break away from the steering column. Now you’re speeding along holding the suddenly useless wheel.

It sounds like a vision from a cartoon, or every driver’s nightmare. And it happened to at least one driver of a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze compact car last month, and General Motors Corp. is recalling 2,100 of the cars as a result.

While the recall affects a relatively small number of vehicles, it is an unpleasant development for Chevrolet, which has been riding high on the success of its new small car. Chevrolet sold 50,205 Cruzes through the end of March. That’s well short of the 76,821 units Toyota sold of the Cruze’s main rival, the Corolla, but it is ahead of the 37,379 Cobalts Chevy sold in the same period. The Cruze replaced the Cobalt and is supposed to be a departure from that uninspired model.

Read more here >>>

Here’s the Video

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