Guardian in Charge

Posted June 5th, 2007 by Joe Kaiser

Thank you, guys, you did great!

Dear Rob,

Dan was in a group home in Vancouver, WA, needing assistance just to get by, but that didn’t stop Brad from trying to steal his properties.

There were a couple in the upcoming King County tax sale, and by the time we’d located Dan in the home, it was too late . . . he’d already put a deal together with Brad.

Except that, he forgot to tell us about it.

So, we worked up a deal where we’d partner up, paying the taxes, cleaning the properties up and getting them on the market. With any luck, they’d be sold in no time.

And the profits?

We’d split them, 50/50.


Partnering up

This is the typical “partnership deal” we do all the time. It’s a good strategy for us because it allows us into a property for the costs of back taxes and clean up.

Sure, we only end up with half a property (try selling a half interest in a property sometime to understand what all that entails), but it’s the sort of deal we’re good at, really good.

And then someone paid the taxes.

Huh?

We did some poking around and found that Brad and his partner paid the taxes and were now marketing the properties themselves. That meant getting back in touch with Dan to find out what the heck was going on.

And Dan told us the details of his earlier deal with Brad. Brad, it turns out, paid Dan $500 for his properties, with some sort of unwritten agreement to pay him 5% of the profits.

$500?

5%?

You gotta be kidding me.


No foolin’

The properties were worth at least $200k, and although they weren’t anything you’d get excited about owning yourself, they had equity. One, a rundown house, had fixer-upper potential, and the other, acres of raw land located under high tension power lines, had at least some value (not to me, but you get the idea).

Still, it was obvious to all . . . Dan had been had.

We got Dan to make the 100 mile trip by bus and come into town where we put him up for the night. The next morning he met with our attorney to talk about his deal with Brad and frankly, for our attorney to give us his impression of Dan’s mental capacity.

He seemed sane (Dan, not our attorney), but there were clearly issues and just as clearly, Dan needed someone to look after his interests because he could not do so entirely on his own.

And so that’s exactly what we did.


guardian on board

It took some research and more than a few calls, but we finally located a law firm that specialized in this very thing and the attorney set up as his guardian did the one thing that had to immediately be done, unwind the sale to Brad.

It was a slam dunk.

She not only overturned the sale, she was able to get the properties on the market and eventually, sold.

We also found out that Dan had a brother who appeared to have an interest in the profits, but that wasn’t clear. One thing that was certain, though, was that we had no interest in any off it.

But we were glad to see things work out and equally glad to see the other investor not get away with stealing Dan’s properties from him.


A nice chunk of change

The sale, as I recall, netted $185,000. Nice!

How much did the brother see?

Not a penny.

Turns out Dan owed years and years of back child support and any money that should have been his had long since been earmarked to go to his ex-wife and kids (and rightly so).

When the dust settled, the numbers looked like this (my memory may not be 100% accurate, but close enough for this example) . . .


ouch

We lost $4,000.

Now that much I do remember, distinctly. We’d done all the work of saving the property on behalf of Dan and his brother and wife and kids, but the guardian we’d had appointed rejected our claim.

Our claim consisted of real dollars, money paid to Dan, money paid to our attorney to check things out and slow down Brad, money paid to put Dan up in town, and a host of other things that needed to be done to save the properties.

But she rejected it outright because that’s how the guardianship game is played, apparently.

The guardian, for her work, was paid $60,000.00 and change.

Gulp.

Hello?

It was okay for her firm to extract $60k from this scenario and in doing so, reject our claim for actual dollars expensed of $4k, apparently.

I’m sure her billing reflected her true hours and the funds her firm was paid were legitimate, but it demonstrates just how bad the system is set up and how easy it is to abuse it.


Ka-ching!

And the $120k balance?

It all went to the ex-wife and kids!

Now, how cool is that? Knowing that the money, at least a big part of it, made it to the people who really deserved and needed it was reward enough, and my partner and I felt proud knowing the money was a direct result of our efforts.

If we don’t show up and get this problem handled, that sleazy investor slinks off with all that money and neither Dan nor his ex-wife and kids see much of anything.

Instead, we step in and save the day and one hundred and twenty thousand dollars gets paid to mom and kid(s).

Do I care about the four grand we lost? Heck no, that’s today’s price of being a hero and given the opportunity, I do it again in a heartbeat.


where’s my credit?

I have no way of knowing, but I’ve always wondered what our contribution to this gal’s bank account saved the State of Washington. I’ve never had the opportunity to check, and I don’t know if she’s even a resident of the state. Heck, I don’t even know her name.

But I do know she’s got $120,000.00 she would not have had we not stepped up and put an end to the nonsense that was taking place.

Rob, I think, in terms of your investigation, you need to include this deal in the list of deals you’ve decided to look at.

And I want a credit.

If you ultimately end up winning millions of dollars in a judgment against me, please credit the $120k I believe I saved the State of Washington in this matter.


Great job!

While you’re at it, you may want to reconsider publicly calling me a “fraudster” and “scam artist” and “con man.” Just a thought.

Did your investigators see fit to tell you about this deal, or doesn’t it fit the general “scam” theme they’re running with now?

We always thought that at some point someone in authority would step forward and say, “Thank you, guys, you did great.” Nobody did.

Rob, it’s not too late.

Respectfully,

Joe Kaiser


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