As per Alex Haley

Posted July 30th, 2007 by Joe Kaiser

Aren't you the guys and gals with the law degrees here, and shouldn't you know better than that?

Dear Rob,

I’m guessing there’s still confusion in your office regarding the tax sale overage statute, RCW 84.64.080.

And unless I miss my guess, you’ll try to hang your hats on that “the law says it’s your (the seller’s) money” language contained therein.

Let me clear that one up to save you the embarrassment of arguing an untenable position . . .

The law is a good thing

For reference, and once again, here’s the statute:

If the highest amount bid . . . is in excess of the minimum bid due upon the whole property included in the certificate of delinquency, the excess shall be refunded . . . to the record owner of the property. The record owner of the property is the person who held title on the date of issuance of the certificate of delinquency.—Revised Code of Washington
(RCW 84.64.080)

So what about “shall be refunded . . . to the record owner . . . who held title on the date of the issuance of the certificate of delinquency” you don’t seem to get?

You’ll recall, from yesterday’s letter, the true intent of that statute is to take rightful creditors out of the loop to facilitate unclaimed funds escheating to the county.

That aside, how does it impact me as a tax sale investor?

It helps, frankly, by clearly establishing the record owner’s claim to it.

And that’s a good thing.

Kunta Kinte

Think Roots.

This is simply a “chain of title” matter, and RCW 84.64.080, in terms of the ownership of an overage claim, establishes the “root” in the chain.

The record owner at the time of filing is the root of the chain. It all BEGINS WITH HIM AND HIM ALONE.

That means the owner of record IS entitled to any overage claim created at the tax sale, TO THE EXCLUSION OF ALL CREDITORS (wink wink), and if that owner hasn’t sold the claim, it is his to keep.

But if he’s sold it to me somewhere along the line?


You’ve got it backwards

RCW 84.64.080 merely identifies the START of the chain of title, not the END of it.

In doing so, it clearly establishes ownership, allowing investors like me to legally purchase claims from persons the law has identified as the legal owners of those claims.

It’s not scandalous or somehow dishonest.

And it’s not a violation of the statute or some Consumer Protection Act type matter.

It’s simple A-B-C deal making that only an AAG with no real world knowledge or real estate background could twist and contort into something that requires a $50,000,000 CPA violations lawsuit to sort out.

Kringled up in Blue



Aren’t you the guys and gals with the law degrees here, and shouldn’t you know better than that?

And why is it that a non-lawyer like me has to argue common sense, first year law school concepts with the #1 lawyer in the state who for whatever reason is unwilling to admit his office has made a colossal mistake?

Rob, contrary to Cheryl Kringle’s opinion, the law doesn’t say overage funds aren’t mine to claim.

Frankly, it says exactly the opposite and further, clearly establishes my right to claim them.

Good grief.


Joe Kaiser

7 Responses to: “As per Alex Haley”

  1. adrian w. responds:
    Posted: July 30th, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    When I was younger and played Games with the neighborhood kids , “it never failed”!!!…….
    One of the kids, usually the BULLY, would want an edge on us in whatever game we happened to be playing so what did they do?…of course, “change the rules” to their advantage.
    (I never realized that seems to be how laws work too, at least in this case….)

  2. Drew responds:
    Posted: July 30th, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    Oh my god. It all falls together now, honestly it even took me a second to see where you were going with this Joe. But you are absolutely correct, the chain of title does start with the original homeowner. So you are due all the overages.

    Wow, I wonder how in the world they will possibly respond to this in your face win. Probably with more legislation that will close what you’ve found, making it impossible from now on, not from when you orginial started. Genius Joe, Pure Genius.

  3. Joe Kaiser responds:
    Posted: July 30th, 2007 at 2:38 pm


    How they will respond is they will ignore the law since it is decidely NOT in their favor and instead will play the “unfair and deceptive” card.

    They will eventually agree that a non-lawyer’s interpretation of the law is EXACTLY what the law does indeed say, but none of that will matter.

    Instead, they’ll say buying the property from the seller is where the violation occurred. They’ll say I promised this or that, or I lied, or I said “you’ll get nothing if you don’t sell to me.”

    None of which is true, but it’s pretty much all they’ll have left by the time I’m done with them.

    And again I say, good luck with that.

    My earlier deal with Jim where I videoed the telephone call from my end, is how every one of these deals goes.

    Let me know if you find the unfair or deceptive acts with that.


  4. Vlad responds:
    Posted: July 30th, 2007 at 6:41 pm

    Hey Joe,

    You stole MY ideal, man…:-) Well, kinda… :-)

    (see first comment after the “walk-away-rene” entry)

    Boy, are you are picking up steam….I can’t wait to see you come dry out of the water in the end…and leave Rob&Co. busy ringing out their clothes..

    All the best!


  5. Rick Harmon responds:
    Posted: July 31st, 2007 at 12:09 am

    Joe – Yep, I saw this coming. The State wants to split the winnings…between State Controller and Counties.

    My instincts tell me that there is a missing angle; a perspective that we’re not seeing. It’s like the director with one of those little movie camera lenses…without the camera…running around and getting a look-see of the talent on and off the set. What are we missing?

    In the scenario where the law is interpreted literally, the creditors would take it in the shorts. In the real world (we have both real and fantasy worlds here in So Cal) institutional lenders would have fits upon realizing this exposure and stop funding until a solution is created (beyond tax monitoring services). And yet this hasn’t happened (yet). Do they (lenders) know?

    I may be just rambling off a few goofy angles here, but how about R.I.C.O.? Who is benefitting from this legislation? The “People of WA State?” Would the people want to be part of such a scheme?

    I call their little manuever an “equity-ectomy.” You probably ought to find a way to at least freeze the dough, too, for later thawing and before cookie monsters like Rob snatch it and spend it.

    …Or, a Class Action suit by Joe as assignee or transferee or grantee of various properties defrauded by poorly drafted legislative policy?

    Have you spent much time reviewing your State’s consitution and original formation documents? I’m thinking how you can show that implementing and enforcing these laws are contrary to public policy at the citizen level, and not the level of county and state coffers.

    Are you on the same wavelength as I am here? Just a little bit of loose theory.

  6. AKM responds:
    Posted: August 2nd, 2007 at 7:09 pm

    I’ve never set foot in law school, but even without a college education, I get this. Makes me wish I had some property I could sell you, just to wait for that eventual call from the AG’s office so I could give them a piece of my mind. The mind that has more common sense than the entire AG’s office.

    Joe, I wish you had a Michael Moore in your corner. Someone to bust this wide open and show the AG’s office for what they are.

    As a Washington Taxpayer, I am indignant that my money is being wasted – they are p****d off that you are rightfully collecting funds that they would collect themselves and hide that fact from those of us who pay their salaries. How do we let more people know about this?

  7. spyboy responds:
    Posted: August 5th, 2007 at 7:22 pm


    AKM; Joe doesn’t need Michael Moore, he is doing just fine. Besides, my guess is that if Michael Moore (with his socialist leanings ) were aware of this, he likely would side with the AG. I’m not taking anything away from Michael here though, and I salute him and his work.

    Thank You.

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