Stunningly Beautiful

Posted July 29th, 2007 by Joe Kaiser

It's one of the most egregious and self-serving laws I've ever seen.

Dear Rob,

Reviewing the amended lawsuit and recent discovery demands indicates your office is focused on “overage plays.”

I cannot imagine you genuinely believe overage plays to be improper and suspect it’s now more about winning than it is about what’s right and wrong here.

Can’t say I blame you; we can all see you’re in too deep to back out gracefully, and that’s too bad.

it’s my party, revisited

With that being said, let’s get down to it with the big bug-a-boo, RCW 84.64.080, the tax sale overage statute (among other things).

I’m happy to sort it out for you.

Having experienced AAGs in action, (who do not understand the concept of real estate equity) telling me how investing in real estate is supposed to work, it’s no surprise those very same attorneys can’t figure out this 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)

Allow me to explain

The law does not magically restore overage claims to sellers who’ve previously sold their properties to me, as your lawsuit purports (and good luck with that).

The sole purpose of the statute is to remove lenders, lien holders, and other creditors from the tax sale party. Yes, just get them the hell out of the way.

Can you figure out why that’s so important?

Psssst . . . the county is working its own overage play here.

And how do you make sure unclaimed overage funds remain unclaimed?

You create a law that takes the rightful owners of those funds (the lawful creditors) out of the loop.

It’s one of the most egregious and self-serving laws I’ve ever seen, and you’d better believe, it’s totally unfair to creditors (who, if present, should be entitled to those funds).

But in the state of Washington?

Make no mistake about it, by design, creditors secured by properties making their way through county tax sales are, by way of RCW 84.64.080, stripped of their equity.

Do you seriously think that’s there for the benefit of Tom and Suzie, Rob?


I’ve seen jaws hit the floor when I tell this story. Attorneys cannot believe the law actually works the way I’ve described and are stunned when they later confirm it is exactly as I say.

And by the way, kudos to whoever figured out that angle. If your job was to devise a system to facilitate funds escheating to the county, you’ve got to admit, it’s stunningly beautiful.

Your escheating heart

The intent of 84.64.080 is to take the rightful owners of overage funds (the record title holder’s creditors) out of the loop so those funds stay unclaimed (remember, “mums” the word).

Because what happens three short years later when no one shows up to claim them?

Party time down at the county! Whoo-freakin’-hoo!


Joe Kaiser

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