Manipulate This!

Posted August 18th, 2007 by Joe Kaiser

So, rest assured, I'll be there to manipulate those sales prices in hopes of achieving the highest profits possible.

Dear Rob,

Have you ever been to a public auction involving real estate?

Or, has anyone from your office and involved in this investigation been to one?

From what I’ve seen in terms of the demands being made, I’m guessing that’s a solid “no” to both questions.


my intentions

Here’s another settlement demand . . .

Not to engage in any activities to manipulate the sale prices of property at any public auction. — Cheryl Kringle, former AAG
5/9/2007 Settlement Proposal

Whew boy, you’re not going to like my response here, because your office is not going to “get it,” that I can pretty much guarantee.

Still, I’ll give it a shot.

I’ve got three properties (so far) in this year’s Pierce County tax sale, and I very much intend to “manipulate the sale price” of every one of them.

No, it’s not some sort of “restrain of trade” issue you alleged against my former partner and it’s not a scheme to take advantage of unsuspecting bidders.

What is it?

It’s me protecting my interests in those properties.

show me the law

I asked Pierce County Prosecutor Bob Dick about it years ago, and he admitted that not only was there no law against bidding on your own properties at a tax sale, there weren’t any problems in doing so.

How could there be?

But, he did say that if the owner was a winning bidder, the sale would amount to nothing more than an overpayment of taxes and Pierce County would not issue a tax deed in that case.

Instead, I’d just get a “paid in full” receipt and a refund of the overpayment, and that’s fine.

So, rest assured, I’ll be there to manipulate those sales prices in hopes of achieving the highest profits possible.

how it works

The property I paid $200 for and now assessed at $111,000?

I’ve decided it’s a solid investment at $25,000. That means I’ll be protecting it up to $25,000, and if someone bids higher, he can have it. If not, I’ll end up as the successful bidder and buy it myself and claim my refund.

(At which time, of course, Bob, who apparently believes he’s permitted to just make it up as he goes when dealing with what he views an investor raiding his tax sale, will disregard what he told me earlier about the process, claim “the law says the money belongs to the former owner,” and force me to sue the former owner to get it, but that’s another matter altogether).

That’s how you protect your interest at a foreclosure auction.

You stay in the bidding war until the number you’ve deemed appropriate is exceeded, at which time you back out and let the other guy have it.

protecting my interest

Please don’t tell me this is bid rigging.

It is nothing of the sort and doing so will only make your office look foolish.

Lenders and others with interests show up at foreclosure sales to bid on their own properties in the normal course of business, making certain their positions are covered and their interests protected. It happens every day.

There’s no collusion involved or anything that would make it even slightly inappropriate.

All legal, moral and ethical, without question.


Manipulating the price?

Certainly, if that’s what you want to call it (it’s not the right word, actually). You’d be crazy not to.

Wrong in doing so?

Certainly not.

I’ll be there to bid on every property I have in the sale to make sure my interest is protected and my profits are maximized.

That’s not a scam; that’s just good business.


Joe Kaiser

3 Responses to: “Manipulate This!”

  1. adrian w. responds:
    Posted: August 19th, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    I think if you use a common auction site like Ebay, it’ll give the AG Office a better understanding of how protecting your interests in an auction works..
    They need to understand a ‘reserve auction’. Which basically, means the seller has a Right to Reserve the minimum amount bid that he will accept. If you can’t put a ‘reserve bid’ in an auction then by all means you are allowed to bid on whatever it is your selling. As pointed out , though, a person just may end up with all the additional costs of doing business and all the problems that may arise with them taking back the thing they’re trying to sell. Really, its very similar to tax sale auctions.. Oh..Did the AG think the county wasn’t getting paid for their time and hassle in the sale?? Not how those kind of sales work. This ain’t Charity, ya know!

  2. Davido responds:
    Posted: August 20th, 2007 at 2:56 pm

    Well put Joe!

  3. Redline responds:
    Posted: August 20th, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    Joe – As you said, a lender or any other person of interest in a property is free to bid at auction on that property. It happens every day of every week in probably every state in the country. It’s routine business.

    The only thing worse than a clueless lawyer, is a clueless lawyer on the taxpayers dole.


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