The Call Plays

Posted August 1st, 2007 by Joe Kaiser

Sure enough, a bidding war ensued and a junk property we’d have gladly taken $10,000 for a day earlier sold at auction for $45,000.

Dear Rob,

A funny thing happens to people who feel cheated.

They sometimes decide the “honesty rules” no longer apply and they’re free to do whatever it takes to even the score.

And that’s how an otherwise honest couple like the Radvicks decided cheating me was okay.


You’d better believe it.

a $500 deal

My old partners Tina and Arliss contacted the Radvicks in June, 2004, inquiring about a property they had in the King County tax sale.

As things turned out, it didn’t take long to reach an agreement to buy it from them.

Why so easy?

The Radvicks had decided to let the property go to auction, wanting nothing more to do with it. They’d even attempted to just give it to the county earlier, but the county wasn’t at all interested.

meeting of the minds

So, it was quickly agreed that $500.00 would do this deal and they scheduled a time and place to meet to get things signed off.

On the day of the meeting, Tina called to let me know Mr. Radvick would not sign all the docs we’d normally need, including a Power of Attorney.

“Please put him on the phone,” I said.

And for the next several minutes he and I talked about the deal from my perspective and our probable need for a Power of Attorney sometime down the road.

“Joe,” he said, “I’ll sign whatever you need signed for anything having to do with this property in the future. You just let me know.”

“Mr. Radvick,” I said, “as long as I have your word on it, we’ll go ahead and do your deal.”

“You have my word,” he said.

another junk lot

The Radvicks signed our purchase contract confirming they’d accepted our $500.00 offer.

My partners tendered our $500.00 check as payment in full and the Radvicks, in turn, signed a quit claim deed conveying all interest in the property to my firm, Fiscal Dynamics, Inc.

What do we call that?

A done deal.

no luck selling, except that . . .

We listed the property in the MLS and for the next six months tried to sell, with no luck. I don’t recall any interest at all.

And so, with the tax sale just days away, I sent the Radvicks a letter to update them on our lack of progress and let them know we’d decided to try our luck at the tax sale.

Sure enough, a bidding war ensued and a junk property we’d have gladly taken $10,000 for a day earlier sold at auction for $45,000.


we did what?

I called the Radvicks shortly thereafter to discuss their options in assisting us in collecting our profits.

“Joe,” Mr. Radvick said, “I didn’t even realize we’d sold you the property.”

“Huh?” I said.

“I thought you were just doing some preliminary investigating and there’d be more things to follow,” he said.

“Mr. Radvick,” I said, “we agreed to pay you $500.00. You signed our purchase contract for $500.00. We gave you our check for $500.00. You gave us a quit claim deed, you cashed our check, and we recorded our deed. What more could there possibly be to follow?”

No response.

And then, in a much quieter voice, he said . . . “Joe, I’m just going to do what the county told me to do.”

“Mr. Radvick,” I said, “you gave me your word and now you’re trying to cheat me.”

No response.

I hung up the phone.

having been had

Tell someone they’ve been cheated, like the county told the Radvicks, and they won’t hesitate to lie.

They know it’s okay to con a con man, or scam a scammer, or cheat a cheater.

If you go down the list of people now claiming they’re unhappy in their dealings with me, you’ll notice, in every instance, they got a call from someone who mislead them into believing they’d been cheated.

Whether from your office or from some county treasurer, people like the Radvicks, Sirrs, Padgetts, and Copes, happy with our earlier deals, are “unhappy” today only because they got calls telling them they’d been had.

In their heart of hearts they know their dealings with me were fair. But hey, they got a call from the county, and the county should know, right?

the call plays

Besides, there’s now that not-so-small matter of the ton of money sitting on the table.

Wonder how that turned out for the Radvicks, Sirrs, Padgetts and Copes?

Simple . . . it cost us roughly $100k for just those four transactions, and we were cheated out of a whole lot more than four.

The call plays, Rob.


Joe Kaiser

6 Responses to: “The Call Plays”

  1. Davido responds:
    Posted: August 1st, 2007 at 10:27 am

    Joe. Since first visiting this site, I’ve wanted to encourage you, to continue defending your work. I believe that standing tall for yourself is your only path to satisifaction. If this case goes to trial, make sure you get to speak to the jury as often and long as possible. There are, of course two sides to every case, but you present your side with wonderful conviction. Is this matter being handled in Pierce or Thurston Co? Best wishes. Do stay true to your beliefs. I predict you’ll win! However, even if by hook or by CROOK they take it all, you’re experience and internal fortitude puts you in position to rapidly rebuild. Let me know where the case is being heard. I’ll check the calendar and come sit on your side a time or two.

  2. Joe Kaiser responds:
    Posted: August 1st, 2007 at 10:29 am

    King County. Aug 2008.

  3. anemonehead responds:
    Posted: August 1st, 2007 at 5:09 pm

    Nothing like a speedy trial.

  4. adrian w. responds:
    Posted: August 1st, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    Whatever happened to that old adage….”innocent til proven guilty”??
    It looks alot like defamation, libel, slander amongst other things. Just my opinion, and worth as much.

    adrian w.

  5. Gray responds:
    Posted: August 3rd, 2007 at 5:46 am

    Joe,I’ve been following your stories since some weeks now,and usually I thought you made some compelling points. But I don’t really get what you try to say with this example.

    Firstly, if the seller refused to sign all necessary documents,and you were satisfied with a simple promise on the phone, you, as a pro on this issues, surely knew that you ran an additional risk. Why complain about it later, this doesn’t really sound like you? Honestly, did you always stand by promises you made in conversation if they didn’t make it into the contract?

    Secondly, if you needed the seller’s assistance for collecting the overages after he had no interest anymore in the property, because he already got his check, why do you think he should have helped you out when there’s nothing in it for him anymore? Wouldn’t it have been a good idea to raise his interest by offering a certain percentage of the moneys collected from the county as a provision?

    Thirdly, why let the property go to the sales auction at all? You, as the new owner, could have easily avoided this by simply paying the outstanding taxes, or am I wrong? If the land sold in the ‘bidding war’ for 45000, and the taxes were less than 10000 (the sum you would have sold it before the auction), with some patience you would eventually have found a buyer closing for, say, 30000, making a nice profit of 20k. Instead, you went for the higher and faster profit with the higher risk. You gambled and lost. Shit happens. Ok, so maybe it was the counties influence that made the seller default on his promises, but you have to admit you are to be blamed, too.

    As for the ethical side: You surely have the money to pay those taxes, but you refuse to do so because you want the county to sell your property (which would possibly result in higher profits in case of a bidding war) instead of doing it yourself. Now, why should the county do this service for you, when in fact you have been a nuissance as a taxpayer? What’s in it for them? This auction sale wasn’t meant as a convenient way for estate investors to get a better price without having to pay commision, it’s purpose is to retrieve money that is owed to the county. Just because you use the laws for your own advantage doesn’t make this a glaring example of rightfulness. Sry, but property owners deliberately refusing to pay their dues without being in a financial hardship aren’t really model citizens.

    Well, again, sry, but this strike me as the least compelling story you posted so far.

  6. Joe Kaiser responds:
    Posted: August 3rd, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    Interesting comments, Gray, but you’ve probably guessed I disagree with much of them.

    #1 The sellers’ refusal to sign a Power of Attorney isn’t unusual. It’s a document that helps but isn’t required. A quit claim deed is all I need and I understand when people decide that’s all they care to sign. And yes, I do expect promises made to be promises kept, written or othewise.

    #2 If you reread the post you can see I mentioned discussing his “options,” and you can be sure, paying him to help is tops on my list. We never made it to that point.

    #3. I didn’t gamble and lose. I gambled and won. The county inappropriately led him to believe he was cheated. Simple as that. What am I to be blamed for? Deciding to sell at the county tax auction is my option. There’s nothing improper in doing so.

    As to ethics, I could not disagree more. My being a model citizen is somehow in jeopardy by not paying property taxes on junk property is more than a little bit silly. And suggesting it’s done to avoid a commission? Sillier still.

    Joe Kaiser

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