So, error-filled, ad hominemized press releases bother you?
You’re upset John Ladenburg didn’t do his homework?
And, that he issued a press release about you and your work as Attorney General that isn’t particularly flattering?
I am surprised he failed to do any research before launching these baseless attacks. — Attorney General Rob McKenna
Discussing John Ladenburg’s announcement he
intends to run for the office of Attorney General
Well, join the crowd.
You called it an “error-filled press release consisting primarily of ad hominem attacks.”
ad hominem |ˈad ˈhämənəm|
adverb & adjective
1 (of an argument or reaction) arising from or appealing to the emotions and not reason or logic.
• attacking an opponent’s motives or character rather than the policy or position they maintain : vicious ad hominem attacks.
2 relating to or associated with a particular person : [as adv. ] the office was created ad hominem for Fenton. | [as adj. ] an ad hominem response.
ORIGIN late 16th cent.: Latin, literally ‘to the person.’ — The Dictionary
So, error-filled, ad hominemized press releases bother you?
Apparently, they don’t bother you when your office issues them – March 14, 2007 Press Release.
In your spirit and style, Rob, I give you this . . .
IT’S OFFICIAL: ROB MCKENNA DOESN’T FACT CHECK
Here is the list of problems in the “error-filled press release consisting primarily of ad hominem attacks” YOU issued about me:
MCKENNA CLAIM: Attorney General McKenna Sues, Settles with Real Estate Investors for Mortgage Foreclosure “Rescue” Violations
REALITY: “Mortgage Foreclosure?” We are tax sale investors and are not even involved with “mortgage” foreclosures. Are you telling me you can’t even get the headline right? I suggest it matters. You’re trying to pigeon hole us in with what little your office understands about foreclosure rescue scams, and we don’t fit.
MCKENNA CLAIM: “They told property owners that they would solve their foreclosure problems. But often, their real intent was to let the property go to auction and take any excess proceeds from the sale – money that would have gone to the property owner if the defendants hadn’t “helped” them.”
REALITY: Anyone we said we’d “rescue,” we rescued. You’re confused here, Rob. Some properties we simply bought outright. These aren’t “rescues” at all. They are properties we own and could do anything with them, including keeping them in the tax sale.
MCKENNA CLAIM: “. . . Based on the current information, more than 100 consumers may be entitled to received restitution”
REALITY: The total number of transactions involving overage plays (sellers your office deems are entitled to restitution) was eight. Eight, btw, is not 100, even in your world, Rob.
MCKENNA CLAIM: ” . . . the defendant told property owners they would pay off the delinquent taxes so that foreclosure could be avoided.”
REALITY: Rob, you’re again confused. We in fact paid taxes and stopped foreclosure on any properties where we partnered up with owners in what the AG is calling a “rescue.” No one disputes this.
We did NOT pay the taxes or stop foreclosure on some properties we bought outright. Instead, as owners with no further obligation to the sellers, we decided to sell those properties at auction, the tax sale, as is our right.
MCKENNA CLAIM: “They offered property owners money, sometimes as little as $200, in exchange for the transfer of a title or interest in the property.”
REALITY: We made offers. Those offers were based on many factors, including the property, the seller’s equity, the sellers wants, etc. If the seller accepted (and most did), we purchased their property and paid them, in full. Nothing whatsoever unfair or remarkable about it.
Since in some cases $200 was even too much and we lost money, what is your point, Rob? If it was to demonstrate your office is incapable of determining value or equity, you’ve accomplished that. If it was merely to mislead people into thinking we were paying less than what was fair, you’ve accomplished that as well.
MCKENNA CLAIM: “Property owners were sometimes told that if they did not take the fee, they would receive no money after the foreclosure sale.”
REALITY: Rob is referring to a letter we sent to creditors who get wiped out at the sale and receive nothing. At no time did we offer a “fee” or tell owners they would receive nothing.
Again, Rob has no clue what we do and assumes everything foreclosure investors think, say, write, or do is somehow a scam. It’s not. And since Rob and his staff never bothered to ask, they assumed, incorrectly, the letter stating “nothing” is sent to owners. It’s not.
MCKENNA CLAIM: “After taxes are paid from the sale price, there may be substantial money left over. State law says that such a surplus rightly belongs to the person who owner the property.
REALITY: Any properties we let go to sale, in an overage play situation, were properties we owned and as such, were entitled to profit from. 84.64.080 in no way gives our profits to the former owner.
MCKENNA CLAIM: “Huey said property owners who agreed to received “help” from the defendants were inundated with paperwork . . .”
REALITY: We have always used the absolute minimum of paperwork. We’d prefer to use a deed and little else, but county treasurers have made doing so impossible. In order to fully document our transaction so dishonest sellers don’t attempt to unwind it later, we have no choice but to require disclosures and acknowledgments.
9. Control of the Property
MCKENNA CLAIM: “In other situations, the property was placed in a trust and the defendants acted as trustees. Most property owners believed they still owned the the property, but the defendants actually had control.”
REALITY: By agreement, sellers put properties in land trusts and assigned us a beneficial interest, 25% – 50% typically. As trustees, we have control, a requirement in order for us to get involved. Sellers prefer us in control since when the property was in their control, they brought it to the brink of foreclosure. With control, we can now handle all the issues that come up (and there are plenty).
10. Timing of Signing
MCKENNA CLAIM: “the Attorney General’s suit also alleged documents used for these details (sic) were signed days, or even hours, before the pending foreclosure auction.
REALITY: A common occurrence in foreclosure investing, known to everyone but the AG, apparently, is sellers calling with little time to spare. Getting deals done quickly is a skill, not a scam.
11. Notarizing Documents
MCKENNA CLAIM: ” . . . the defendants sometimes notarized documents themselves.”
REALITY: There is no problem notarizing anyone’s signature other than your own, even in transactions where the notary is a party to that transaction. If it’s perfectly legal to do so, why mention it as though it’s somehow evidence of a scam? It’s not. We’re all notaries. We have to be to be effective, given the time constraints we deal with.
Rob, don’t you just hate it when some clown issues a press release so error-filled and ad hominemized you wonder what he was smoking when he wrote it?
Well, me too.
But you know what’s worse?
It’s when that arrogant clown KNOWS his press release is error-filled and fails to do anything about it other than attempt to optimize it.
Then, it becomes malicious. Then, qualified immunity comes into play.
In the arena,
P.S. I’ve read Ladenburg’s release . . . you got off easy.