Lies, Half Truths, and Worse . . .

Posted October 7th, 2008 by Joe Kaiser

How Steve could make the leap to us having "taken advantage of local property owners in Whatcom County through lies, half truths, and worse,” boggles the mind.

Dear Rob,

Does the truth actually matter?

We’ve seen how, time and again, AAG Jim Sugarman just makes up whatever he deems appropriate, and if that means lying about me or his involvment in the foreclosure rescue law debacle, well, not a problem.

I suggest the truth does matters. Radical, I know, but still. Which brings me to Steve Oliver, Whatcom County Treasurer.

Steven N. Oliver
Whatcom County Treasurer

Seems like a nice fella.


The email

Your office issued it’s slanderous press release about me back in March, 2007, describing with incredible inaccuracy what had taken place, and Whatcom County Treasurer (then Chief Deputy Treasurer) Steve Oliver saw fit to send you this email . . .

Dear Mr. McKenna,

I saw the report about foreclosure rescue scam operators on KOMO yesterday and wanted to take a brief moment to personally thank you and your staff for pursuing some of the most predatory foreclosure rescue operators in this state.

I know many county treasurers across the state have voiced strong concern over these types of practices since you took office and I greatly appreciate your actions and follow through. Having had direct experience with Kaiser, and Fiscal Dynamics, I have seen first hand how they have taken advantage of local property owners in Whatcom County through lies, half truths, and worse. We work very hard in our office to inform property owners of the foreclosure process and their rights under state foreclosure statute so that they can make informed decisions in their best interest. As the Chief Deputy Treasurer and a Ferndale City councilperson, I comment your office for your work to continue to protect Washington consumers. Thank you.

-Steve Oliver
Chief Deputy Treasurer
Whatcome County Treasurer’s Office


WTF?

Now, nothing surprises me anymore regarding this case, and whenever a public record request results in a document like this turning up, I’m pretty much numb to it.

But this one bothered me, and so I called Steve to ask him about it. It was one of those WTF? calls where Steve, after hearing me suggest his email was 100% untrue, said he knew how I must feel. Uh, no, he doesn’t.

And so I requested the public record from Steve so he could document he hadn’t simply made it all up.

Here’s my request . . .

Dear Mr. Steve Oliver,

On Friday, March 16, 2007, you sent AG Rob McKenna an email containing the following language:

Dear Mr. McKenna,

I saw the report about foreclosure rescue operators on KOMO yesterday and wanted to take a brief moment to personally thank you and your staff for pursuing some of the most predatory foreclosure rescue operators in the state.

I know many county treasurers across the state have voiced strong concern over these types of practices since you took office and I greatly appreciate your action and follow-through. Having direct experiences with Scamehorn, Kaiser and Fiscal Dynamics, I have seen first hand how they have taken advantage of local property owners in Whatcom County through lies, half truths and worse . . .”

The email continues, but the rest of it is unimportant for our purposes here today. Pursuant to the Public Records Act of the State of Washington, please provide:

1. Any and all records involving any “direct” or even indirect “experiences” you’ve had with Scamehorn, Kaiser, or Fiscal Dynamics, where any of them has, IN ANY WAY, “taken advantage of local property owners in Whatcom County through lies, half truths, and worse.”

2. Copies of any consumer complaints involving Scamehorn, Kaiser, or Fiscal Dynamics your office received from anyone with a property in tax foreclosure in Whatcom County.

3. Copies of any records that allow you to claim that Scamehorn, Kaiser, or Fiscal Dynamics are some of the most predatory foreclosure rescue operators in the state.

Finally, please confirm receipt of this email and advise, pursuant to the PRA, when these records will be available. I, of course, will be delighted to pay the appropriate costs for the production of these records.

Joe Kaiser
P. O. Box 64700
Tacoma, WA 98464


Public Records

So, what documents did Steve provide in response?

Few, would be putting it kindly.

There were, of course, no complaints, per item #2. And there was nothing regarding evidence we were “some of the most predatory foreclosure rescue operators in the state,” per item #3.

There were, however, documents involving two transactions from 2003 where we’d purchased notes from two different lien holders, and though we attempted to pay to stop the tax sale, the then treasurer Barbara Cory rejected our payment and foreclosed on the properties anyway.

We sued, lost, appealed and lost, and decided to just scratch our heads at the utter ridiculousness of the decision and move on.

In any case, there was never any claim we’d acted inappropriately in these transactions. We’d simply bought out two creditors, paid them in full, and attempted to pay taxes to protect our interest in the property.

How Steve could make the leap to us having “taken advantage of local property owners in Whatcom County through lies, half truths, and worse,” boggles the mind.

And, as I knew would happen, those are the only documents Whatcom County Treasurer Steve Oliver could provide us.

Here’s my response . . .

Steve Oliver,

Once again the absurdity of this comes to light.

Your “taken advantage of local property owners in Whatcom County through lies, half truths, and worse,” email to AG McKenna is absolute nonsense, as proven by your complete inability to document your claims (there could not have been any other result, btw).

You provided the public record for only the Amundson & Webb transactions where we bought liens from judgment creditors. There was nothing whatsoever inappropriate in having done so, as you well know.

Please explain how that is, in any way, an example of us having taking advantage of “property owners,” and further, please explain how that, in your mind, translated into us having lied to anyone.

Your email to McKenna was nothing short of reprehensible.

=Joe Kaiser


Charade

You know, Rob, at some point it would be nice for the truth to actually matter. County Treasurer Steve Oliver sending you a reckless, inflammatory and 100% untrue email having absolutely no basis in reality is just plain contemptible.

“Lies, half truths, and worse?”

Uh, Steve, that description certainly applies here, but only to you my friend . . . only to you.

In the arena,

Joe Kaiser


2 Responses to: “Lies, Half Truths, and Worse . . .”

  1. DaveD responds:
    Posted: October 8th, 2008 at 7:09 am

    Well, Joe, you’ve quite nicely pointed out how the cast of characters (which keeps growing!) you are up against are living in some kind of parallel universe! As in ambition, retribution, and deception vs. reality. Numb to it? No doubt!

    If you could be Marty McFly, (and use your Mini to go back to the future), where would you peg the tipping point to be whereby one sane individual (you) could have stood up and nipped this nonsense in the bud? It certainly has taken on a life of its own… an embarrassment on too many levels to count.

  2. Joe Kaiser responds:
    Posted: June 3rd, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Looks like Steve voted.


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