Ooooo, That Ain’t Good

Posted October 8th, 2008 by Joe Kaiser

Expect calls from irate owners who cannot believe you had the audacity to butt into their private lives.

Dear Rob,

Let’s talk about “the letter.”

Readers may not know that with your re-election campaign in full swing, your office made a very big deal about sending warning letters to some 14,000 people in foreclosure last month.

I took one look at it and thought, “not good.”


Here’s how the letter begins . . .

Because your home has recently appeared in public record as a foreclosed property . . .Rob McKenna
Attorney General of Washington


Their home hasn’t appeared “as a foreclosed property.” Nobody sells lists or offers websites featuring foreclosed properties.

What has happened, though, is a foreclosure action, likely a Trustee’s Sale, has been filed against their property, making their property “in foreclosure.”

Not “foreclosed,” Rob, but “in foreclosure.” There’s a dif, and it’s huge.

In real estate parlance, you’re telling these 14,000 people they’ve already lost their homes. Some will find it offensive and some will scream bloody murder.

Obviously, you have no idea who you’re dealing with or what’s at stake.

Expect calls

And that’s just the beginning . . .

Foreclosure lists are notoriously bad, but you don’t know that. So, you naively blasted the entire state with your letter, and I’m guessing about half the people receiving it weren’t actually in foreclosure.

They may have been at one time, but they’ve either corrected it by now or they’ve tried to put it past them and have moved on to other things, which means they, too, will be offended.

Expect calls from irate owners who cannot believe you had the audacity to butt into their private lives.

Pssssst . . . avoid exclamation points

And it won’t end there.

People in foreclosure need gentle reassurances and kind suggestions. They very likely are in fragile states where a provocative, aggressive, and scary letter like yours has the power to push them to the very edge (if not over it).

Do you really think “ATTENTION: Beware of Foreclosure Rescue Scams!” is what these people need to hear?

I’ll give you a hint . . . they don’t (they already have enough problems).

And since we both know the foreclosure rescue scam hysteria your office is intent on promoting is little more than a hoax designed get your new rescue laws passed, all you’ve done is get these folks worked up over nothing.

Terrorize This

Ignorance is a dangerous thing.

The simple fact your office thinks it knows what it’s doing is proof positive it doesn’t, and sending out a letter that can accomplish nothing other than terrorize its recipient confirms you haven’t learned a thing in all of this.

Your office created foreclosure rescue laws so unfair no WA state owner in foreclosure today has much of a chance to save his home (some brokers won’t even list their property), and now you’ve terrorized these same folks into believing swarms of scam artists are ready to descend upon them and strip them of their equity.

Good grief, Rob.

Don’t you think it might be time to just stop helping them? I’m sure they’d all appreciate it.

Should we call this latest blunder a debacle or a fiasco? I’m thinking it’s time we drag out the much overused but extraordinarily appropriate: SNAFU – Situation Normal, All F#cked Up,

In the arena,

Joe Kaiser

5 Responses to: “Ooooo, That Ain’t Good”

  1. DaveD responds:
    Posted: October 9th, 2008 at 6:17 am

    If anything, Rob has learned well from the County Treasurers, with the pre-emptive strike and all. Got to get those escheatment coffers built back up. Pals take care of their own, you know.

    Sounds like a potential list for the Real Estate Equalizer letter. Oh, yeah… I forgot. You can’t help them anymore. The helpful AG saw to that, being that any profit is bad. Better for them to lose their house than get needed relief and remain.

    Still, I’m thinking a letter to that same list (or, say, statewide?) might be worthwhile. Something with a headline on the order of “ATTENTION: Grandstanding AG’s are harmful to your financial health!” That would tie Rob in knots because he wouldn’t be able to tell if it were a factual argument or a political statement by his opponent. Hehehe.

  2. Drew responds:
    Posted: October 9th, 2008 at 7:15 am


    Apparently someone didn’t read the Foreclosure Letter Writing Workshop. I get upset people calling me when I mail them letters and I know for a fact they are “in foreclosure”.

    Glad to see Washington taxpayers paying for direct marketing to homeowners in foreclosure helping them lose their home because they are scared now.

    How is the AG going to help those people that turn to them for help? Just cast them aside and off on another organization instead of sending them to the people whose services solve those problems, like ourselves. After all, sending letters to all those houses foreclosed on would mean you sent letters to the banks?

    I personally don’t speak about things I don’t know about, maybe others should take that advice too…

  3. Vlad responds:
    Posted: October 9th, 2008 at 12:06 pm


    Look on the bright side. He could’ve blown the $5,880 postage money on Spa treatments (like some headline-making CEO’s).

    On a second thought, Rob probably should have opted for the Spa treatments: pound-for-pound he’s probably done more damage than said CEO’s….

  4. varinia responds:
    Posted: October 14th, 2008 at 9:53 am

    Looks like he’s got enough rope to hang himself. From what I see in your blogs, there’s so much material that shows a lack of knowledge about real estate, that I would think any credibility he had is gone in this regard.

  5. David Alexander responds:
    Posted: October 15th, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    Government getting involved in private matters….

    At what point does it end…

    Nough said…

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