Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button
Technorati button
Reddit button
Myspace button
Linkedin button
Webonews button
Delicious button
Digg button
Flickr button
Stumbleupon button
Newsvine button

When a Municipality Makes a Mistake

Anthony S. Guardino
Anthony S. Guardino

Local government officials are no different from the rest of us—they can, and they do, make mistakes. Generally speaking, however, a municipality does not have to suffer the consequences of its errors.

That is because New York law is well settled that estoppel typically cannot be invoked against a municipality to preclude it from enforcing its zoning laws, to ratify administrative errors, or to prevent it from discharging its statutory duties.1 Of course, in those rare instances where a municipality has engaged in “fraud, misrepresentation, deception, or similar affirmative misconduct” upon which there was “reasonable reliance,”2 an estoppel defense may lie.

Over the years, these general principles have been applied by courts to a broad range of local government actions.

The Paradigm

In McGannon v. Board of Trustees for Village of Pomona,3 a building inspector for the village of Pomona erroneously issued a property owner a building permit to construct an accessory building on his residential lot that exceeded the size permitted by the village’s zoning code and that was for a purpose not permitted by the code. After the owner commenced construction, a stop-work order was issued, and the owner went to court.

The Appellate Division, Second Department, affirmed a decision by the Supreme Court, Rockland County, in favor of the village. The appellate court rejected the property owner’s contention that the village was estopped from enforcing its zoning code. It explained that estoppel generally may not be invoked against a municipality to prevent it from discharging its statutory duties or for the purpose of preventing the municipality from rectifying an administrative error. Here, the Second Department added, the issuance of the permit did “not confer rights in contravention of zoning laws.”

Moreover, the appellate court said, had the property owner exercised reasonable diligence and reviewed the code, it would have been clear that his contemplated commercial use was illegal and that the size of the structure required a special permit that he had not sought.

Estoppel Rejected

Other local government actions also have been challenged on the ground of estoppel. In Matter of County of Orange v. Al Turi Landfill,4 a landowner contended that a county should be estopped from bringing a supplementary proceeding to collect taxes after having withdrawn a landfill from a foreclosure proceeding on the ground that the property’s withdrawal from the foreclosure proceeding was tantamount to an admission that it had little or no value. The Second Department observed that the county had withdrawn the property to avoid potential liability, which could “hardly be characterized as misconduct,” and that, in any event, the landowner had failed to show any detrimental reliance or injury caused by the county’s action.

In Lily Pond Enterprises v. City of New York,5 a city employee mistakenly indicated that a property owner had paid all past due taxes and that its property would not be sold in an in rem tax foreclosure action. The city scheduled a foreclosure and the property owner, claiming that it spent more than $16,900 to improve the property in reliance on the city employee’s statements, went to court to block it. The Supreme Court, Richmond County, granted the city’s motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint on the ground that the property owner’s action was untimely.

The property owner contended that the city should be estopped from relying on the statute of limitations, but the Second Department affirmed. It explained that where a municipal error had been made, estoppel could not be invoked where “reasonable diligence” would have disclosed the true state of affairs to a “good-faith inquirer.” The property owner, the appellate court concluded, could “not sit idly by” and then argue that the city was estopped to enforce the statute of limitations.6

Misconduct

As noted above, estoppel may be applied where government fraud, misrepresentation, deception, or similar affirmative misconduct is involved. That is a difficult standard to meet.

In Matter of Oakwood Property Management v. Town of Brunswick,7 a landscaping business obtained site plan approval from the planning board of the town of Brunswick, in Rensselaer County, to operate its business on a five-acre parcel of land zoned for industrial use. Shortly thereafter, the company purchased an adjoining 43-acre parcel that fell within a “schools and cemeteries” zone as depicted on the town’s zoning map and it subsequently acquired an abutting 26-acre parcel zoned for agricultural use. As it acquired each parcel, the company expanded its operations and, as its business grew, neighboring property owners began to complain.

The town’s code enforcement officer issued a notice of violation alleging that the company was conducting operations on the 43- and 26-acre parcels without the required approvals and, further, that it had exceeded the bounds of the site plan approval with respect to the original five-acre parcel. The code enforcement officer also issued another notice alleging various violations of the town’s zoning ordinance.

The zoning board of appeals sustained the notices of violation, and the company went to court. It argued that the town not only had been well aware that it had expanded its operations to the 43- and 26-acre parcels but that it had actively encouraged it to do so.

Among other things, the company contended that the town supervisor had encouraged one of the company’s representatives to purchase the 43-acre parcel for use in the company’s existing operations and that the town had issued fill permits, a building permit, and a certificate of occupancy for a structure built on the five-acre parcel. The company also cited town resolutions supporting the inclusion of two of the parcels in a New York State Empire Zone and various inspections of the company’s properties by town officials.

This alleged conduct did not rise to the level required to estop the town from issuing the notices, the Second Department decided.

Consequences

There can be significant consequences to an individual or company that fails to persuade a court that a local government should be estopped from asserting a violation of its land use laws, as illustrated in the seminal case in New York on equitable estoppel, Matter of Parkview Assoc. v. City of New York,8 where the court of Appeals upheld an order requiring a developer to remove floors of a mistakenly-permitted building.

As the court explained, the New York City Department of Buildings erroneously approved a building application for a building on the southeast corner of Park Avenue and 96th Street in Manhattan even though the application did not meet the city’s zoning requirements, and a building permit was issued. After substantial construction, the Department of Buildings issued a stop work order for those portions of the building over 19 stories within 150 feet of Park Avenue. Then, the commissioner of buildings partially revoked the building permit, consistent with the stop work order, on the grounds that the permit, to the extent it authorized a height of 31 stories from 100-feet back instead of 150-feet back, was invalid when issued.

The developer challenged the revocation, but the court ruled in favor of the city. It declared that the commissioner could revoke a permit that had been “issued in error” where the permit “should not have been issued.” Estoppel was not available to preclude a municipality from enforcing the provisions of its zoning laws and the “mistaken or erroneous issuance of a permit” did not estop a municipality from correcting errors, even where there were “harsh results,” the court stated. Simply put, it ruled, the city “should not be estopped here from revoking that portion of the building permit which violated the long-standing zoning limits.”

Article source: http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/id=1202768659969/When-a-Municipality-Makes-a-Mistake?mcode=1202614952687&curindex=0

Youngstown News, New ordinance could slow down out-of-town …

Last of a three-part series

By JUSTIN WIER

news@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Some local leaders would like to see the city adopt more aggressive ordinances to help combat the problem of out-of-town property owners.

Youngstown currently has the power to use tax foreclosure to take control of delinquent properties, as well as spot blight – a form of eminent domain.

If a property poses a nuisance to an otherwise stable neighborhood and the city can prove the owner has been unresponsive to code enforcement, spot blight allows the city to buy the property from the owner at fair market value.

This applies only in instances where the house would have value after rehabilitation, however.

Before this year, the city never successfully implemented spot blight, in part because owners flip properties when they’re made aware of the proceedings. A house the city finally obtained on Glenwood Avenue saw three owners in the 12 months before its acquisition.

Ian Beniston, executive director of the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp., noted that both tax foreclosure and spot-blight programs cost the taxpayers.

This would not be the case, however, if the city adopted a point-of-sale ordinance, some experts maintain.

This ordinance, successfully implemented in Cleveland Heights and other cities in Northeast Ohio, would require a process similar to a home inspection conducted during the mortgage process, but it’s done for the benefit of the city rather than the buyer or seller.

It results in an affidavit listing all code violations before the transfer of a property’s title.

“That makes it extremely difficult for these properties to continue to cycle because they can’t transfer without a signed affidavit from the city,” Beniston said. “The thing I think is most interesting and intriguing about it is that it basically says make an investment or cancel [the sale].”

BEST OPPORTUNITY

Rick Wagner, housing director for Cleveland Heights, said they’ve had a point-of-sale ordinance since the 1970s, and it works about 90 percent of the time.

“The time of property transfer is when the cash is changing hands,” Wagner said. “That’s your best opportunity to get some work done on the house.”

It also presents an opportunity to obtain contact information from out-of-state investors, he said.

Jack Daugherty, neighborhood stabilization director at YNDC, said point-of-sale forces the current owner to deal with the situation. It stops the owner from transferring to other investors.

“That’s how the transfer cycle continues,” Daugherty said. “But if you stop it at that current owner and prevent that person from transferring it to someone else, it’s easier to pinpoint them and then figure out a strategy to get them to deal with it.”

Paying for It

Bill D’Avignon, director of the city’s Community Development Agency, said the city has considered point-of-sale, but it doesn’t have the resources necessary to implement it.

“I don’t think we have the manpower at this point and the time to be able to do it,” D’Avignon said. “It would be a little difficult to administer.”

Councilman Mike Ray, D-4th, supports point-of-sale. He said passing legislation the city can’t enforce doesn’t help anyone, but they need to look into the ordinance.

“We don’t want to make this a hindrance, but we would also like to do something that would hold folks accountable,” Ray said. “So they can’t just buy a property on Craigslist for $5,000 and then … walk away from it.”

Like vacant and rental registration, point-of-sale is intended to finance itself.

YNDC released projections saying 1,000 homes under $25,000 are transferred in a typical year. If the city charged a $200 inspection fee, it would raise $200,000 – enough to cover the cost of implementation.

Wagner said Cleveland Heights’ housing department received more than twice their budget in fees on point-of-sale inspections and rental registration.

“It can become self-sufficient,” Wagner said. “We’ve gone far beyond that.”

VARIED REACTIONS

South Euclid also implemented a point-of-sale, but Paul Kowlaczyk, the city’s former building commissioner, said it created a lot of resentment, and residents successfully campaigned for a ballot referendum that threw the measure out.

The city near Cleveland has since incorporated some aspects of point-of-sale into its vacant-property registration program.

“We weren’t here to penalize owner-occupied homes,” Kowalczyk said. “It was really the homes that were being neglected that were going vacant.”

When banks foreclose in South Euclid, they must register the property, which requires a full exterior and interior inspection. They aren’t allowed to transfer the property until code violations are addressed.

“A lot of times the banks will transfer it to a rehabber or an investor, and then they get stuck with all these violations,” Kowalczyk said. “But we’ve been very successful in getting these houses back on the market as code-compliant structures.”

LOCAL ENFORCEMENT

Beniston said implementation of point-of-sale in Youngstown likely would push more properties to demolition at least in the short term, but that’s not necessarily a problem.

“As opposed to just having some of these continuing to cycle where they’re vacant, where they’re marginally occupied for a time or they’re a significant neighborhood nuisance and nothing productive happens, that’s not a bad thing, I don’t think,” Beniston said.

Mayor John A. McNally said his administration would consider a point-of-sale ordinance, but it needs to be something the city can enforce. He said code enforcement is a never-ending battle, but the city does a pretty good job given the scale of the problem.

“I think we are aggressive with what we have,” McNally said. “You’re never going to be aggressive enough for the people who are affected by it on a daily basis, [but] we try to get to everything as quickly as we can.”

Article source: http://www.vindy.com/news/2016/sep/27/youngstown-will-city-try-point-of-sale-l/?mobile

Man gets 8 years in prison for scam that cost people their homes

Billy Turner was at a low point in his life – his house in Los Angeles was about to go into foreclosure and he was desperate to find a way to avoid it.

He came across an advertisement for a company called Direct Money Source, which promised to “stop all of your mortgage worries.”

Turner met face-to-face with CEO David Singui. Within hours he was signing paperwork to this man who promised to save his house.

Mark Trachtenberg, a US Postal Inspector, laid out the plan.

“They say they would buy their house and give the homeowner 12 months to rebuild their credit so that at the end of the year the  homeowner would be able to buy the house back, and they were going to be able to stay in the house the entire time.”

That never happened.

While Turner was allowed to stay in the house, be soon began to receive mail addressed to someone else. He contacted the state assessor’s office and learned the home had been transferred to someone other than Singui.

Inspectors say that was the plan all along – sell Turner’s home to what is known as “credit investors,” people who were borrowers that sold their credit to the company for a few thousand dollars. In exchange, the allowed the company to purchase the home in their name. Those borrowers then sign the home over to Direct Money Source for a small fee.

Essentially, Turner’s home was sold out from under him. After confronting Singui, the CEO confirmed what happened, and said there was nothing Turner could do about it.

It turns out that plenty of other underwater homeowners were in the exact same boat as Turner. Both state and federal investigators got involved and arrested Singui. At trial, he was sentenced to eight years in prison and ordered to pay $4 million in restitution to his victims.

That is of little comfort to Turner – he lost his home and lost his trust in people.

Article source: http://www.waaytv.com/appnews/man-gets-years-in-prison-for-scam-that-cost-people/article_72c910f4-8448-11e6-8774-c760584db11e.html

How To Spot A Loan Modification Scam | Travel,and Lifestyle … – Blogs

Homeowners who are unable to afford to pay the current terms of their loans can choose to apply for a loan modification. There has been an increase in the past few years of the number of homeowners who have applied for a loan modification and there has also been a growing number of individuals who have attempted to scam those who are seeking loan modifications. These individuals will often appear after they have discovered that a homeowner is facing a foreclosure by looking at foreclosure notices in newspapers and by looking at public files. Those facing foreclosure should pay attention to the warning signs of a foreclosure scam.

Scam Artists Often Have Very Official-Looking Documents

Those facing foreclosure should always carefully scrutinize all correspondences. Scam artists will often work very hard to make sure that their correspondences look official. When in doubt, it is best to consult with a lawyer when determining the legitimacy of a correspondence.

Scam Artists Make Bold, Unsubstantiated Claims

There are many claims that a scam artist will make in an effort to place the mind of the potential victim at ease. For instance, he or she might claim that the company is attorney-backed. The scam artist may claim that he or she has been in business for 10 to 20 years. The representative may promise a money-back guarantee and may also claim that their company has helped thousands of homeowners. All of these claims can be made without solid evidence to back them.

They May Try To Pose As An Official Government Agency

If you notice that an individual appears to be affiliated with a reputable government organization, scrutinize the evidence that he or she is affiliated with this organization. For instance, if the individual is apparently affiliated with a government website, make sure that the website has the appropriate top-level domain. This is the .com, .gov, .edu extension found on the domain name. HUD.com is not likely to be a government website, while HUD.gov is a legitimate website affiliated with the U.S. government. While legitimate organizations may also make these claims, the claims are not proof that the organization can be trusted.

Warning Signs Of A Scam

There are many warning signs that an organization is attempting to scam you. The company may ask for a fee before working with you. They may promise that they can stop the foreclosure. They may ask you to stop paying your mortgage and send the money to them instead. You may be pressured to sign over the deed to your home. You may be asked to provide them with personal finance information online or over the phone. These are all actions often carried out by scam artists, but would not be carried out by a legal, legitimate business.

Illegitimate companies will often operate out of state. They will not have a license with the DFI or may have a fake license. Or, the company may claim that they do not have a license because they are working with attorneys. The attorneys they work with may be out of state and not licensed to practice within the state you are residing in to assist in offering loan modifications.

FTC Is Cracking Down

The good news is that the FTC is cracking down on those who engage in loan modification scams. The FTC is also working with nonprofit organizations to reach out to those who may be distressed when struggling to pay their mortgages. Warning letters have been sent to 71 companies that are advertising through the Internet with the warning that they may be engaging in deceptive advertising.

Article source: http://blogs.christianpost.com/traveland-lifestyle-technology-ecommerce-news/how-to-spot-a-loan-modification-scam-28176/

Ohio’s Iconic Longaberger Basket Building Headed to Foreclosure

Longaberger basket building

Cushman Wakefield

The Longaberger Basket Building, the Newark, OH, office structure built to resemble a giant picnic basket, is heading to foreclosure if the home goods company does not pay more than $600,000 in back property taxes.

Olivia Parkinson, the Licking County treasurer, tells realtor.com® that the county recently sent a letter informing Longaberger that it is referring the property for tax foreclosure. The company, which hasn’t made a tax payment since November 2014, owes $605,219.12.

In order to halt foreclosure proceedings and an eventual property auction, the company must pay the bill in full within two weeks, Parkinson says.

The one-of-a-kind property has lingered on the market for 18 months. Brenton Baker, a spokesman for the Longaberger Company, says serious negotiations are underway with “several entities” who’d like to pack their employees into the basket building.

The basket backstory

It’s been tough to find a buyer for the 180,000-square-foot building in a suburb of Columbus. The basket landed on the market for $7.5 million about a year and a half ago, and the price has since been slashed to $5 million. The current asking price works out to about $27 per square foot, roughly half of what area office space—that doesn’t look like bologna sandwich storage—typically commands.

Inside Longaberger building
Inside the Longaberger building

Cushman Wakefield

“It’s a very unique property, and I don’t know that there are a lot of basket-related businesses out there,” says Baker. “The inside is a very nice, high-end office space. But the outside does present certain challenges.”

Longaberger, which sells baskets through a national network of Tupperware-style home consultants and is now owned by JRJR Networks, completed the office building in 1997 at a cost of approximately $32 million. It was the brainchild and dream project of the company’s founder, Dave Longaberger, who wanted his headquarters to mimic his best-selling basket.

Initially, the project’s architects thought he was speaking conceptually. But after the third failed design, Longaberger grabbed one of his baskets, slammed it on the table, and said, “Make it look exactly like this.”

And so they did, handles and all.

The exterior consists of stucco-covered framed metal set in a basket weave pattern. Two 75-ton handles heated to prevent ice from forming grace the top of the basket, and two 725-pound gold leaf Longaberger tags adorn the sides. The interior contains a 30,000-square-foot atrium and a 142-seat auditorium, where employees used to gather for movie night.

“It was a great home for us for many, many years,” says Baker, who’s worked for the company for 25 years. The final employees emptied out of the basket in July.

It also was a tourist destination. TripAdvisor, which calls the building “World’s Largest Basket,” ranks it No. 6 out of 19 things to do if you happen to be in Newark. The Dawes Arboretum is No. 1.

“It did bring people to the area when it was new,” says Jennifer McDonald, vice president of Licking County Chamber of Commerce, which includes Newark businesses. “They’d make a stop because of the size of the building and the photo opportunity.”

Unpacking the basket’s fate

But after Dave Longaberger died in 1999, tastes in home décor changed and sales slumped. The company’s revenue shrank from $1 billion in sales in 2000 to about $100 million in 2014. In fall 2014, the company was nipping away at the back taxes it owed, paying $10,000 per week for eight weeks, says Parkinson. But the payments stopped in November 2014.

Those delinquent taxes are “the scary part” for prospective buyers, says McDonald. “Heating and cooling costs must be phenomenal. Plus, it looks like a basket.” A basket in need of a paint job, according to a TripAdvisor comment posted in August.

Please, Mr. Postman

Send me news, tips, and promos from realtor.com® and Move.

“Being a Newark resident, I have to say that this has become one of the largest eyesores in our area,” the comment said. “The exterior condition of the ‘big basket’ is not good. It needs to be cleaned and painted. … Empty overgrown parking lot, brass Longaberger label that needs polished, handles need repainted. Tear it down!”

To make it look less basket-ish, the handles can be removed, says listing agent Michael Guagenti of Cushman Wakefield.

“I’m sure a good architect could come up with some paint scheme to make it look not like a basket,” Guagenti told Bloomberg.  Guagenti has explored marketing the property as a nursing home or call center.

McDonald says she could envision the basket building being transformed into a hotel with, perhaps, top floor lofts. There’s also been talk of turning the basket into a convention center.

However, a group of fans and Longaberger employees are trying to gain National Registry status for the building. Jim Klein, a former Longaberger Company president, started a Facebook page—Preserving the Longaberger “Big Basket” as a National Treasure—which now has 1,900 supporters.

Klein says the Big Basket “represents the ‘Gateway to our great American Craft Tradition.’” He recently posted a letter he had written to the American Institute of Architects in Washington, DC, suggesting that the building become an architectural school or laboratory.

Baker, for his part, is glad to be out of the basket building. The last of the Longaberger employees recently resettled in the company’s combined headquarters and manufacturing facility in nearby Frazeysburg.

“There were 50 people working in a building that can hold 500,” says Baker. “That’s not a fun feeling. Now, I’m close to everyone. I can talk to the basket makers.”

(We reached out to Longaberger and JRJR spokesmen for comment on the impending foreclosure, but they haven’t responded.)

Article source: http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/longaberger-basket-building-foreclosure/

Code enforcement struggles to bring out-of-state owners into compliance

By JUSTIN WIER

news@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

While the city has implemented programs to deal with out-of-state ownership, critics point out enforcement has been impacted by a lack of resources.

There is just one 20-hour-a-week employee who is tasked with managing rental registration, vacant registration and foreclosure bonds.

Abigail Beniston, Youngstown’s code enforcement and blight remediation superintendent, expects that part-time employee to be full time by the end of the year. City council approved the change at its meeting last Wednesday.

“The city did put [the salary] in our budget this year,” Beniston said. “It will double the time where she’s dealing with and trying to track people down.”

Youngstown Mayor John A. McNally said he doesn’t expect the city to hire more people in the code enforcement department.

“While it’s an issue, I’ve got other issues that have to be staffed,” McNally said.

The city employs five people in that department, according to records received from the finance department. Their salaries total $135,461, a small fraction of the $180.7 million in expenditures council approved in its 2016 budget.

REGISTRATION SOLUTION

Programs such as rental and vacant registration are intended to make it easier for the city to keep track of the owners of vulnerable properties.

The registration process requires owners to name property managers who are supposed to be easier to contact than out-of-state owners who often hide behind limited liability companies.

Bill D’Avignon, director of the Community Development Agency, said the programs help filter out those who have an interest in the property.

“Those who ignore the notice – we get a sense that they don’t care,” D’Avignon said. “They’re saying whatever happens happens.”

Many property owners apparently don’t care.

Less than 10 percent of vacant properties and less than a quarter of rental properties were registered in 2014, according to estimates released by the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp., a private agency that helps the city stabilize neighborhoods.

“It’s just tracking these people down and getting them to pay,” Beniston said. “That is the biggest hurdle.”

Looking Elsewhere

Paul Kowalczyk worked for several years as building commissioner for the city of South Euclid. He said rental and vacant registrations have been effective in the Cleveland suburb, but they require the proper resources.

“You can’t just take the staff you have and add programs,” Kowalczyk said. “These programs are intensive. They take up a lot of time.”

When rental registration was first implemented, the city created a position to manage the program full time. They have since added vacant registration and foreclosure bonds to the position’s responsibilities while reducing it to part time.

McNally maintains Youngstown has adequate staffing in place.

“Sometimes I think they have to re-prioritize themselves internally,” he said.

YNDC’s estimates showed that increasing compliance with vacant and rental registrations could raise up to $739,920 in annual revenue – enough to support hiring several employees to manage the programs.

South Euclid’s ordinances also require out-of-state owners to appoint local agents in charge who can appear in court. The city has the ability to take the property owner to court as well, but Kowalczyk said they typically go after agents in charge because they are easier to track down.

Nicole Billec, assistant Youngstown law director, handles housing issues for the law department. She said locating owners is frequently the most arduous part of the process.

“Just finding them is honestly really difficult and time-consuming,” Billec said.

The city prosecutor has hearings when owners neglect to respond to code violations, but out-of-state property owners often fail to appear. Billec said city ordinances allow for the prosecutor to impose administrative penalties or pursue criminal charges. The administrative penalties max out at $1,000 for the third offense.

Criminal charges present their own problems, however. The city doesn’t have jurisdiction over out-of-state owners, and extradition often costs more than the city would recoup.

the STATE OF THE Problem

Raymond Pianka, a judge in Cleveland who garnered national attention for sentencing slumlords to live in their dilapidated homes, has had success holding those who fail to appear when charged with contempt of court.

Frank Ford, senior policy adviser at Cleveland’s Thriving Communities Institute, credited Judge Pianka with driving out-of-state investors out of Cleveland by levying sizable fines against property owners.

“He literally had tens of millions of dollars in fines against some of these companies,” Ford said. “If we did not have Judge Pianka basically battle these people, they’d all still be here.”

Jude Pianka said Ohio has taken a lackadaisical approach to dealing with out-of-state LLCs, which exacerbates the problem.

“There is a requirement that if you’re doing business in the state of Ohio that you be registered, but as far as I know – and we’ve written letters to the state officials – they don’t seem to take it seriously,” Judge Pianka said.

Alison Goebel, deputy director of the Greater Ohio Policy Center, said the state attorney general’s office is concerned about the matter. She said enforcement of current policy would improve matters.

“If you’re like, ‘I’m ABC LLC but not even registered with the secretary of state,’ what we hope is going to happen then is that the county recorder is going to say, ‘I can’t record this deed,’” Goebel said. “Then the sale is null and void.”

She acknowledged that less scrupulous LLCs would list another LLC as the statutory agent, but this would stop some transfers from proceeding.

The Mahoning County Recorder’s Office said its policy is to record what it receives from the auditor. They don’t check to see whether LLCs are registered.

“This issue is so complex that there are no simple solutions,” Goebel said. “I wish we had easy answers. If we did, this problem would have been taken care of years ago.”

Article source: http://www.vindy.com/news/2016/sep/26/enforcement-struggles-to-bring-out-of-st/?mobile

How To Spot A Loan Modification Scam

Homeowners who are unable to afford to pay the current terms of their loans can choose to apply for a loan modification. There has been an increase in the past few years of the number of homeowners who have applied for a loan modification and there has also been a growing number of individuals who have attempted to scam those who are seeking loan modifications. These individuals will often appear after they have discovered that a homeowner is facing a foreclosure by looking at foreclosure notices in newspapers and by looking at public files. Those facing foreclosure should pay attention to the warning signs of a foreclosure scam.

Scam Artists Often Have Very Official-Looking Documents

Those facing foreclosure should always carefully scrutinize all correspondences. Scam artists will often work very hard to make sure that their correspondences look official. When in doubt, it is best to consult with a lawyer when determining the legitimacy of a correspondence.

Scam Artists Make Bold, Unsubstantiated Claims

There are many claims that a scam artist will make in an effort to place the mind of the potential victim at ease. For instance, he or she might claim that the company is attorney-backed. The scam artist may claim that he or she has been in business for 10 to 20 years. The representative may promise a money-back guarantee and may also claim that their company has helped thousands of homeowners. All of these claims can be made without solid evidence to back them.

They May Try To Pose As An Official Government Agency

If you notice that an individual appears to be affiliated with a reputable government organization, scrutinize the evidence that he or she is affiliated with this organization. For instance, if the individual is apparently affiliated with a government website, make sure that the website has the appropriate top-level domain. This is the .com, .gov, .edu extension found on the domain name. HUD.com is not likely to be a government website, while HUD.gov is a legitimate website affiliated with the U.S. government. While legitimate organizations may also make these claims, the claims are not proof that the organization can be trusted.

Warning Signs Of A Scam

There are many warning signs that an organization is attempting to scam you. The company may ask for a fee before working with you. They may promise that they can stop the foreclosure. They may ask you to stop paying your mortgage and send the money to them instead. You may be pressured to sign over the deed to your home. You may be asked to provide them with personal finance information online or over the phone. These are all actions often carried out by scam artists, but would not be carried out by a legal, legitimate business.

Illegitimate companies will often operate out of state. They will not have a license with the DFI or may have a fake license. Or, the company may claim that they do not have a license because they are working with attorneys. The attorneys they work with may be out of state and not licensed to practice within the state you are residing in to assist in offering loan modifications.

FTC Is Cracking Down

The good news is that the FTC is cracking down on those who engage in loan modification scams. The FTC is also working with nonprofit organizations to reach out to those who may be distressed when struggling to pay their mortgages. Warning letters have been sent to 71 companies that are advertising through the Internet with the warning that they may be engaging in deceptive advertising.

Article source: http://blogs.christianpost.com/traveland-lifestyle-technology-ecommerce-news/how-to-spot-a-loan-modification-scam-28176/

PUBLIC NOTICE – TheMountainMail.com: Legals

PUBLIC NOTICE

COMBINED NOTICE – PUBLICATION

CRS §38-38-103 FORECLOSURE SALE NO. 16-0288

To Whom It May Concern: This Notice is given with regard to the following described Deed of Trust:

On June 30, 2016, the undersigned Public Trustee caused the Notice of Election and Demand relating to the Deed of Trust described below to be recorded in the County of Chaffee records.

Original Grantor(s): JOHN E. DILATUSH, SURVIVING JOINT TENANT OF JEAN R. DILATUSH WHO DIED MARCH 9, 2009

Original Beneficiary(ies): WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A.

Current Holder of Evidence of Debt: BANK OF AMERICA, N.A.

Date of Deed of Trust: May 15, 2009

County of Recording: Chaffee

Recording Date of Deed of Trust: June 02, 2009

Recording Information (Reception No. and/or Book/Page No.): 381385

Original Principal Amount: $576,000.00

Outstanding Principal Balance: $374,812.05

Pursuant to CRS §38-38-101(4)(i), you are hereby notified that the covenants of the deed of trust have been violated as follows: failure to pay principal and interest when due together with all other payments provided for in the evidence of debt secured by the deed of trust and other violations thereof.

THE LIEN FORECLOSED MAY NOT BE A FIRST LIEN.

LEGAL DESCRIPTION

THE LAND DESCRIBED HEREIN IS SITUATED IN THE STATE OF COLORADO, COUNTY OF CHAFFEE, AND IS DESCRIBED AS FOLLOWS:

A TRACT OF LAND LOCATED IN THE WEST 1/2 OF THE NORTHWEST 1/4 OF SECTION 9, TOWNSHIP 49 NORTH, RANGE 9 EAST OF THE NEW MEXICO PRINCIPAL MERIDIAN, CHAFFEE COUNTY, COLORADO, DESCRIBED AS FOLLOWS:

BEGINNING AT A POINT MARKED BY A 5/8 INCH REINFORCING BAR WITH A 1 INCH ALUMINUM CAP LOCATED IN A FENCE LINE FROM WHENCE THE NORTHEAST CORNER (BRASS CAP) OF SAID SECTION 9 BEARS NORTH 79 DEG. 00′ 43″ EAST 5245.53 FEET (SAID BEGINNING POINT BEING THE SAME BEGINNING POINT AS DESCRIBED IN BOOK 378 AT PAGE 71 OF THE CHAFFEE COUNTY RECORDS AND WAS RECOVERED IN AN UNDISTURBED CONDITION ON 23 MAY 1977 BY ROBERT G. BIGLOW- COLORADO REGISTERED LAND SURVEYOR- NO. 6753);

THENCE PROCEEDING AROUND THE TRACT HEREIN DESCRIBED NORTH 0 DEG. 10′ WEST ALONG A FENCE 84.52 FEET;

THENCE LEAVING SAID FENCE NORTH 86 DEG. 24′ 16″ EAST 271.67 FEET; THENCE SOUTH 31 DEG. 25′ 11″ EAST 178.63 FEET TO THE SOUTHERLY BOUNDARY OF TRACT II AS DESCRIBED IN BOOK 378 AT PAGE 71 OF THE CHAFFEE COUNTY RECORDS;

THENCE SOUTH 56 DEG. 32′ WEST 429. 33 FEET;

THENCE NORTH 1 DEG. 10′ WEST 287.7 FEET TO THE POINT OF BEGINNING.

DIRECTIONS ARE BASED ON SOLAR OBSERVATION.

PARCEL NUMBER(S): R380709200045

Also known by street and number as: 6780 COUNTY RD 104, SALIDA, CO 81201.

THE PROPERTY DESCRIBED HEREIN IS ALL OF THE PROPERTY CURRENTLY ENCUMBERED BY THE LIEN OF THE DEED OF TRUST.

NOTICE OF SALE

The current holder of the Evidence of Debt secured by the Deed of Trust, described herein, has filed Notice of Election and Demand for sale as provided by law and in said Deed of Trust.

THEREFORE, Notice Is Hereby Given that I will at public auction, at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, 11/02/2016, at Office of Public Trustee, 104 Crestone Avenue, Room 105, Salida, CO 81201, sell to the highest and best bidder for cash, the said real property and all interest of the said Grantor(s), Grantor(s)’ heirs and assigns therein, for the purpose of paying the indebtedness provided in said Evidence of Debt secured by the Deed of Trust, plus attorneys’ fees, the expenses of sale and other items allowed by law, and will issue to the purchaser a Certificate of Purchase, all as provided by law.

First Publication: 9/15/2016

Last Publication: 10/13/2016

Name of Publication Mountain Mail

IF THE SALE DATE IS CONTINUED TO A LATER DATE, THE DEADLINE TO FILE A NOTICE OF INTENT TO CURE BY THOSE PARTIES ENTITLED TO CURE MAY ALSO BE EXTENDED;

IF THE BORROWER BELIEVES THAT A LENDER OR SERVICER HAS VIOLATED THE REQUIREMENTS FOR A SINGLE POINT OF CONTACT IN SECTION 38-38-103.1 OR THE PROHIBITION ON DUAL TRACKING IN SECTION 38-38-103.2, THE BORROWER MAY FILE A COMPLAINT WITH THE COLORADO ATTORNEY GENERAL, THE FEDERAL CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU (CFPB), OR BOTH. THE FILING OF A COMPLAINT WILL NOT STOP THE FORECLOSURE PROCESS.

Colorado Attorney General

1300 Broadway, 10th Floor

Denver, Colorado 80203

(800) 222-4444

www.coloradoattorneygeneral.gov

Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

P.O. Box 4503

Iowa City, Iowa 52244

(855) 411-2372

www.consumerfinance.gov

DATE: 06/30/2016

/s/DeeDee Copper, Public Trustee in and for the County of Chaffee, State of Colorado

The name, address, business telephone number and bar registration number of the attorney(s) representing the legal holder of the indebtedness is:

Sheila J Finn #36637

Janeway Law Firm, P.C. 9800 S Meridian, Suite 400, Englewood, CO 80112 (720) 590-4114

Attorney File # JLF NO. 16-011676

The Attorney above is acting as a debt collector and is attempting to collect a debt. Any information provided may be used for that purpose.

Article source: http://www.themountainmail.com/legals/article_3698893e-80b0-11e6-881c-fb867e047955.html

PUBLIC NOTICE

PUBLIC NOTICE

COMBINED NOTICE – PUBLICATION

CRS §38-38-103 FORECLOSURE SALE NO. 16-0288

To Whom It May Concern: This Notice is given with regard to the following described Deed of Trust:

On June 30, 2016, the undersigned Public Trustee caused the Notice of Election and Demand relating to the Deed of Trust described below to be recorded in the County of Chaffee records.

Original Grantor(s): JOHN E. DILATUSH, SURVIVING JOINT TENANT OF JEAN R. DILATUSH WHO DIED MARCH 9, 2009

Original Beneficiary(ies): WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A.

Current Holder of Evidence of Debt: BANK OF AMERICA, N.A.

Date of Deed of Trust: May 15, 2009

County of Recording: Chaffee

Recording Date of Deed of Trust: June 02, 2009

Recording Information (Reception No. and/or Book/Page No.): 381385

Original Principal Amount: $576,000.00

Outstanding Principal Balance: $374,812.05

Pursuant to CRS §38-38-101(4)(i), you are hereby notified that the covenants of the deed of trust have been violated as follows: failure to pay principal and interest when due together with all other payments provided for in the evidence of debt secured by the deed of trust and other violations thereof.

THE LIEN FORECLOSED MAY NOT BE A FIRST LIEN.

LEGAL DESCRIPTION

THE LAND DESCRIBED HEREIN IS SITUATED IN THE STATE OF COLORADO, COUNTY OF CHAFFEE, AND IS DESCRIBED AS FOLLOWS:

A TRACT OF LAND LOCATED IN THE WEST 1/2 OF THE NORTHWEST 1/4 OF SECTION 9, TOWNSHIP 49 NORTH, RANGE 9 EAST OF THE NEW MEXICO PRINCIPAL MERIDIAN, CHAFFEE COUNTY, COLORADO, DESCRIBED AS FOLLOWS:

BEGINNING AT A POINT MARKED BY A 5/8 INCH REINFORCING BAR WITH A 1 INCH ALUMINUM CAP LOCATED IN A FENCE LINE FROM WHENCE THE NORTHEAST CORNER (BRASS CAP) OF SAID SECTION 9 BEARS NORTH 79 DEG. 00′ 43″ EAST 5245.53 FEET (SAID BEGINNING POINT BEING THE SAME BEGINNING POINT AS DESCRIBED IN BOOK 378 AT PAGE 71 OF THE CHAFFEE COUNTY RECORDS AND WAS RECOVERED IN AN UNDISTURBED CONDITION ON 23 MAY 1977 BY ROBERT G. BIGLOW- COLORADO REGISTERED LAND SURVEYOR- NO. 6753);

THENCE PROCEEDING AROUND THE TRACT HEREIN DESCRIBED NORTH 0 DEG. 10′ WEST ALONG A FENCE 84.52 FEET;

THENCE LEAVING SAID FENCE NORTH 86 DEG. 24′ 16″ EAST 271.67 FEET; THENCE SOUTH 31 DEG. 25′ 11″ EAST 178.63 FEET TO THE SOUTHERLY BOUNDARY OF TRACT II AS DESCRIBED IN BOOK 378 AT PAGE 71 OF THE CHAFFEE COUNTY RECORDS;

THENCE SOUTH 56 DEG. 32′ WEST 429. 33 FEET;

THENCE NORTH 1 DEG. 10′ WEST 287.7 FEET TO THE POINT OF BEGINNING.

DIRECTIONS ARE BASED ON SOLAR OBSERVATION.

PARCEL NUMBER(S): R380709200045

Also known by street and number as: 6780 COUNTY RD 104, SALIDA, CO 81201.

THE PROPERTY DESCRIBED HEREIN IS ALL OF THE PROPERTY CURRENTLY ENCUMBERED BY THE LIEN OF THE DEED OF TRUST.

NOTICE OF SALE

The current holder of the Evidence of Debt secured by the Deed of Trust, described herein, has filed Notice of Election and Demand for sale as provided by law and in said Deed of Trust.

THEREFORE, Notice Is Hereby Given that I will at public auction, at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, 11/02/2016, at Office of Public Trustee, 104 Crestone Avenue, Room 105, Salida, CO 81201, sell to the highest and best bidder for cash, the said real property and all interest of the said Grantor(s), Grantor(s)’ heirs and assigns therein, for the purpose of paying the indebtedness provided in said Evidence of Debt secured by the Deed of Trust, plus attorneys’ fees, the expenses of sale and other items allowed by law, and will issue to the purchaser a Certificate of Purchase, all as provided by law.

First Publication: 9/15/2016

Last Publication: 10/13/2016

Name of Publication Mountain Mail

IF THE SALE DATE IS CONTINUED TO A LATER DATE, THE DEADLINE TO FILE A NOTICE OF INTENT TO CURE BY THOSE PARTIES ENTITLED TO CURE MAY ALSO BE EXTENDED;

IF THE BORROWER BELIEVES THAT A LENDER OR SERVICER HAS VIOLATED THE REQUIREMENTS FOR A SINGLE POINT OF CONTACT IN SECTION 38-38-103.1 OR THE PROHIBITION ON DUAL TRACKING IN SECTION 38-38-103.2, THE BORROWER MAY FILE A COMPLAINT WITH THE COLORADO ATTORNEY GENERAL, THE FEDERAL CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU (CFPB), OR BOTH. THE FILING OF A COMPLAINT WILL NOT STOP THE FORECLOSURE PROCESS.

Colorado Attorney General

1300 Broadway, 10th Floor

Denver, Colorado 80203

(800) 222-4444

www.coloradoattorneygeneral.gov

Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

P.O. Box 4503

Iowa City, Iowa 52244

(855) 411-2372

www.consumerfinance.gov

DATE: 06/30/2016

/s/DeeDee Copper, Public Trustee in and for the County of Chaffee, State of Colorado

The name, address, business telephone number and bar registration number of the attorney(s) representing the legal holder of the indebtedness is:

Sheila J Finn #36637

Janeway Law Firm, P.C. 9800 S Meridian, Suite 400, Englewood, CO 80112 (720) 590-4114

Attorney File # JLF NO. 16-011676

The Attorney above is acting as a debt collector and is attempting to collect a debt. Any information provided may be used for that purpose.

Article source: http://www.themountainmail.com/legals/article_3698893e-80b0-11e6-881c-fb867e047955.html

WRTA proposes halt to Greendale Mall bus route, other changes

WORCESTER – The Worcester Regional Transit Authority is proposing service changes to multiple routes, including a proposal to eliminate direct service to the Greendale Mall and the Greendale YMCA.

“Ridership (on bus Route 8) has been relatively the same for the last three years; we’re not seeing any growth on it at all,” said Jonathan E. Church, WRTA administrator. “Its ridership is kind of stagnant, and with Greendale Mall going into foreclosure … it doesn’t seem as high a destination as it used to be.”

The Greendale Mall was sold at a foreclosure auction June 24 to its mortgage holder for $11.8 million, the only submitted bid. The 309,000-square-foot mall – which is Worcester’s only enclosed, traditional shopping mall – was built in 1987 but has faced increased competition in the last decade.

Simon Property Group, an Indianapolis-based owner of shopping centers that also owns the Auburn Mall and Solomon Pond Mall, paid $72 million for the Greendale Mall in transactions in 1997 and 1999, according to public records.

Mr. Church noted that Routes 30 and 31 travel along West Boylston Street and will still stop near the mall.

The WRTA has proposed changes to eight routes in response to ridership statistics and to increase efficiency.

Those changes include:

• Route 4 – Extend to serve 150 Blackstone River Road.

• Route 8 – Eliminate.

• Route 15 – Make Saturday trips of a half-hour, both outbound and inbound, resulting in a one-hour round trip.

• Route 16 – Bus would not directly enter George Booth Apartments (Haven Lane) but remain on Lincoln Street.

• Route 23 – Terminal stop would be Worcester Arts Magnet School at Country Club Boulevard and St. Nicholas Avenue instead of The Fairways apartments.

• Route 26 – Terminal stop would be Tacoma Street Playground/Great Brook Valley Pool instead of Allegro Microsystems.

• Route 30 – No Sunday service to Showcase Cinemas North. Terminal stop would be Walmart in West Boylston.

• Route 42 – Add weekday outbound trip at 10:35 a.m. Afternoon trips would be shifted later.

Three meetings will be held to solicit public input on the proposed changes: 1 p.m. Oct. 24 in Union Hall on the second floor of Union Station, Washington Squqare; 5 p.m. Oct. 25 in Union Hall; and 2 p.m. Nov. 2 in Webster Town Hall, selectmen’s meeting room, 350 Main St., Webster. 

.

 

Article source: http://www.telegram.com/news/20160922/wrta-proposes-halt-to-greendale-mall-bus-route-other-changes