Toledo Talk

Nolan, how about a Blade series about the land bank?

It seems this entity is doing things without full disclosure. Why are people buried in debt being allowed to acquire properties free or for very little money?

created by 6th_Floor on Mar 25, 2015 at 10:07:56 am     Comments: 40

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Comments ... #

I'll pass it along (I mostly cover education).
I'm responding so quickly because my Tweetdeck just popped up a tweet with this headline and it somewhat startled me to have my computer talking to me.

posted by Nolan_Rosenkrans on Mar 25, 2015 at 10:28:08 am     #   2 people liked this

Thanks Nolan.

posted by 6th_Floor on Mar 25, 2015 at 10:39:09 am     #  

Nolan_Rosenkrans posted at 10:28:08 AM on Mar 25, 2015:

I'll pass it along (I mostly cover education).
I'm responding so quickly because my Tweetdeck just popped up a tweet with this headline and it somewhat startled me to have my computer talking to me.

It's becoming self-aware.

posted by clt212 on Mar 25, 2015 at 10:42:54 am     #  

No, no...there will be no land-bank series, because according to a different Blade-related thread, Nolan and his union paly-thugs and the product they labor to put out are extinct like horsey-buggies or somethin' somethin' , and nobody cares about locally-generated stories anyhoo and everyone's just going to read the NY Times eventually so what's the point.

So no, no land-bank series for you...

posted by McCaskey on Mar 25, 2015 at 12:13:01 pm     #   1 person liked this

"... everyone's just going to read the NY Times eventually ..."

No. Everyone will read only Facebook eventually.

posted by jr on Mar 25, 2015 at 12:40:07 pm     #   2 people liked this

jr posted at 12:40:07 PM on Mar 25, 2015:

"... everyone's just going to read the NY Times eventually ..."

No. Everyone will read only Facebook eventually.

yeah, I can't tell you how many times I've seen something on FB the day, or sometimes days, before The Hub reads it to me out of the paper. People want their news NOW!!! in my best Verruca Salt voice

posted by nana on Mar 25, 2015 at 01:20:58 pm     #   1 person liked this

I have been beating this story for two years now. The Land Bank says they are doing us a favor. No you are not, collect the taxes owed, by garnishment or lien. Don't let people get years behind and knowing they are going to lose the place they don't do any maintenance. Then the Land Bank gets it and the people are off Scott free. Now we have a run down building and we have lost thousands of dollars in back taxes and the Land Bank pats itself on back, great job.

I guess to sum it up, major action should be taken if property taxes are missed more than 1 year. File liens, garnishments, transfer the bill to the water dept and turn the water off. There are many things you could do, but nothing is done and after tens of thousands of dollars owing and no maintenance done, the Land Bank has an article in Blade saying the owner transferred ownership and now the taxes are forgiven and we have a run down building that probably will be torn down.

It is like a drunk at a bar running a big tab and they keep letting the drunk run the tab. Eventually they lose the customer and the money, well all Lucas County does is lose the money and the property.

An acquaintance of mine is a slum lord, all the time laughing at Lucas County while owing taxes and vacationing all over. Hide the property in LLC and take a good laugh at Lucas County. Like I tell him, sell one or more of your properties and pay the taxes on the rest, stop living off other people. Well guess what, he keeps renting them out, Lucas County has not the guts to go after these deadbeats, while they laugh at us in Florida. If the property gets too far in back taxes, Lucas County will always take it from these fake LLC and they are off scott free with all that rental income while doing nothing to maintain the property. If you can not figure out who owes it, transfer the amount due to the water division and let them shut the water off, lets see how fast they pay then with no rental income coming in. The county should not be the business to take property, their obligation to the taxpayer is to collect.

posted by Nyse on Mar 25, 2015 at 11:05:31 pm     #  

I have been beating this story for two years now. The Land Bank says they are doing us a favor. No you are not, collect the taxes owed, by garnishment or lien. Don't let people get years behind and knowing they are going to lose the place they don't do any maintenance. Then the Land Bank gets it and the people are off Scott free. Now we have a run down building and we have lost thousands of dollars in back taxes and the Land Bank pats itself on back, great job.

I guess to sum it up, major action should be taken if property taxes are missed more than 1 year. File liens, garnishments, transfer the bill to the water dept and turn the water off. There are many things you could do, but nothing is done and after tens of thousands of dollars owing and no maintenance done, the Land Bank has an article in Blade saying the owner transferred ownership and now the taxes are forgiven and we have a run down building that probably will be torn down.

It is like a drunk at a bar running a big tab and they keep letting the drunk run the tab. Eventually they lose the customer and the money, well all Lucas County does is lose the money and the property.

An acquaintance of mine is a slum lord, all the time laughing at Lucas County while owing taxes and vacationing all over. Hide the property in LLC and take a good laugh at Lucas County. Like I tell him, sell one or more of your properties and pay the taxes on the rest, stop living off other people. Well guess what, he keeps renting them out, Lucas County has not the guts to go after these deadbeats, while they laugh at us in Florida. If the property gets too far in back taxes, Lucas County will always take it from these fake LLC and they are off scott free with all that rental income while doing nothing to maintain the property. If you can not figure out who owes it, transfer the amount due to the water division and let them shut the water off, lets see how fast they pay then with no rental income coming in. The county should not be the business to take property, their obligation to the taxpayer is to collect.

posted by Nyse on Mar 25, 2015 at 11:05:32 pm     #   1 person liked this

As far as the commercial side goes, the Land Bank is typically getting involved when it is in the best interest for the building. They aren't stepping in to wipe someone's debt away, they're stepping in when no solution is viable.
In my personal experience, there was a building whose owner died, and his sister took possession. The building was already under water, and the change of hands just made matters worse. The building was falling into disrepair, and the Land Bank stepped in. They contacted each position on the debt list and notified them that they could either A) assume responsibility of the property, or B) walk away. Everyone chose to walk, rather than have to fix the building up.
So no, at least as far as I have been aware, nobody is just going to the Land Bank and saying "fix my problem for me." They are stepping in when the situation suggests there is no other way out.

posted by Johio83 on Mar 26, 2015 at 12:18:24 am     #   5 people liked this

We are told we need a sales tax increase, we are told the schools need more money, but we are never told how much delinquent real estate taxes are due and how much delinquent water bills are due, yet we are told to pony up for a new water plant that will be needed.

In the above example, you are saying she is underwater, really has nothing to do with my examples as it appears in your example to be a loan against the property. I am saying people are not paying their real estate taxes and the county is not doing enough to collect. So in the above example we have no idea is the person was behind or not, if they were behind as I indicate many properties in Lucas County. are years behind which no payment plan. If the above property was years behind in real estate taxes, which of course we have no idea, but if it was, it should have been taken before it got run down. I am tired of paying more sales tax and real estate taxes for those that will not pay. So if the Land Bank took it and it was years behind it real estate taxes, those are forgiven.

This Land Bank is wrong on so many fronts, it promotes speculation in real estate, oh I'll buy it and Lucas County will not come after me aggressively for property taxes and hope I make a profit, otherwise the land bank will take it and I'm off scott free. It is wrong to the tax payers who pay their taxes timely. It promotes absent landlords, oh let me buy all these rentals and suck them dry while not paying my real estate taxes and then if the county does come after me, I just can let the land bank have it and my tax bill is clear and I've taken the tax payer to the cleaners, because I've collected rent all this time. It is the mentality of what happen to Detroit, don't collect, don't even try and God don't let the taxpayers know how much delinquent taxes are due and how much back taxes we had to forgive to "get" the property.

posted by Nyse on Mar 26, 2015 at 11:05:49 pm     #   2 people liked this

Oh, sorry, we also are never told how much Lucas County sales taxes are delinquent, yet we are given a sales tax increase. We need firm figures before any Sales Tax increase, before any more money for the schools and before a water rate increase.

posted by Nyse on Mar 26, 2015 at 11:13:46 pm     #   2 people liked this

I read in the Blade all the time that the Land Bank is always doing such great things for Toledo and Lucas County. Then I read the comments from the other side of the issue. I'm glad these posts are out there to give us the other side of the story.

posted by toledojim on Mar 27, 2015 at 11:59:25 am     #  

In most cases, the Land Bank really doesn't want these properties.

Their first step is usually to reach out to the surrounding neighbors, and ask if they are interested in purchasing the property at a very low price, and if so, the county will usually help pay for the cost of any needed demolition , so the property can be sold to that neighbor as a vacant lot.

Getting the property sold to a new neighbor ( even if it means all the unpaid taxes up to that point are written off) is a win-win for the Land Bank . If the Land Bank retains ownership of the property, they are responsible for the insurance on the property, and if it's a vacant property, liability insurance is not cheap, I've been down that road before.

But I agree, the best course of action is to step in and get more severe with collection efforts before the property taxes get too deep in arrears.

It doesn't benefit the county to spend more money on liens and garnishments if the owner doesn't have a job or a paycheck to garnish. A lien is only as good as the property on which the lien was placed. Doesn't seem fair, I know, but as the old saying goes " you can't get blood out of a turnip, so why try ".

posted by foodie88 on Mar 27, 2015 at 03:17:47 pm     #   1 person liked this

It doesn't benefit the county to spend more money on liens and garnishments if the owner doesn't have a job or a paycheck to garnish. A lien is only as good as the property on which the lien was placed. Doesn't seem fair, I know, but as the old saying goes " you can't get blood out of a turnip, so why try ".

This.

I think that speculators are not really the typical situation the land bank is involved with. I think they are more often dealing with situations like I had with a client of mine recently. He was elderly, living on social security and could not keep up with his mortgage. He was physically unable to live in his home anymore, so moved into a nursing home. He wanted to sell, but was underwater on the mortgage. The bank refused a short sale. They refused to foreclose. They also refused to release their lien. Since he couldn't bring money to closing, he couldn't do anything.

I got in touch with the land bank and they initiated a foreclosure action for past due taxes. They only do so after inspecting the house and when they have an end user lined up. The property will be rehabbed and turned back into a revenue producing property within a year. That sounds like a good thing for everybody.

posted by Ace_Face on Mar 27, 2015 at 03:52:12 pm     #   1 person liked this

There you have it, initiated a foreclosure for back due taxes, which probably should have been done 3 years prior, the problem, the county will not aggressively go after back taxes so that these situations do not occur in the first place. We need a Board of Republican and Democrats, hopefully volunteers, God know we don't need to pay more politicians, who are not political hacks to make sure the Treasurers Dept is doing enough to collect back taxes and the Land Bank is operating is a fashion that represents the interests of the residents of the county.

posted by Nyse on Mar 27, 2015 at 04:08:42 pm     #  

http://toledomatters.com/ep26

podcast popped up this morning in this subject

posted by ahmahler on Aug 18, 2016 at 08:31:04 am     #  

This crack shack is listed for sale on Craigslist. Check out the taxes on Areis. Really???
http://icare.co.lucas.oh.us/LucasCare/Datalets/Datalet.aspx?sIndex=0&idx=1

https://toledo.craigslist.org/reb/5725176139.html

The same company lists a bunch of these Toledo charmers. All behind on taxes and all for sale by an out of town LLC. And all not fit for human habitation. But check out the taxes that the city expects to collect on these dumps. Almost $1000 per year on some of them!!!

posted by Wydowmaker on Aug 18, 2016 at 01:44:38 pm     #  

I see over 4,000 in taxes due on the above property and last payment made in January 2012. Keep voting for those tax levies, while these rental properties owners do not pay taxes and collect rent till the property is worthless, while the landlord is bathing in the sun in Florida. Then it will be foreclosed and he will buy it back under another LLC or his name and do the same thing again. Fools in Lucas County and their money are soon parted.

Here is one for you 782 Durango, valued at 58,800 - over 24,000 due in back taxes. No payments for over 10 years. You know nothing has been done to it, maybe worth 10,000. We are going to lose all that back taxes because the people in charge haven't a clue.

We could do this all day, the problem is just like Detroit, you have to have a responsible government to the citizens, you have lost that. You no longer have a newspaper that will do investigative reporting. And that ones that pay keeping getting their taxes raised so we can support the ones that do not pay. These government officials need to be held responsible.

We need a public info request against the Land Bank, we need to know what is owned now and since its inception, we need to know the disposition of all properties and how much back taxes were forgiven in the course of its operation and also we need to know how much county money is being used for operation of this enterprise including salaries.
We need to know how much property the city owns, Lucas County owes and how much is owned thru the Land Bank.

But the main thing is we need to know why the Treasures office is not doing its job collecting. Maybe it does not know who to go after when it is in a LLC or mulitple names as the named property above, if that is the case, you need to hire people that do or turn over back taxes to a collection agency.

This non payment goes toward 911, children services, development disabilities, general fund, mental health and recovery, science and natural history, senior services, zoo, park district, port authority, library, schools and several others fund type. Get it, almost everyone asking for a new levy or renewal and you are paying for the ones that don't and you County expects that without question.

posted by Nyse on Aug 18, 2016 at 07:57:20 pm     #   2 people liked this

Something else that fails the smell test is when I've researched properties sold by the LB, the purchase price isn't available.

I think the LB should be forced to be more transparent.

posted by 6th_Floor on Aug 18, 2016 at 08:01:56 pm     #   1 person liked this

If the city is going to hire anyone, it should be collection people/companies to collect all the delinquent property taxes on a commission only basis. 70 or 80% of something is better than 0% of hundred of thousands (if not millions)...

posted by Mike21 on Aug 18, 2016 at 08:43:56 pm     #  

NYSE-You clearly have a major problem with The Land Bank. Back taxes, while a huge problem, are not the domain of the Land Bank. Nor are punitive measures to secure the taxes. Their (Land Bank) job is to take the properties that are past the point of turnaround with either current owners, or abandoned/ vacant situations, and rehab the property, or demo it. Their goals are to help stabilize property values, reduce crime, and ideally, help generate revenue via new owners paying taxes. This should be something we can all get behind. They have no interest in speculation nor investment property. They want to turn properties around as quickly as possible and have recently committed to 1500 in 1500 days. If there is commercial demand for the property, the Land Bank will not get involved. Their primary objective is to make themselves obsolete.

I really recommend listening to the podcast linked. I learned quite a bit about the land bank.

Here are The Land Banks policies and procedures. I AM curious as to how they handle their books. I do know a large chunk, if not all of their funding comes from State and Federal programs and grants.
http://co.lucas.oh.us/DocumentCenter/Home/View/7244

You can also look at this map that shows which parcels they are involved with-currently counts 2000, which probably includes properties that are at all stages, including , possibly, parcels that have already been sold and they continue to monitor.
http://thelandbank.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=71f19902da2248a6a2a2721672d38aa3

posted by ahmahler on Aug 18, 2016 at 11:28:49 pm     #  

Ahmahler-thanks for your info, you sound like a supported of this socialized government program. Me, just a retired person here, looking at Aeries over the years and seeing stuff that does not look right. The fault of course is with the Treasurer's office not collecting. But government breeds government. If the Treasurer's office would do its job there would not be so many of these abandoned, vacant building and hence no needed for a land bank with 2,000 parcels.

What is wrong with the light of day being shined about the Treasurer's office and the Land Bank, still want to see who they got the properties from, how much taxes were forgiven and who ended up with the properties from inception. The first time we talked about this a couple of years ago on this forum I got a call from the Treasurer's office trying to explain the reasons for the their failure to collect and the benefits of the Land Bank. Again the Treasurer's office is a political position and all government has to justify its existence. One hour later I was still trying to get the man off the phone. They don't want anyone talking about their failures and redundant government.

Do your job, collect or have people on a payment program, if that fails, take the property, don't wait 10 years. I would not have to write these comments and tell everyone again, do not vote for any tax levy until government does its job. Every levy proposed would fail if this info was on the front page of The Blade and of course the old good boy network would be get some exposure.

posted by Nyse on Aug 19, 2016 at 02:10:29 pm     #   5 people liked this

"Ahmahler-thanks for your info, you sound like a supported of this socialized government program. Me, just a retired person here,"

How's that social security program working out for ya? You DO accept the checks from the government, right? Do you participate in Medicare? Must be a communist. Me, I don't use either of those programs yet. They're only for moochers who aren't producing anymore, in the 47% of americans who are takers rather than makers.

I guess it's impossible for any government program to actually do good things, after all. Ever.

posted by endcycle on Aug 19, 2016 at 02:56:53 pm     #   1 person liked this

NYSE, I think you may still be confusing the treasurers office and the land bank. The Landybank does not forgive taxes. I don't believe any taxes are being forgiven, the land banks job, is to take these properties and stop vacancies. It sounds like there is an Endgame, which may be impossible to believe considering it still part of a government, but we need to take the things that based value. The land bank does not prevent the treasurers office from collecting income taxes, they are just try to rehabilitate to put properties back onto the tax roles.

posted by ahmahler on Aug 19, 2016 at 03:08:57 pm     #  

Sorry Endcycle, I am not on Medicare and pay all my federal, state and city taxes when I have self-employment.

Keep this thread alive. Why are there properties sitting with 10 years back taxes due? Why are we kept in the dark about properties acquired by the Land Bank since its inception along with taxes forgiven and who acquires these properties? And of, course I know the difference between the Treasurers Office and Land Bank.
Next step I guess would be a public info request.

posted by Nyse on Aug 19, 2016 at 06:58:40 pm     #   4 people liked this

The county treasurers office picks and chooses I was told what houses they will go after in regards to forclosing on taxes.

I have driven by a house that has not made a tax payment in 6 years. I asked a woman in the treasurer's department how this could be and I was told, "the don't want to foreclose because then they will be responsible for it."
I knew a guy a house that had (ready for this?) a $2000 water bill outstanding. He inherited this water bill. How the city let someone run up a $2000 water bill is a whole different (and troubling) issue. Anyways my friend paid the taxes that were due but refused to pay for the water bill. He was served with a foreclosure notice. When my friend asked why they were so vigorously pursuing him, he was told, "we know you will pay."

posted by Dappling2 on Aug 20, 2016 at 02:57:32 pm     #  

"The guy bought a house with a $2000 outstanding water bill"....sorry. I am typing on my phone

posted by Dappling2 on Aug 20, 2016 at 02:59:13 pm     #  

Whoah.

posted by ahmahler on Aug 20, 2016 at 04:20:37 pm     #  

Yep. Water liens stay with the property

posted by Dappling2 on Aug 20, 2016 at 04:21:39 pm     #  

Dappling2 posted at 04:21:39 PM on Aug 20, 2016:

Yep. Water liens stay with the property

Isn't this what we pay title companies for when buying a house?

posted by SensorG on Aug 20, 2016 at 04:42:30 pm     #   2 people liked this

It was a for sale by owner and payment of outstanding water bills was not specified in the purchase agreement.

Trust me, my friend now puts the stipulation that all water bills be paid in the contact in all caps.

I would LOVE to see an indenpendnt audit of the water company with an accompanying Blade article about the amount of unpaid bills.

posted by Dappling2 on Aug 20, 2016 at 04:55:06 pm     #   1 person liked this

Dappling2 posted at 04:55:06 PM on Aug 20, 2016:

It was a for sale by owner and payment of outstanding water bills was not specified in the purchase agreement.

Trust me, my friend now puts the stipulation that all water bills be paid in the contact in all caps.

I would LOVE to see an indenpendnt audit of the water company with an accompanying Blade article about the amount of unpaid bills.

Yes, I've been begging for that for years. Won't ever happen until the sheeple show up with torches and pitchforks.

Regarding this matter, the city very clearly says "FUCK YOU Toledo taxpayers" and the lap dog Blade says "Amen."

posted by Foodie on Aug 20, 2016 at 08:33:57 pm     #   1 person liked this

^^^^^ Amen........git down Foodie!!!

posted by marving on Aug 20, 2016 at 08:48:40 pm     #  

Playing God, making winners and losers, unpaid property taxes, unpaid water bills, land banks, and over 23 million of unpaid fines to the Toledo Municipal Court and they want tax levies for everything. Is this getting close to a criminal investigation rather than oversight errors? When you are in charge, everyone needs to be treated equally, if you are not and you are making winners and loser by loosely applying the law, then at what point have you crossed the line.

posted by Nyse on Aug 20, 2016 at 11:48:30 pm     #   3 people liked this

NYSE...John Roberts, the Chief Justice of SCOTUS, said it best during his confirmation hearing when he stated that the government should serve as an "umpire" and be sure that there is a level playing field. He was adamant that the government shouldnt play the game. Pretty good analogy.

posted by Dappling2 on Aug 21, 2016 at 02:16:26 pm     #   1 person liked this

Oh, Oh what can go wrong with a land bank - Detroit Land Bank turns over records to feds amid widening probe. Nov. 16, Detroit Free Press article. - http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2016/11/16/feds-raid-detroit-land-bank-take-computers-records/93977426/

Then take a look at all that has been posted on Toledo Talk about the subject. Yeah what can go wrong with 2,000 properties owned and rumors that LLC have went let the land bank have properties and that got them back under a new owner or LLC. Folks there is no oversight and no newspaper to do investigative reporting.

posted by Nyse on Nov 17, 2016 at 03:21:29 am     #  

NYSE-so, you are ok with the Land Bank as long as there is oversight?

posted by ahmahler on Nov 17, 2016 at 12:12:10 pm     #  

That'd be socialism, ahmahler. oversight and regulations are just the first steps on a slippery slope to death panels.

posted by endcycle on Nov 17, 2016 at 01:53:58 pm     #   1 person liked this

I think there are problems and a panel/oversight audit or what ever you want to call it is needed. A volunteer citizen's panel to review land taken and what is done with it in the end. And how much we lose in taxes versus any gains. We don't want to end up like Detroit with the Fed's stepping in, why not deal with any problems or misconceptions now. Things to see - lands taken - back taxes lost - new owner ( and this is important) was there any preference given in exchange - and what they did with this property. I can see a reason for the land bank as long as it has oversight by a non interested, non political entity. I would have more confidence in members of Toledo Talk review each transaction that I would of any political hack or so called interest group in the county.

posted by Nyse on Nov 17, 2016 at 07:33:37 pm     #  

Did you ever listen to the interview linked above?

posted by ahmahler on Nov 17, 2016 at 11:03:21 pm     #