Posts filed under ‘Lorain Multi Property Owners’

When Vision is “cloudy” Property Holding LLCs- NY TIMES

“It” was the Icon House of West Erie and for the Point of Sale poster child- No one would go through POS to buy this house !
Wurmser for lease rs 091015
A great deal has been written about this house on this blog and elsewhere

Morning Journal Headlines

Lorain house sets record with $45,750 escrow requirement by R. Payerchin June 2014 – we are now in 2016 and end of August

http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20140620/lorain-house-sets-record-with-45750-escrow-requirement

And from that article where a real estate agent was bemoaning the Point of Sale

“It appeared the home at 1348 W. Erie Ave. could have an escrow amount that is more than the house is worth.

The home is owned by the Federal National Mortgage Association, commonly known as Fannie Mae.

The Lorain County Auditor’s Office puts the market value at $85,210, but the home’s last listing price was $36,000, said Ken Myers, the real estate agent who last had the house for sale.

Callers interested in the house don’t understand how it can have a listed sale price of $36,000 and a city repair requirement of $45,750, Myers said.

“It’s not wonderful in any sense of the imagination,” Myers said. “We have properties we can just not sell now. Everybody just walks away because nobody wants to put that kind of money in a house in Lorain.”

NOT every body walked away except the owner at the time Fannie Mae Mortgage… No! it was purchased February 2015 from Fannie Mae for “0” dollars apparently

Sale Date: 2/3/2015
Sale Amount: $0.00
Conveyance: 2015090327
Grantor: FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION
Grantee: KAJA HOLDINGS 2 LLC

and there in lies the rub- as Kaja had been on my radar as “buying” up homes in this “old neighborhood” and selling… SORRY leasing to own ….these properties – even our 1348 West Erie Home with another of those handmade signs-
Kaja lease to own
I won’t bore you with regurgitated information you can find the “rest of the story here !
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/09/17/the-follow-up-a-tale-of-two-houses-city-council-loraine/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/09/11/the-housing-court-and-you-lorain-part-one/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/10/22/housing-court-and-you-lorain-continued/

and here
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/04/07/plump-lady-plummets-and-the-housing-trip-continues/
where the “new ” attorney for Kaja in this area (presumably) is Mr. James White- who did clarify that Vision/ Kaja were not affiliated (professionally speaking) with Harbor Portfolio, the Property Company that featured heavily in the New York Times article in February-

I reached out to Mr. White a few weeks ago to see what was happening with the property at 1348 W. Erie and he stated :

Several of the violations to the exterior have been repaired. The City’s required escrow to perform the repairs has been deposited with an escrow agent with repairs to follow.

Well some good news on the 1348 house apparently but not so good news for Kaja and Vision Properties.

The New York Times and their investigative journalists ALEXANDRA STEVENSON and MATTHEW GOLDSTEIN published another hard hitting article about the blurring of the lines between landlords, renters, and the right to own ( well sometimes) the American dream or perhaps nightmare.

Remember this just isn’t a Lorain County problem these “businesses” are popping up everywhere there is a problem with mortgage dumps and the “federal connection”

.( Nearly half of Vision’s homes were bought from Fannie Mae, the government-backed mortgage firm, according to RealtyTrac. NYT- Article below)

The focus of this particular article is Vision Properties , buys homes spread across 24 states through nearly two dozen limited liability companies, all with different names like MI Seven, OH Seven and Kaja Holdings.

I would suggest looking at the video- in the article and reading thoroughly – because Lorain, we are “part of the business” and business seems to be expanding.

porter house
Another blue house – 1038 -4 blocks down from the Kaja Icon house – historic in nature – being that it was one of the Porter Ship Captain’s homes) is now owned by Princeton Commercial Holdings LLC
Sale Date: 11/17/2015
Sale Amount: $0.00
Conveyance: 2015095351
Grantor: BAYVIEW LOAN SERVICING LLC
Grantee: PRINCETON COMMERCIAL HOLDINGS LLC

I can’t believe it passed Point of Sale in November seeing that the windows are broken and boarded – especially since we have such strong ordinances as with boats and morning glories 😉 but who knows- I certainly haven’t a clue anymore as to “code of enforcement????
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/08/09/municipal-manipulation-lorain-e-again/

Zillow listing just under $45,000 ( now off the market – apparently- don’t say it SOLD!!! NO please not that………
photo source Zillow
ISpldigeukzulk0000000000
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1038-W-Erie-Ave-Lorain-OH-44052/34535192_zpid/

SHHHHHHHH don’t tell these companies that “rolled roofs on dwelling is “legal in Lorain” cause we are already singing the blues……….

August 26, 2016 at 3:49 pm 5 comments

An open post to City of Lorain- The History of Frustration

meThis post actually started out as an email to City Council members but like the housing situation we find ourselves in and lack of accountability it too became too much and unwieldy- no one was going to read through it.

Lorain%20City%20Council%202016%20m1615
Photo Source – City of Lorain
There are any number of reasons Lorain finds itself in the housing position we are in today:
Joe Koziura
Mayor Koziura 1996-2000( now Council at Large) tried, along with then Building Inspector Mr. Murphy, to reign in the deteriorating homes and buildings in Lorain and lawyers 😉
img272
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/07/09/the-pos-and-nuisance-ordinance-a-lesson-in-history/
housing court

This did not sit well with the mega landlords ( at the time ) and they supported Craig Foltin for Mayor .
craig foltinand friends
There was , imho, a let us appease those who are “squeaking” the wheel in 2005 – see article Broken Homes from the Chronicle – when a number of us went before Mayor Foltin and Mr. Desvari stating the deteriorating neighborhoods.

brokehomes which “chronicles” the situation. I re – chronicled the issues in May 2012.

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/lorain-oh-broken-homes-broken-people-just-plain-broke-part-two/
Desvari
The then Building Inspector Bill Desvari , himself on charges before he died , gave token action to the problems .

Desvari’s most recent legal problems began in 2008 when Lorain police launched an investigation into his dealings as head of the city’s Building Department.

He was placed on leave in February 2008 as police probed complaints about problems with homes in the King’s Woods subdivision. That investigation expanded to include allegations that Desvari allowed an unlicensed cement contractor to operate in the city in exchange for the contractor doing work on Desvari’s Columbia Township home.

Desvari was indicted in July 2008 on charges dealing with the contractor and allegations that he failed to complete inspections and require permits on homes in New Century Village.

Another round of charges were brought in 2010 against Desvari that centered on two $5,000 loans Desvari received from men his attorney has described as friends. Prosecutors contend the loans were actually bribes.http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2012/08/06/former-lorain-official-dies-while-awaiting-trial/

We then had the Sub Prime Mortgage Crisis 2008 , for Lorain and “property procurers ” this gave them a huge “feeding frenzy” with very little controls from local government.

citylorain feeds

You have anecdotal situations brought before the media and City Council – the sound bites of frustration. We have had council people literally venting their frustration at meetings. AND although everyone seems to be on the same page with “doing something to stop the rot and turn around the older neighborhoods” for the most part hands are tied

brokenstar
The situation , imho, has become laughable , when even a junk car next to a church and in a neighborhood becomes “Where’s Waldo” ( the trashed car) How many weeks did this take only to have it moved to another junked property around the corner so to speak ?
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/05/20/don-the-downspout-says-lorain-in-a-fix/

The Art Car

The Art Car

artcarhome
We have any number of people “playing the system” ( judicial)the cost of doing business a mere fine and not having to abate issues.

There are so many of these situations , they are too many to document The whole system is broken because of a lack of respect, ( which can’t be legislated), lack of accountability ( which is not accounting for much) , a city with a declining job market and one of the biggest businesses in town – the rental business making profits don’t take my word for it Kent Sutton one of Lorain’s mega landlords and LELA members was quoted affirming the fact :

“We simply assure housing providers that they{LELA MEMBERS} are running a business not like any other business,” Sutton said. “The housing should be kept up to some condition of the neighborhood.” http://www.morningjournal.com/article/MJ/20120618/NEWS/306189973

The frustration of City Council Members , The Administration, ( and yes the Judicial, hamstrung by ineffective fines , time lines and legal lalala speak is clear – the frustration is spilling over in the neighborhoods and City Council floor as there does not seem to be a simple fix.

We have tweaking of our ordinances so that lawn mowers ( as seen from space) does not become an everyday occurrence because there was loophole in an ordinance that brought this one iconic situation before housing court for the past FIVE YEARS. .

http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20160523/lawn-mower-legislation-under-review-in-lorain
3200 jaeger road

The cry is we need jobs!!!! Let us look at that

When a Corporation/employer looks at a community in which to relocate they look at Infrastructure, School system, housing etc.

econres
http://www.forbescustom.com/EconomicDevelopmentPgs/CorpRelocationCurrentTrendsP1.html

What is the answer to our tale of woe……. well here is a clue :

that they- [ ED. NOTElandlords/ mega property owners} are running a business not like any other business………………………….


TO BE CONTINUED

May 24, 2016 at 1:45 pm Leave a comment

Don the Downspout Says: Lorain in a fix….

elmer

OH OH UPDATE FROM DON THE DOWNSPOUT!!!!: Councilman 2nd Ward Dennis Flores called yesterday- after a morning of Pride with an UPDATE on the “ART CAR:

The Art Car

The Art Car

Seems even 2 council persons, the Building Dept. the City of Lorain Administration, the Law Dept. and prayers to on high didn’t get this vehicle removed to an appropriate place – No! the Art Car has a new viewing gallery just around the corner from its previous our door space. 1504 Lexington –
1504 Lexington

owned by Jerrod Biebrick
Parcel Number: 0201003138012
Owner: JB PATRIOT PROPERTIES VI LLC
Location Address: 1504 UP LEXINGTON AVE LORAIN, OH 44052
Tax Bill Mailed To: 3946 DUNTON RD LORAIN, OH 44055
to a new home also owned by Mr. Biebrick


1763 Oakdale Ave:

0201003144013
Owner: JB PATRIOT PROPERTIES VI LLC
Location Address: 1763 OAKDALE AVE LORAIN, OH 44052
Tax Bill Mailed To: 3946 DUNTON RD LORAIN, OH 44055
1702artcarhome
and the rest of the gallery presents:
two gares
tire art

OH! don’t let the dingle dangle – dangle in the dirt…….. You can see he owes back taxes but just before foreclosure he agreed to a payment plan- -”

As it stands – the property owner was slated to lose 38 properties through foreclosure through the tax delinquent process for a total of ~$232k back taxes.
Nearly a week and a half ago the owner redeemed these properties by paying the first installment of a payment plan with the prosecutor’s office/treasurer.
The offshoot is that none of these cases are dismissed – they will remain open until such time as the owner completes payments of delinquency – or­- defaults on the payments (at which time the prosecutor will step back in and the land bank will continue involvement.)”

Well by the time he pays those off I will be dangling again !

disconnectres

You remember me , Guest Blogger Don the Downspout.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/outdoor-showrooms-lorain-by-don-the-downspout/

I was dangling in January had to be fixed by February, whilst the cold winter winds blew across the lake.

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/ode-to-a-downspout-named-don-lorain/

The system in Lorain only works for the law-abiding, not the law circumventing.
As you drive around this town, there are manicured lawns to rubbish dumps.

The owner of the roof -where I reside -( not dangling or discharging) stopped filing “formal complaints” with the Building Dept. a long time ago. As you can see from the previous post,
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-one/
had she done so the Lorain Building Dept would have been inundated just on this street. No ! she just vents on this blog and facebook as quite frankly she believes the system is broken and useless so not much use in complaining officially anyway.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/02/14/the-cowboys-of-lorain-no-more-shooting-blanks-part-7/
Now why would I say that- after all I DON THE DOWNSPOUT had my dangling and discharging self fixed in the time allotted.

The Art Car

The Art Car


Let us take a look at 1504 Lexington , Lorain….. the house was bad enough BUT for months 2nd Ward Councilman Dennis Flores had been trying to get this piece of “work” moved.

You see there is a lovely old church across the way and parishioners, I am told ,were even praying to a higher authority than here in Lorain to do something. Finally, Councilwoman a Large Mary Springkowski announced on Facebook a couple of days ago the “art car” now in pieces -thanks to strippers- had been removed. Simple thing you would think to remove an unsightly piece of junk, other communities do it all the time.

Well hold up – not so easy in Lorain- apparently according to the owner of the property -Jerrod Biebrick- when he was in court for this and other violations on April 6th told the Magistrate, the woman who had rented from him had signed the title over to a moneylender and they had the title so it was their property and that was the issue.

JB

Excuse me Lorain- your system is laughable – to remove one disgraceful eyesore – one mere vehicle – it took months of complaints- two council people – one Director of Building Planning and Housing – building inspectors, building dept. personal, heaven knows the paperwork – court dates – and a bench trial date – and possibly God just to remove one solitary safety issue- a junked stripped vehicle.

Is it any wonder we have a historic building with a hair net getting more historic every day as she has sat there year after year – over 10 years. Could have fought world War two twice over in that time!!!!

Photo Lorain 365

Photo Lorain 365


. Can’t even get rid of the Art Car in a timely manner.
1820
Then there is the house on 1820 Long – this is another house that Councilman Flores has asked for help with – the mere fact this house was purchased in 2008 by Brenda Torres from the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development- from the Auditors Site

Sale Date: 10/14/2008
Sale Amount: $0.00
Conveyance: 2008093880
Grantor: SECRETARY OF HOUSING URBAN DEVELOPMENT
Grantee: TORRES BRENDA
Number of Parcels: 1

well 8 years later and it doesn’t look like one penny in taxes has been paid

Full Year Tax Before Adjustment: $2,149.76
State Credit: $265.68
Subtotal: $1,884.08
Non-business Credit: $0.00
Owner Occupancy Credit: $0.00
Homestead Credit: $0.00
Annual Real Estate Tax: $1,884.08
Current Special Assessment: $0.00
Delinquent Special Assessment: $1,720.77
Unpaid Taxes: $16,105.04
Full Tax Year: $19,804.09
Total Taxes Paid to Date: $0.00

We have given up on asking people to pay their taxes apparently, because we don’t want to foreclose on those properties- there are so many of them and the Land Bank can only take down or rehab a fraction. Nobody wants them!!!!!!
However the mess that neighbors have to look at – 1820 Long ( yesterday )
1820 Long

and 1820 2

But one of the statements I find so ironic in my place from on high is being told “an inspector didn’t want to give a written citation to an individual because it was a neighborhood fight” and a personal issue. errrrrrrrrrr sorry but the Building Dept. set a precedent with me of the dangling downspout that cold January Day….. Don the Dangling Downspout has a long memory and all things should be equal in the land of maintenance coding. Seems to me you inserted yourselves into that situation- tit for tat- quite nicely and very quickly…….and now those beans 😉
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/the-dyenamics-of-inspections-time-lines-lorain/

May 20, 2016 at 7:17 pm 6 comments

Abate the wait- Lorain’s Housing Court- OBJECTION

Update Editorial re the Morning Journal on Lorain’s Housing situation

http://www.morningjournal.com/opinion/20160514/editorial-toughen-penalties-for-lorain-housing-code-violators

Basically the City of Lorain and her housing court is not there to punish but to abate the issues that come before the court.

Last evening a two-hour discussion on the situation of poor housing and buildings took place before Lorain City Council Building and Lands Committee meeting.
http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20160509/lorain-council-demands-more-housing-code-enforcement

riley_law_director
Law Director Pat Riley spent a sizeable period time explaining “rights” and informing Magistrate Cook what he could and couldn’t talk about. I found that a little condescending actually, I am sure Magistrate Cook was aware of those limitations.

Mary Springowski Lorain Council At Large

Mary Springowski Lorain Council At Large


A heated exchange took place shortly after the Law Director’s explanation with Councilwoman at Large- Mary Springowski and Law Director Riley.

Mrs. Springowski vented the frustration of those who are affected by the seemingly lack of accountability and the “wait time” , the frustrations of city council members as they field the calls from constituents , dealing with the conditions of homes and businesses in their wards, pointing out the tax payers also have rights .

Law Director Riley then “lectured” on the law and accused Councilwoman Springowski of “grandstanding and being grandiose”. I am not sure if that was the place of a Law Director who is there to represent council. The “debate” on his part became personal. Mr. Riley would do well to remember ( in this frustrated for 40 years opinion) the “law department is part of the “frustrating situation”.

dennis Flores
Dennis Flores , Councilman for the 2nd Ward has been a companion of mine as I have attended Housing Court recently, he too has seen the process.He too is frustrated with the system, from the “lack of service” ( getting the people into court in the first place). The system weighty and unwieldy.

Cook
Magistrate Cook was at the microphone on point so to speak but I was disappointed the prosecutor’s office ” was not at the mic.

You see every decision made in Housing Court, Magistrate Cook always asks ” is the prosecutor in agreement” and the prosecutor of the day signs off , whether it is dismissal, abatement, sending to bench trial etc. Not once did the prosecutor object at any time I attended court. Lorain’s legal department, in this lay person opinion, needs to remember “they are representing the tax payers of Lorain and the City of Lorain.” They too, bear responsibility to represent us and City Council’s endeavors to correct a situation of Lorain’s building and housing that has been years and years in the making .

The system certainly needs speeding up, the Prosecutors Office needs to play a part in the process. The frustration felt by city officials must be pale in comparison to the Building Planning and Housing Dept. whose inspectors are having to deal with situations day and day out.

I have stated in previous posts on Housing Court the “owner occupied ” issues coming before the court , the average Joe seemed to have a high rate of abating their issues, at least when I attended. I understand that when one of these mega property owners come before the court they cannot have their other disgraceful properties taken into consideration, the magistrate has to go by the “case” in front of him however, the fines are such they can build it into the cost of doing business. Business, yes! because that is what it is one of the largest business in Lorain.

We pay the salaries of “professionals” in our law department to represent the rights of Lorain….

Duties of the Law Director

The City Law Director is elected for a term of four years. The responsibilities of the office include:
•Serves as legal counsel for all elected officials, directors and councilpersons of the City of Lorain
•Preparing all contracts, bonds, ordinances and written instruments in which the City of Lorain is concerned.
•Responsible for prosecuting and defending all complaints, suits and controversies in which the City of Lorain is a party.
•Responsible for reviewing ordinances to be considered by Lorain City Council.
•Serves as prosecuting attorney for the Lorain Municipal Court; prosecuting cases for the City of Lorain and Sheffield Township.

Time to step up and Object to the wait for abate…… some of us are in the firing line for speaking out…..
window

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/02/11/housing-court-judge/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/02/18/housing-and-the-judge-part-4/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/10/27/lorains-lost-housing-and-political-machinations/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/the-wayback-machine-is-a-lesson-not-learned/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/09/24/the-housing-tale-a-history-not-a-mystery-just-bank-business/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/02/11/housing-court-judge/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/02/14/the-housing-court-judge-part-two/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/04/07/plump-lady-plummets-and-the-housing-trip-continues/
to be continued

May 10, 2016 at 10:46 am 2 comments

Plump Lady Plummets – and the housing trip continues

Update : I received the following communication from Kaja Holdings/ Vision Properties as to the fact I had linked Harbour Portfolio with his clients Please see below :

Dear Ms. Ritchey:
It was a pleasure meeting and speaking with you on Wednesday. It is important for every community to have concerned citizens that care enough to voice their opinions on important issues. As a lifelong resident of Lorain County, I appreciate your efforts to preserve the history of Lorain. I especially appreciate your work for Charleston Village Society.

I write to kindly ask you to correct an inaccuracy in your April 7, 2016 blog post. In your post, you state that I may be able to assist the City of Lorain in serving Harbour Portfolio with complaints for Housing Code/POS violations, stating that my clients (Kaja and Vision) are all “part and parcel of the same grouping”. You brought up your suspicion that my clients and Harbour were related entities when we met on Wednesday and I observed Councilman Flores delivering the same message to Assistant Prosecutor Holmes in Court.
I have conferred with my clients and they have confirmed that Kaja and Vision are in no way related, whether directly or indirectly, with Harbour. They share no common ownership, staff, office space or other connection. One is not the subsidiary of the other, they are not sister companies and they do not work together in any fashion. Harbour is a competitor of Kaja and Vision. I respectfully request that you alter your post, print a retraction or otherwise clarify that the companies are not related.

Thank you,
J.R. White James R. White, Attorney at Law

Wurmser house 031716-001

Yesterday, I once again made my way to Lorain Municipal Housing Court, as readers know, I have been there a couple of times. In 2009 Lorain County Photographer’s blog ran a series of thoughts from Judge Pianka from Cleveland’s Housing Court https://clevelandmunicipalcourt.org/judicial-services/meet-the-judges/judge-raymond-l-pianka
http://www.locophotogblog.com/?p=304 http://www.locophotogblog.com/?p=305

“Gee, there are people using the civil side of the court to evict people, but on the criminal side they were ignoring our summonses and complaints. So, it caused some cognitive dissonance on my part. So, we decided that you can’t just come into court and use one side of the court, the civil side, but ignore the criminal side of the court”


In 2009 this Lorain County blog – Lorain County Photographers Blog http://www.locophotogblog.com/ was feeling the frustration some of us, in the City of Lorain, had been feeling and documenting for years. There were hundreds of photographs taken, words written trying to find a way to keep our older neighborhoods free from blight from 2005 onwards. The time line for the above series was, of course, right in the middle of the Sub- Prime Crisis caused by banks and idiotic mortgages.

8 years have passed since the sub-prime mortgage debacle and Lorain is still feeling the ripple effects, Fannie Mae , Deutsche Bank , Freddie Mac etc. all selling off those write off mortgages to the LLC’s, a number out of state , such as Kaja Holdings, Harbour Portfolio, Vision Properties . You can find my thoughts here:
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/09/17/the-follow-up-a-tale-of-two-houses-city-council-loraine/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/09/11/the-housing-court-and-you-lorain-part-one/
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/10/22/housing-court-and-you-lorain-continued/

You can also find the article from the New York Times on this group of LLC’s here on the what is happening .

Market for Fixer-Uppers Traps Low-Income Buyers By MATTHEW GOLDSTEIN and ALEXANDRA STEVENSONFEB. 20, 2016

One of the larger firms in this market, Harbour has bought more than 6,700 single-family homes in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania and a handful of other states since 2010 — most of them from Fannie Mae, according to the mortgage finance firm and the foreclosure research firm RealtyTrac.

Ten of the more than 50 homes Harbour bought in Akron have been torn down after being condemned and two others are slated for demolition

Harbour and its founder, Charles A. Vose III

I was at the court to see what was happening with the Point of Sale Icon House 1348, West Erie now owned by Kaja Holding/ Vision Properties etc etc etc.

I was curious to see what progress had been made if any or where the “abatement” stood. Pictures of the front steps etc taken a few days before court left me a bit wary as to “tripping hazards”. Turns out I should have been wary of the concrete lip outside City Hall.
Wurmser house 031716 door
As I entered City Hall- well not quite entered- as I fell flat on my face – I went down with an almighty thump. There is some good that comes out of being on the plump side – my fat shock absorbers , absorbed. It was so embarrassing as my chin hit the concrete and I went flat out. I was mortified, especially when the policemen ( running security at the door) rushed to my aid and it took two of them to hoist my “knocked the breath out of me frame” to vertical once more.

“I am fine really , just help me up, no honestly I am fine . she said hoping to salvage some dignity

Now why should I have felt ashamed and embarrassed , it was not my fault just one of those things, but I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. However, my mood and the pain in my head and neck from the jarring of the hitting the concrete left me less than tolerant when it came to Housing Court that afternoon .

snooty
Now the main purpose of taking people and LLC’s to court is not to punish ( so I am told) but to “abate the conditions as cited by our housing inspectors Well that makes sense .

Maybe it was the pain, the left over mortification from the half an hour before but I can say that some , actually three of the “supposed to be working for the city ‘s best interest” employees left me wishing I was a caricature artist. They would do well to remember they are working on the taxpayer’s dime , I was wondering if my dimes were being spent well.

The one, who decidedly made the most impression in my pain addled thoughts, was “Miss Looks like she is smelling bad fish” – nose so far in the air it is a wonder she didn’t trip over herself. Can you tell this in my opinion officious official really , as we say in England , got right up my nose!!!” But then I remembered I was not there to critique theatre but then again………….
Joe Koziura
You see, I am totally frustrated and fed up! Some of us were bleating on about the city and her housing long before the sub prime crisis.

One Mayor ( Joe Koziura) literally lost his campaign for re-election due to coming down hard on housing. I wonder if things would’ve been different had he succeeded instead of the loved by the landlords candidate Craig Foltin who backed off an aggressive stance by the Building Dept 2000 and look where we are NOW!!!!

article found here brokehomes
BROKEN HOMES
How abandoned houses are hurting Lorain, and how the city is trying to fight back

Dan Harkins and Shawn Foucher
The Chronicle-Telegram

It’s not hard to find examples of crimes linked to abandoned or all-but-abandoned homes in Lorain. The crimes are an extreme example of the kind of “negative effect on the neighborhood stability and economic vitality of the city” that state auditors warned Lorain of a year ago.
“By not administering its code enforcement, property maintenance and building programs, it is difficult for the city to preserve its housing stock,” auditors wrote in their report.

Now Lorain, which had not come close to matching other cities its size in the vigor of its housing enforcement, has acted on recommendations made by the state auditors to hire two additional housing inspectors. The new inspectors started with the city in April………….

……Beyond that, the new housing inspectors have gotten only a lukewarm endorsement from Mayor Craig Foltin, who defeated his predecessor in 1999 in part by making an issue of what he characterized as an overly aggressive Building Department…….
craig_foltin
“We feel that if they don’t have a successful plan and aren’t self-sufficient and nice to people, then we will not continue with them,” Foltin said recently of the inspectors…..

down spoutres
Some of us are tired of fixing our properties and “ABATING” without going to court – doing the right thing because we should take care of our property. No matter if it was “vindictive” behavior that caused the inspections in the first place 😉

Some of us are really angry how the “playing the system” works for multi property owners, who “prostitute the homes , buy cheap ,rent them out, and don’t pay property taxes and then walk away or dump them on some poor unsuspecting sucker in a rent to own scheme. The out-of-town LLC’s clustering together, confusing the cities and counties where they form like blobs of greed growing bigger with each added LLC. .
lexington

Why should the little guy in this city suffer when the MEGA property owners are, in my opinion, prostituting these properties.

Why should our property values decline because of trash housing?

Why should we be punished our neighborhoods looked at with scorn ?

It infuriates me when people I have been writing about for years just keep gathering more and more , paying less and less and in some case not even bothering with the property taxes walking away or even dying – leaving the trapped tax payer holding the bag and looking forlornly at what has happened to their neighborhoods. Sixteen years on and we are still on the same trip!

To be continued …………….

April 7, 2016 at 11:42 pm 2 comments

Lorain’s Lost Housing and Political Machinations

machinationsThe last days of Lorain’s election are bringing out the sound bites of political machinations .

I don’t get involved in the who is who – vote for- aspect BUT I have heard over and over again both in the real media and social media the surface knowledge of Lorain’s Housing being used as fodder for the “vote for me” campaigns .

Unfortunately, I am of the opinion neither Mr. Tim Carrion (IND) or Ms. Jesse Tower (REP) have looked at the housing issues in-depth. These issues have become mythered with politics and this will sound good to the voting public campaign rhetoric !-Lorain deserves educated observations and decisions not sound bites for print.

Ms. Tower stated in the Chronicle Telegram article yesterday
http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2015/10/26/ritenauer-taking-no-chances-with-campaign/

Tower said the $100 inspections are unfair to property owners and reduce housing sales, increasing blight.

“The government should be there to help the residents, not to hinder the residents,” Tower said. “If you want to buy a falling-apart house, then why is the government telling you not to buy it?”

I am afraid I emphatically disagree- I have fought blight and have gone before government committees and courts in Ohio and Washington DC with regard to blight and blighting neighborhoods. – $100 housing inspection costs DO NOT Increase Blight – far from it !
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/02/07/remember-the-staubach-report/

Oh! Ms. Tower , you are much mistaken in the fact the majority of Lorain substandard homes were being purchased by people wanting a home – for the most part these “old houses” were being traded back and forth by LLC’s and “property managers”. They are listed in this link
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/07/05/the-nuisance-and-point-of-sale-ordinance-lorain/

and some more out of town-ers are still causing issues to families – read it and weep.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/09/17/the-follow-up-a-tale-of-two-houses-city-council-loraine/
Safety-Checks-for-Your-Home

Every single person who wishes to purchase a home in Lorain should be assured their property meets “minimum standards of safety”. $100 for an inspection is cheap to make sure a child goes to bed without the threat of a faulty furnace, a mother and father know the plumbing will not haunt them and lead paint is not an issue.


Mr. Carrion also had his say

Of the vacant homes, 171 were graded D and 95 graded F. The study recommended demolishing all the D and F buildings. However, Carrion said there should be greater focus on rehabilitating homes.

Mr. Carrion for your edification
http://www.wrlandconservancy.org/pdf/LorainVacantPropertyInventory.pdf

“If some things need to be torn down, let’s do it,” Carrion told Young Tuesday. “But you can’t just take a wrecking ball to everything. Some things need to be salvaged.”

Unfortunately Mr. Carrion – easier said than done. Using Federal/ State funds has some serious rules and repercussions ( as mentioned when Lorain broke the rules and bent them in “previous years under the old Community Development Dept) and they frown upon rehabbing a house for 30 , 40, 75 or $100 thousand when Lorain’s market value for homes, in these older neighborhoods, are selling for 10-22 thousand – thanks to a lot of bank dumping and LLC’s.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/banks-banking-on-lorain-business-of-blight-devaluing-lorain/

LaurelPatriot

Lets take a wander through some business practices here in Lorain. One property management company JB Patriot Properties ( Jerrod Biebrick- who appeared before Magistrate Cook last week-
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/10/22/housing-court-and-you-lorain-continued/

I did a quick check of only 40 properties of the 80 Mr. Biebrick stated he owns- of those 37 are delinquent in their taxes for over $150,000 dollars total.

I can’t see where any attempt was made to pay down the taxes in the years he has owned the properties. Also, look at the sale prices of just one page from the auditors site –
( sale prices listed far right)
sale prices biebricresk

These properties have taxes owing on them for years – The property he states on his articles of incorporation on the 11 LLC’s he holds is 1101 34th Street.

1011 34th Streetjb

1101 34th Street- purchased in 2009- for $10,900- from yes another familiar bank- US Bank NA- even has taxes owed on those prestigious corporate offices – the real estate tax for this “building” is $711.22 cents per year and owed is $3,791.24 – ( YOU DO THE MATH how many years of back taxes???)

Can you honestly believe if the county foreclosed on these properties the amount of money that would be needed to rehab them would be available ?

Oh Yes !I can just see it now – properties whose highest sales price- per my example Mr. Biebrick was a mere $17,500. Yes! I can certainly see the state and federal programs throwing money into any one of these properties – I THINK NOT!!!! nor would I want them too.

These examples do not take into account the George Schneider properties( 37 of them in the demo line)
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/george-schneider-a-property-legacy-what-now/
the Lew Strnad properties – the wheeling and dealing , trading and dumping going on before January 2014. Oh! there are more out there believe me – I look at them every day in this Lorain’s oldest neighborhood.

Let us look at the most recent demolitions and how they got to be razed- this was not the fault of this city it is the fault of business practices that I believe are at the very least unethical.

1223 W 6th Street. Lorain made the front page of the local media
PicMonkey Collage1123

http://www.morningjournal.com/article/mj/20150804/NEWS/150809843
http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2015/08/05/lorain-demolitions-off-to-a-smashing-start/

This home was demolished at a cost estimated for each demolition of $25,000 – the neighbors cheered – but HOW did we end up demolishing this property?

The county acquired it through non-payment of taxes in the amount of $12,883.05- the yearly taxes were $692.16 –
tax history 1223res

This is not a case of some poor out of work family unable to keep up with their taxes.

This property was purchased by yet another LLC EAI Investments
EAI investments
EAI LLC info

THEY didn’t pay the taxes.

Perhaps Mr. Ernest and Alice Iseminger couldn’t afford to pay their taxes- One would have to wonder if that were indeed the case since Mr. Ernest Iseminger was in fact (according to LinkedIn) during his time here in Lorain County Vice President, Development and Alumni Affairs Oberlin College and is NOW –
Vice President, Advancement and External Relations at Claremont McKenna College.
His wife, Alice- the Owner, Seniors Helping Seniors Cleveland/Akron, Ohio Area Individual and Family Services

Now I think they could have managed to pay the less than $700 a year in taxes on this property. According to the neighbors, the day I watched the home being demolished, it was rented out and left to its own decay.
history 1223photo

So EIA Investments -it seems – rented it out- and the non payment of property taxes continued to climb – and now WE the taxpayers ( because this is where the money ultimately comes from – ) pay to have the property taken down. I certainly hope the Lorain County contacts EAI Investments and the Isemingers to recoup some of these costs. ?

UPDATE: I heard back from the county re the actual cost of demo on this property
This particular unit was demolished at a cost of ~$11,000.00. the rear unit on the site cost ~$8000.00.
1223 and a halfres

so the total of all structures is $19000.00.Cost includes, legal, title exams, asbestos survey, abatement, demo and site restoration

This is just an example of the nine properties mentioned in the article 3 were bank foreclosures ( Citi Bank and Fannie Mae) two possible deaths – and 907 W 9th under the name of Jeremy Brogan – Mr. Brogan is still listed as owning property according to the Lorain County Auditors site
Brogan listingsres

My concern is the lack of knowledge both by politicians running for office and the citizens of this community as to the real business of “affordable housing” in Lorain. I don’t think we can afford the business practices of – buy it cheap- rent it out- forget the taxes- and walk away . Because according to Prosecutor Will and County Treasurer Mr. Talarek from the Chronicle

http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2014/09/26/judge-enters-payment-plan-pay-back-property-taxes/

The county has stated via Mr. Wills the prosecutor in the article fro
Will said when he first took office in 2005, the county took a much harder line on trying to collect back property taxes than it does now.

He said that once the property market headed south, many of the properties lost value and it became harder to foreclose and subsequently sell the properties for enough money to justify the expense.

Property that is foreclosed on must be assessed, and the county must try multiple times to sell it at sheriff’s sale.

“It costs a lot of money to foreclose on a house,” Talarek said.

If the land doesn’t sell, Will said, it could become state property and it could be sold at an auditor’s sale, but it would be unlikely to go for enough to cover expenses, let alone the back taxes.

“Sometimes it becomes counterproductive to be aggressive,” he said.

And those in the businesses of “walk away ” rentals KNOW THIS! And now Ms. Tower and Mr. Carrion hopefully you know it too. Lorain’s housing is more than a sound bite !

October 27, 2015 at 12:20 pm 8 comments

Housing Court and You – Lorain- Continued

Cook

As promised, a continuation of Lorain’s Housing Court.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/09/11/the-housing-court-and-you-lorain-part-one/

Let us first get some housekeeping out-of-the-way!

This was my third time attending the proceedings. It is punishment in and of itself having to sit in a stuffy, airless room with people coughing, hacking, sneezing and other odoriferous issues , stacked like sardines in a can. Word of advice don’t try fanning oneself you will get more than a fresh breeze
.

source Obit

source Obit

To be fair, those that haven’t got a seat are allowed to go and wait in one of the other courtrooms until their case is called . I think if Warren Finkel, the chief architect of Lorain City Hall, wasn’t already deceased he should be fined for poor design at the very least. Each time I have attended there has been a large number of people sometimes 90 people on the docket , hopefully I have just been unlucky.

The other issue, frustrating to all, including Magistrate Cook ,was the number of times the software went “walk about” or the computer glitched- 4 times by my reckoning in 2 hours.

Purely from the standpoint of an observer, and I may be under a misconception here,it looks to me as if the defendants who have an attorney present go first on the docket.

The people who have abated their issues seem to come next .I am pleased to say there were, on all three times I attended, a great many people who had abated their issues , the system seems to be working in that regard.

Apparently , abating issues does not save you from “Court Costs”. The mere fact the city had to go through the paperwork, sending out for inspections and going through the process( even if your violations were now abated) doesn’t save you from court costs. That is, unless the city has had their own issues- ( that happened more than once every one of those court dates- imho too frequently ) My first day in court August 12th had Magistrate Cook admonishing the Prosecutors office with ” sloppy work”.


NOTE: A word to the wise if you get a notice from the Building Dept with regard to violations , take care of them , let them know you will take care of them in writing – ( get that all important paper trail) . In case you end up in Housing Court

1. If you have abated your issues- according to the Prosecutor- you then sign the document electronically as does the Prosecutor and you go across the hall with your paperwork and pay the court costs

If you haven’t abated – you have three choices, Not Guilty as which time you are set either for a pre- trial or a bench trial and choose a date in the future ( this also gives you more time to abate your issues before your next appearance) NOTEI have been told every time this happens the Building Dept has to once again re inspect the property again and may be required to appoint an attorney for you ( the City of Lorain that is)

2. No Contest which means you didn’t admit guilt but then again you don’t disagree- This ends up with a fine and court costs -to be paid across the hall

3. Guilty– same as above- the highest amount fined was $250 plus costs

If there are circumstances in your life where there are problems with taking care of the issues – contact the Building Dept, explain the problems and put it writing with a projected date you will be able to adhere and after you have finished call for a re-inspection and get the paper work the violations were abated .

Keep that paper trail, mistakes can and have happened.

Don’t wait until you are summoned to court because you will face a probably 3 hour punishment of sitting in that claustrophobic courtroom and I am sure the Building Dept. employees don’t enjoy sitting there session after session either .
garage-sale-cartoon-smiley
Garage Sales BewarePeople of Lorain YOU HAVE TO GET A PERMIT FOR A GARAGE SALE- I WAS TOLD THEY WERE FREE- BUT IF YOU DON’T GET ONE – YOU WILL BE OUT OF POCKET – FINE PLUS COURT COSTS


Magistrate Cook, is very personable and runs a fairly relaxed courtroom. I am not sure how I feel about that- one the one hand it did break the ordeal of having to sit there generally listening to procedure and helped with the tension. He is charming, concerned , empathetic, patient , has a sense of humour and usually deferring to the Prosecutor as to fines etc. A great deal of the defendants were less than knowledgable as to the process and it seemed he took that into consideration. Magistrate Cook certainly is not Judge Raymond Pianka

Source   Scott Shaw, The Plain Dealer

Source Scott Shaw, The Plain Dealer

Cleveland Housing Court Judge Raymond Pianka is ratcheting up the costs for absentee property owners who spread the damage from the foreclosure crisis. They will have to pay neighbors for economic losses caused by their neglect. http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2010/08/cleveland_housing_judge_requir.html

BUT on the other hand this chatty chat does somewhat cheapen the due process and personally I would like to have seen a less obliging courtroom in some of the cases I witnessed, but maybe that is just me who is used to the British Courtrooms where calling out compliments and chat at least on two occasions from those waiting would have been seen as disrespectful to the process of law.

Magistrate Cook, did make it quite clear YOU not your spouse has to attend court when summoned , unless of course you have an attorney speaking on your behalf – However, the two that did feel his wrath were not penalized due to their “names not being accurate on the paperwork “ in the first place!

My trip to the court on October 21st was due to the fact Kaja Holdings were up before the bench one more – Readers will remember Kaja Holdings
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2015/09/17/the-follow-up-a-tale-of-two-houses-city-council-loraine/
Kaja Holdings Lorain
However apparently their attorney Lei Jaing is no longer acting for them and a new attorney is in place therefore a continuance until December 9th, these properties have been in the hopper now for how many months- since the first of the year on some of them – ( the beginning of the process)

All was not lost because there were one or two people I recognized from previous blog posts on my mega landlords and their impact on our neighborhoods.
1st up Gustav Krause POS foreclosure
1621v E.36th Street- 1621 gustav

but we know Gustav Krause and his LLC -FGSK PROPERTIES LLC of old from the September 2012 post, before the death of George Schneider.

Gustav Krause looks to own 12 parcels and the tax bills are sent to a PO Box number 395 as well- along with property owners of David W Carter/ Red’s All American Recycling fame.

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/george-schneider-a-property-legacy-what-now/

And I had my issues with Judge Mihok and leniency that same September 2012
George Schneider (Appeal)ing Properties- or where’s the judgement? Pity the system didn’t do something when they had the chance because we would be left with the mess we have now
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/09/12/george-schneider-appealing-properties-or-wheres-the-judgement/

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/09/07/who-holds-the-key-george-schneider-david-carter-gustav-krause/

Imagine my interest when another landlord – multi property owner and holder of “thatwoman blog fame” Jerrod Biebrick
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/12/08/trash-to-the-treasurey-time-to-pay-for-your-garbage/
http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2015/03/30/lorain-county-habitat-humanity-seeking-new-home/
Biebrick, owner of Patriot Property Management, said he owns about 80 rental properties in Lorain and has been buying building materials at the store for two or three years.
Landlording in Lorain is a big business ( Housing Choice Vouchers alone)
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/08/13/freedom-of-speech-usa-really-pt-4/

For instance according to Ms. Carter of the LMHA
“housing choice vouchers alone pump 1.4 MILLION A MONTH
into Lorain County but The City of Lorain gets 64% of that money EVERY MONTH or approximately $900,000.00 PER MONTH COMES INTO THE CITY OF LORAIN-!!!

and Mr. Biebrick apart from his 80 properties certainly has a plethora of LLC’s
Biebrick LLC
A quick check on just 4 of Biebrick’s many properties he owes on just those 4
over $23,000 dollars – I would hate to see what his tax bill is like on all 80 odd- I went through picking out randomly and every one had taxes owed that I checked – including the one for which he had to appear

4095 Laurel
Annual Real Estate Tax: $908.54
Current Special Assessments: $0.00
Delinquent Special Assessments : $0.00
Unpaid Taxes: $2,105.41
Full Year Tax(includes any unpaid taxes & special assessments): $3,196.89
Total Taxes Paid to Date: $0.00

4332 Laurel
LaurelPatriot
Annual Real Estate Tax: $260.06
Current Special Assessments: $0.00
Delinquent Special Assessments : $412.14
Unpaid Taxes: $2,957.42
Full Year Tax(includes any unpaid taxes & special assessments): $3,737.32

Those names just keep cropping up and unlike most of the people who were homeowners, some having no clue how the process works these multi- property owners have appeared before and KNOW the system– the excuse of “didn’t know” and the “post office is at fault” excuse left one wondering what would have happened in Judge Pianka’s courtroom

Last up was a Mr. Dessie Cheers– he had sat there right from the beginning and seemed to have at least 5 separate issues on his properties and it seems he has more than building violations!

According to the Auditors site his property of 419, Kentucky , 1530 Fillmore, and 1538 Fillmore he owes a cumulative amount of $19,588.04 in unpaid property taxes, that is not the case on his “own home” – just saying- this court of public opinion finds this “IFFY”

419 Kentucky

419 Kentucky

Annual Real Estate Tax: $1,186.76
Current Special Assessments: $0.00
Delinquent Special Assessments : $1,137.02
Unpaid Taxes: $5,152.10
Full Year Tax(includes any unpaid taxes & special assessments): $7,785.61
Total Taxes Paid to Date: $0.00
filmore1530
1530 Fillmore
Annual Real Estate Tax: $1,223.06
Current Special Assessments: $306.00
Delinquent Special Assessments : $375.89
Unpaid Taxes: $4,037.42
Full Year Tax(includes any unpaid taxes & special assessments): $6,220.21
Total Taxes Paid to Date: $0.00

1538 Fillmore

1538 fillmores
Annual Real Estate Tax: $867.16
Current Special Assessments: $306.00
Delinquent Special Assessments : $993.91
Unpaid Taxes: $3,196.81
Full Year Tax(includes any unpaid taxes & special assessments): $5,582.11
Total Taxes Paid to Date: $0.00

Something very wrong here Lorain-

To Be Continued…………

October 22, 2015 at 4:08 pm 7 comments

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