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Real Estate Taxes/Collusion/Graft

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

by: Marceline Donaldson

It never ceases to amaze me how many people are willing to take part in an obvious rip-off of others with those “others” including themselves and they do this for nothing – mostly not even realizing the rip-off. How many “good” people are willing to ‘go along to get along’ turning their backs to the suffering of others caused by their ‘head in the sand’ attitude towards life.

Real estate taxes is one of those areas. A collusion between the banks and the government entity levying the taxes.

Take a close, clear look at what that is all about.

Many government entities, which have decided to charge real estate taxes to those within their boundaries join the corporate and financial mafia which is totally ripping off the average citizen, daily, and these government entities contribute their share in that kind of enterprise. They join in making the banks overfed, arrogant and with an attitude that the banks rule.

How does that happen?The right to collect real estate taxes is declared and the reasons and areas which will benefit are also outlined. Those having to pay the taxes are in general agreement because they see the benefit to themselves and their generations to come.

And then things go off the rail. What enters is graft, theft, rip-offs, greed, power and much more.

How could something which started off as a benefit become such a tool to the grifters and others who insert themselves into the process? Think about who benefits before the real estate taxes you pay reach their destination. Very few people pay their real estate taxes to their government entity. Their taxes are collected by the banks. When they sign for the mortgage they are given a story which is clearly not true as to why the bank should pay the taxes. They are convinced that is the best way and their mortgage papers have a clause they have to sign – even under duress or they don’t get the mortgage – that the bank can take over paying their real estate taxes at any point the bank decides. That means many who start off paying their taxes directly to the government entity, in a short time receive notice from the bank that their mortgage amount is increased by the amount of real estate taxes and it must be paid at the same time their mortgage is due.

Real Estate Taxes have made the banks of America fat, overly arrogant, feeds them for free so they can do their thing in other areas ignoring their customers and much, much more. It is free money for six months. Money the banks knows will come in on a certain day and will remain for the next six months. The banks know that will continue for the life of the mortgage, which in some cases is 30 years. Billions and Billions of dollars free – from John and Jane Q. Public.

The public could put that money monthly into a savings account if they so decided and receive interest payments at the retail market rate. They could buy bonds which come due a few days before their real estate taxes and receive appreciation and interest. They could do a number of things with their own money and earn for themselves instead of giving that money to the bank to be held – for free. The banks are not charity organizations to whom you contribute because of the good humanitarian work they do.

Think of what a bank can do and is doing and has done around real estate taxes. The billions and billions they collect and use to up their bottom line comes from the hard earned money of John and Jane Q. Public who makes the money by hard work and gets zero return on his or her dollars because the bank’s evil geniuses have figured out how to set in place such a system and make it palatable to the general public. It is normal – is what we’ve heard. Everybody has to pay their taxes to the bank – we’ve also heard. And how does that make it right – we are asking?

Today you are required or convinced by the bank’s smooth talk to make mortgage payments to the bank which include your real estate taxes. The bank’s requirement is that you make these tax payments to them six months in advance. The bank holds that money – can use it anyway they choose – and for six months they have money in the billions on which they don’t pay anything to the people whose money they are holding. Banks have billions of dollars they can use – free – to do whatever they choose and they don’t have to answer to anyone for the money nor pay interest nor anything else on those real estate taxes which they hold for fully six months.

If you have a 30 year mortgage, the bank knows that for the next 30 years they have your money to use for free for six months ongoing for the next 30 years.

And then come the games.

Foreclosure and default are very lucrative for banks. If you pay your mortgage plus interest in full and do not pay your real estate taxes to the bank you are found in default for money owed to no one. but which the bank has declared a part of the repayment of your mortgage and they hold that you are in default or foreclosure because the real estate taxes you do not owe have not been paid.

We have been contacted by people who are in default on their mortgage and some who are in foreclosure. Those in default have had massive fees added to the mortgage amounts in spite of the fact that their mortgages were paid in full and on time. For three months they did not include the real estate taxes because they figured out the game the banks were playing and refused to go along. They contacted the bank and said they were going to pay their real estate taxes directly to the government entity and the bank said no. That is not possible. If you don’t pay directly to us and if you don’t pay six months in advance of when the amount is due you will be held in default after three months of not making those real estate tax payments to the bank.

They have tried to send money each month to the government entity – which was fine, but because it was not in the bank, they were found in default by the bank when, in fact, there were no monies due because the government entity had been paid.

So, in spite of their mortgage having been paid in full and on time – and their real estate taxes having been paid six months in advance of their being due, but directly to the government entity instead of to the bank, the bank put them into default and a couple such people we knew about into foreclosure for not paying monies they didn’t owe. The problem was resolved, but with the bank keeping the many fees charged because the mortgage had been declared in default and with the other family, the fees kept because the mortgage was in foreclosure.

The bank, knowing the real estate taxes were paid in full ignored that and paid the government entity the real estate taxes in full. In another case, the bank overpaid the taxes because they needed the extra few thousand dollars they overpaid to throw the family into default on their mortgage. In another case, the bank paid other bills, which they had no right to pay, but which they did anyway causing the family untold problems to work through and all of that with attorneys – causing the family to expend even more money. Is that fear and intimidation?

One such person had an agreement with their bank that they would pay their own real estate taxes. After several months of going along with that, the bank notified the person that their real estate taxes needed to be escrowed in addition to paying the mortgage. They refused because they had a different agreement going into the mortgage – the mortgage was paid on time and the real estate taxes also. The family put real estate tax monies into bonds which matured in six month increments so they could use that money to pay the government entity. That didn’t matter, the bank wanted the money to use for its own purposes, for free and demanded that their mortgage holders pay their real estate taxes directly to the bank or face foreclosure.

Did you know the bank can attempt to foreclose on your property even if your mortgage plus interest is paid before its due date and in full?

Into this money game – enter the government entity collecting the real estate taxes. They have several games they play in collusion with the banks.

  1. They go along with the banks demanding that the real estate taxes be paid six months in advance and the money held by the bank – without recompense to the mortgage holder. And, on one account we saw where the mortgage holder paid an average of $5,000 to the city for real estate taxes over six months, that mortgage holder’s bank was one of the more generous banks paying them $.31 interest on their $5,000 for six months.
  2. Enter the elderly. Many government entities have passed laws which say those over 65 – although some say those over 75 – may defer their taxes on their property until either they die or sell the house. The interest on such ranges from 3% to about 7% depending upon the amount of interest so stipulated by the particular government entity.
  3. Enter the games against the elderly. Some government entities on their admin side don’t want that, but it was passed anyway. So the admins and their managements have found a way to by-pass this. They make sure to discombobulate, to dissemble, to refuse to accept the applications from the elderly for such deferrals. Many we have encountered are very good at this pushing away and not accepting applications yet claiming the applications were not complete, not offered, not submitted, etc.
  4. If that doesn’t work and the elderly person is particularly good at dealing with bureaucracies what then comes into play is the collusion between the banks and the government entities. The government agrees that the application is complete, good, passed on positively and the elderly person sends it to their bank holding their mortgage and the bank refuses to honor the deferral.

5. Given the fact that the bank should not be able to dishonor such an application, especially if the equity is substantial enough to insure the taxes will be paid upon the person’s death or sale of the property – the bank refuses to accept the deferral and does not have to give a reason. Just a blanket refusal. We call that bank-greed and elder-abuse.

6. We call it bank-greed because we have tracked down a few such instances and have found that there will be people in the bank with their eyes on a particular property where the elderly owners are going through this process and they want to buy the house, but not at the retail price which everyone else has to pay. With machinations, the elderly person is, in effect, swindled out of their property and the city or bank person goes away happily owning a new piece of property or have passed it on to someone who gives them a kick back.

7. The rub from all of this is that the elderly person will generally wind up without their property living in subsidized elderly housing and the person paying that bill is John Q. Public who was swindled by the banks and the government entities in the first place in this real estate tax dealing. So that swindle comes around again and payment is extracted again from the tax paying public.

There is a whole lot more to this than the above and we encourage you to send us information from your experiences. We will continue to write about it in installments so that you can see how banks, taxes, mortgages, government entities work hand and glove in ways we feel are illegal, but they feel as their right against those working hard to put bread on their tables and keep their heads above water let alone attempting to do anything more that they deserve because of their hard work over a lifetime.

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net





Homelessness – What Causes It?

Friday, January 4th, 2019

We have been studying this for years.  I can remember a time when there didn’t seem to be homelessness.  At least it was so carefully hidden most of us were not aware of anything except the romantic tale of the hobo who couldn’t live in a house – did not want to be closed in, but spent his life riding the freight trains from one place to another.  Little did we know that was real, except for the part about the hobo not wanting to live in a house and wanting to spend his life riding freight trains, cooking over fires he made from whatever he could gather that would burn, freezing to death along the railroad tracks, etc.  He was pictured in movies and other media as a happy camper living this life. There was usually happy music in the background when talking about such.

That was and is an extremely painful way to live and not one lived that way by choice.  What was also carefully hidden from John and Jane Q. Public was the fact that the hobo was the hobo he and some were the hobo she.    

I have always asked – why would a seemingly wealthy society allow such within its borders?  I have no answer.

Homelessness is caused by banks.  Oh, Wow!  I can hear the screams, objections and denials.  You can hem and haw.  You can object and protest.  When you sit down, clear your head and do the work and the investigation you will discover HOMELESSNESS IS INDEED CAUSED BY BANKS.

Within the bank, accountants and others sit and get paid to figure out ways banks can make more money at the expense of the middle class.  Sometimes banks hire consultants – usually outside accountants to do the same thing. “How can we charge for  services we don’t render.  How can we increase what we make on services we do render.”

Well lets take this one profit making pocket at a time.   What is the number one way banks cause homelessness?  House foreclosures.  How does that make so much money for banks?  

The fastest way banks cause homelessness and increase their profits exponentially in the process is through their ability to collect the real estate taxes (RET) levied on John and Jane Q. Public, by the government.  

Cities and other governmental entities are supposed to levy and collect their own real estate taxes.  In fact, that has been turned over to banks to do and it is done by banks in such a way that hundreds of billions of dollars flow into banks from this function.  Bank charges to city entities; fees of all kind levied on home owners for many reasons, etc. It is one of the reasons we have such huge banks and why it is difficult to impossible for the smaller banks to grow at the rapid rate seen in the larger banks.  

If you take out a mortgage with a bank – you most likely have to agree to paying your real estate taxes directly to them instead of to the city or other governmental entity.  Those RET are kept within the bank for at least six months doing nothing except making money and being used by the bank.  That is an amount of money the bank can “bank” on receiving and when and know it will be received with regularity and they know how long it will be in the bank.   From that they can plan how to use that money to increase their profits exponentially because you can’t come to withdraw any of that money, it has to stay put for the requisite period of time and when it has to be turned over it will have been a work horse for the time it stayed.  But – you should say – that money should be a work horse for the governmental entity to which the real estate taxes are owed.  

Look at how much better that money would work for you and me instead of being used to work against you and me keeping us poor or with a glass money ceiling over our heads. How did this happen?

This is one answer to the question – “How did banks grow so big!”  How come they have so much money!  Why are they so arrogant, independent, can be ugly to their own customers and still grow and stay in business. How can they throw so much money around (not the least of which is throwing it around political campaigns to keep the politicians beholden to them). This is one of the ways banks have grown so very large and are awash in hundreds of billions of dollars and it is a biggie.  It is also one of the ways banks promote foreclosure. – It is one of the ways they become the largest promoter of homelessness in this society.

 Homelessness is not about mental institutions which put its patients out on the street for lack of money to sustain, treat and cure them where possible? That is the marketing/advertising campaigns that are out there to mislead us all.  NO! Susie.  It is not.  That is and was a smoke screen.  Homelessness can be traced directly back to banks as its beginnings and root cause.  And, banks are a causer of homelessness dates back beyond the founding of these United States.  Banks have had this role for eons of time.

There is no reason for banks to collect real estate taxes on houses.  The taxes have work to do taking care of different needs of the people who pay the taxes.  If your real estate taxes must sit for six months in a bank – having been paid some six months before they are due so the bank can have that bit of huge money inflow to help it grow ‘big time’, that is a ‘big time’ problem for the people for whom those funds should be working.

The money paid to banks far in advance of when the city says they are due should actually be working to gain more income for you or for the city – if indeed it is not obscene and a violation of your rights to make such a requirement.  In fact, almost all of the real estate monies are collected in this country by banks; sit in the bank working very hard for the bank; and earning untold billions to help grow that banks strength and reach into the community.

Many games are played around real estate taxes and banks.  We, the tax payer,  assumes the present system is the way it should be and we go along with the program – much to our detriment.  We make that assumption because we don’t think of ourselves and our rights. We accept what is, if it is dressed up in Patrician clothes and exhibits the mores of a Patrician class.

Banks collect RET (Real Estate Taxes) on a monthly basis from people who acquire mortgages from them.  The people must then repay the mortgage, usually monthly,  along with 1/12 of that years real estate taxes each and every month.  The bank keeps that money and uses it because real estate taxes are usually only paid by the bank to the city every six months.  The average mortgage holder much pay their real estate taxes monthly and six months in advance of their being due. 

This is an inviolable thing.  No one questions it – and it goes so unquestioned that banks can foreclose and they do foreclose on homes and families even if the mortgage is paid in full each month.  If the real estate taxes are not paid six months in advance the foreclosure happens – not by the city because it does not see taxes owed by citizens and does not foreclose if a citizen misses one six month period of paying taxes, but the bank does this on a regular basis.  Claiming a person is behind in their mortgage even though that is not true and even though the taxes – which they are behind in paying – are taxes, amounts of money, not due for another month or two.

To put that in its proper context. Banks make substantial sums of money on funds that stay in the bank overnight. And they maximize that in every way possible. These are funds that stay in the bank for six months, definite, not able to be withdrawn, tied up in the bank no matter what. Imagine the money made on that. The bank pays a very small amount of “interest” to the mortgage holder on their “escrowed real estate taxes” – minuscule to the amount it is making on those funds.

When that happens – add a little push to get the family headed into financial problems which results in the house being foreclosed, and banks have been known to do this frequently.  Add a minority to whom the bank has given a mortgage; add a minority who has somehow skipped past the banks red-lining policy; add to that a property which has a very small mortgage compared to the large equity position of the property owner – no matter the race, color, class, ethnic origin, religion of the property owner and, in a bank with lousy ethics which is or is bordering on becoming a criminal enterprise, another game usually moves hand in glove with the real estate taxes game.

Banks have been known to target families where there is a large gap between the value of the house and the balance of the mortgage.  When a person has a small mortgage and a large equity position they are sitting ducks for a bank to salivate over future profits.

That was out of control during the last recession and banks were so overcome running where their greed pushed them that our banking system almost collapsed.  Their greed overcame their ability to function any other way.  Many bankers and realtors became wealthy with such a scheme – one amongst many.  Many individuals faced poverty, bankruptcy, homelessness – especially homelessness.

 More on this story in another blog.  Maybe even a few real life stories!

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Donate to Bettina’s

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Project 1 – Estate Sales after the Sale

Project 2 – Wells Fargo Boycott

__________________________________________________________

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

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