Turns out causing the housing crisis is the gift that just keeps on giving.
Banks have recently been buying up tax liens, which are basically the debt of delinquent homeowners, because they anticipate that people will be unable to pay their property taxes.
Tax lien purchasers can profit on levying debtors higher fees – up to 18% – as they fall deeper and deeper into debt.
In fact right now, Bank of America owns the right to harass Khloe Kardashian’s husband, Lamar Odom, until he pays the debt owed on his property.
From HuffPost Fund:
In June, Bank of America snatched up liens on properties in Florida owned by low-income residents and nonprofit public interest groups, including a Salvation Army shelter, a preschool and a wildlife rescue group involved in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill cleanup, the Investigative Fund found in its examination. Bank of America also bought liens on properties of the wealthy, including a professional basketball star with the Los Angeles Lakers, Lamar Odom.
Apparently he’s now current on his payments, but lets say he weren’t.
He’d be treated like other homeowners who owe property taxes, and who are getting harassed left and right over strange, small bills they aren’t paying.
In some jurisdictions, the new Wall Street tax collectors also chase debtors over other small bills, such as for water, sewer and sidewalk repair.
found that major financial institutions either own, invest, or oversee companies that collect on the debt that they invited property owners to agree to pay, knowing they never could.
Predictably, financial firms are embarrassed to admit they’re hustling from people who can’t pay their bills. So to cope, they’re using alias company names to buy the debts.
- Pleasant Valley Capital, LLC, is actually Fortress Investment Group
- Travis Farm Investments, LLC, also Fortress Investment Group
- Osprey, LLC is actually Bank of America
- Ecru, LLC the French word for a pale brown colour, also Bank of America
- Bennu, LLC a mythical bird said to be the soul of the ancient Egyptian sun god, also Bank of America
Lamar’s press rep says he’s now current with his payments, and there was a delay in his paying the bill only because it was incorrectly addressed. So he’s one of the lucky ones – Bank of America is probably off his back.
But other people are finding themselves in situations like Nancy, a homeowner who locked herself in her bathroom because she thought that the henchman hired by JPMorgan to break into her house was a murderous thief.