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By Larry Perl, lperl@tribune.com | September 8, 2014
A run-down uninhabited house at 506 Locksley Road that has been the subject of complaints for the last two years from West Towson neighbors has been sold, County Councilman Marks said. "We're happy to get this resolved," said Marks, who represents Towson. "It's been an eyesore. The county worked very, very hard on this. " Marks said the winning bidder was a builder with plans to raze the structure. The auction company, A.J. Billig & Co., confirmed the sale but would not identify the buyer.
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NEWS
By Larry Perl, lperl@tribune.com | September 8, 2014
A run-down uninhabited house at 506 Locksley Road that has been the subject of complaints for the last two years from West Towson neighbors has been sold, County Councilman Marks said. "We're happy to get this resolved," said Marks, who represents Towson. "It's been an eyesore. The county worked very, very hard on this. " Marks said the winning bidder was a builder with plans to raze the structure. The auction company, A.J. Billig & Co., confirmed the sale but would not identify the buyer.
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NEWS
By Fred Schulte and Ben Protess, Huffington Post Investigative Fund | July 2, 2010
Members of the Baltimore City Council, seeking to prevent property owners from losing their homes over relatively small unpaid water bills and other municipal debts, are urging state legislators to set new limits on sales of tax liens to investors. A resolution, endorsed by 12 of 15 council members, seeks to restrict the sale of liens for less than $750 — triple the limit amount set by state law. Evicting people over small debts "is simply not in Baltimore's long-term interests," the resolution says.
NEWS
By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun | August 25, 2014
Nearly two months after People's Community Health Centers shut the doors to five low-income health clinics in Baltimore city and Anne Arundel County, a federal agency confirmed it is no longer providing critical grant money to the nonprofit group. People's had received $2.4 million a year from the Health Services Resources Administration to treat uninsured patients - its largest source of revenue. That loss comes as the organization faces a new federal tax lien nearly that doubled the amount it owes the Internal Revenue Service and mounting claims from employees seeking back pay. Yet Andrew Sindler, attorney for People's, said Monday the nonprofit hopes to pay off or settle its debts and has "some new opportunities in the works to revive the organization" under a new name and with new investors, though he declined to offer details.
BUSINESS
Jamie Smith Hopkins | May 22, 2012
Nearly 27,000 city properties in March were in danger of going to tax sale, but ultimately about 10,600 had liens included in the auction Monday. Investors bought 6,545 of the lien certificates , which raised $20 million for the city, according to the Finance Department. It's not unusual for property owners to pay up in April, just before the annual spring tax sale. But one of the narrowest misses this year was a case in which the homeowner paid last month -- after she learned that the state had retroactively reduced a tax credit on her property -- and the city lost the check.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | May 21, 2012
Kristina Suson's home wasn't part of the city's tax sale Monday, but it was a close call. Baltimore places liens on properties for unpaid property taxes, water bills and other municipal debts, then puts the liens up for auction every spring — allowing investors to buy them and either collect or move to foreclose. The city auctioned liens on about 10,600 properties on Monday, finding buyers for 6,545 of them and raising $20 million. Suson ended up on this year's list, to her surprise, after the state retroactively reduced a property tax credit she'd received in 2009.
NEWS
By Dana Hedgpeth and Dana Hedgpeth,SUN STAFF | May 16, 1997
At Baltimore County's annual tax sale yesterday, new regulations -- requiring bidders to quickly show their financial ability to back their bids -- discouraged fantastically inflated bidding. But large investors still bid much more than properties' market values -- thereby driving out mom-and-pop investors.Meanwhile, the pattern of inflated bidding at the county auctions -- of properties with unpaid taxes -- continued at the Prince George's County tax sale, held every day this week and continuing today.
NEWS
By Walter F. Roche Jr. and Scott Higham and Walter F. Roche Jr. and Scott Higham,SUN STAFF | February 20, 1998
In early 1996 things were not going well for Diagnostic Health Imaging Systems, a Prince George's County radiology firm. Tax liens and court suits were piling up. Its balance sheet, state examiners would later conclude, did not look promising.But before the year was out, something remarkable happened.Key executives of DHIS became executives of a brand new company called PrimeHealth.Prime-Health's offices blossomed in a building owned by DHIS, and key assets of the radiology firm suddenly became the assets of Prime-Health.
NEWS
By Fred Schulte, Center for Public Integrityand Scott Calvert, The Baltimore Sun | March 4, 2011
A Baltimore real estate attorney has admitted to conspiring with other local lawyers to rig the bids for millions of dollars' worth of government tax auctions in Maryland, newly unsealed court records show. Attorney John Reiff stated under oath that he and two law partners helped fix bids for the purchase of "large numbers" of property tax debts, or tax liens, sold by tax assessors at auctions in Baltimore and several Maryland counties from 2003 to 2007, according to court filings made public last month.
BUSINESS
August 11, 2002
Dear Mr. Azrael: My questions pertain to tax liens on real property. If the taxes remain unpaid and the lien is foreclosed by the taxing unit and the property is sold to satisfy the taxing unit's claim for taxes, what is the time allowed for persons paying the tax liens to acquire the real property? Also, can an interest rate of 9 percent be imposed on the persons to whom property is listed for taxes? Herbert M. McDowell Baltimore Dear Mr. McDowell: When property tax is not paid, the tax collector in the local jurisdiction is required to sell the property at a tax sale.
BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman, The Baltimore Sun | May 5, 2014
The city will conduct its annual tax sale this month in an effort to boost tax rolls, but some critics say it's a quick fix that contributes to one of Baltimore's most entrenched problems - vacant properties. City officials scheduled about 10,000 tax liens to go to auction this year. That's a small fraction of the 240,000 properties that owed money on property taxes or other city bills as of July 1, and less than half of the roughly 23,800 listed in advertisements in March. Those properties represented about $125 million in unpaid bills.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins and Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | March 21, 2013
Add the Internal Revenue Service to the list of Berger cookies' woes. The IRS filed a notice of a nearly $109,000 tax lien against DeBaufre Bakeries - which makes the Baltimore treat - with the Baltimore City Circuit Court in February. Most of that amount was due in 2010, with smaller amounts due in 2009 and 2011, according to the court document. The IRS also filed notices of an approximately $14,000 lien in September and a lien of about $26,000 in October, for tax periods in 2006, 2011 and 2012.
BUSINESS
By Steve Kilar and The Baltimore Sun | November 9, 2012
The IRS may be coming for the Maryland unemployment office's offices. The federal tax collection agency filed a legal claim called a tax lien last month against the unemployment office's property. The Internal Revenue Service claims that the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation's Office of Unemployment Insurance owes the federal government about $850,000 in unpaid taxes, according to court records. The tax lien was filed in order to encourage the debt to be paid - even though DLLR filed an appeal of its tax assessment in August and claims it does not owe the money the IRS has billed, said Dennis Morton, the unemployment office's director of contributions.
BUSINESS
Jamie Smith Hopkins | May 22, 2012
Nearly 27,000 city properties in March were in danger of going to tax sale, but ultimately about 10,600 had liens included in the auction Monday. Investors bought 6,545 of the lien certificates , which raised $20 million for the city, according to the Finance Department. It's not unusual for property owners to pay up in April, just before the annual spring tax sale. But one of the narrowest misses this year was a case in which the homeowner paid last month -- after she learned that the state had retroactively reduced a tax credit on her property -- and the city lost the check.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | May 21, 2012
Kristina Suson's home wasn't part of the city's tax sale Monday, but it was a close call. Baltimore places liens on properties for unpaid property taxes, water bills and other municipal debts, then puts the liens up for auction every spring — allowing investors to buy them and either collect or move to foreclose. The city auctioned liens on about 10,600 properties on Monday, finding buyers for 6,545 of them and raising $20 million. Suson ended up on this year's list, to her surprise, after the state retroactively reduced a property tax credit she'd received in 2009.
NEWS
By Fred Schulte, Center for Public Integrityand Scott Calvert, The Baltimore Sun | March 4, 2011
A Baltimore real estate attorney has admitted to conspiring with other local lawyers to rig the bids for millions of dollars' worth of government tax auctions in Maryland, newly unsealed court records show. Attorney John Reiff stated under oath that he and two law partners helped fix bids for the purchase of "large numbers" of property tax debts, or tax liens, sold by tax assessors at auctions in Baltimore and several Maryland counties from 2003 to 2007, according to court filings made public last month.
NEWS
May 8, 2000
REMEMBER those widely publicized Senate hearings of citizens accusing the Internal Revenue Service of abuses and vendettas against them? They made for great fodder for gleeful Republicans, who choreographed the proceedings to fit their political objectives. But these alleged abuses never happened. That's the conclusion of a General Accounting Office report. Earlier studies also were unable to corroborate the charges loudly leveled at the nation's tax-collecting agency back in 1998. Sen. William V. Roth of Delaware had a field day bashing the IRS as Big Brother run amok.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop and Tricia Bishop,tricia.bishop@baltsun.com | July 7, 2009
Federal prosecutors are looking for what could be hundreds of victims in an alleged scheme to rig bids at Maryland tax lien auctions, according to court filings. They've already identified two dozen corporate and municipal victims - including the city of Baltimore, and Anne Arundel, Prince George's and Baltimore counties. And they believe there could be many more injured individuals, people who lost their liened property to the defendants: Harvey M. Nusbaum and Jack W. Stollof. The men, both in their 70s, were indicted last month on one count apiece of violating the Sherman Act. From 2002 through 2007, the indictment alleges, they conspired to stifle competition in the tax lien bidding process, guaranteeing that they won a disproportionate number of liens, which allowed them to charge property owners large fees or to take their holdings if they couldn't pay. An FBI surveillance team allegedly saw the men meeting in Baltimore County shortly before dropping off bid envelopes in Montgomery County and using signals to communicate during another auction, according to an affidavit.
NEWS
By Fred Schulte and Ben Protess, Huffington Post Investigative Fund | July 2, 2010
Members of the Baltimore City Council, seeking to prevent property owners from losing their homes over relatively small unpaid water bills and other municipal debts, are urging state legislators to set new limits on sales of tax liens to investors. A resolution, endorsed by 12 of 15 council members, seeks to restrict the sale of liens for less than $750 — triple the limit amount set by state law. Evicting people over small debts "is simply not in Baltimore's long-term interests," the resolution says.
NEWS
May 19, 2010
Vicki Valentine had lived in her family's row home for more than a decade when a sheriff's deputy arrived at her door one day in February to strip her of her claim to the house. The cause: an unpaid water bill totaling less than $400, which the city had sold to investors years earlier at a tax sale. The investors piled up fees and interest on the debt totaling thousands of dollars — far beyond Ms. Valentine's ability to pay — then put a lien on the property and sued to foreclose.
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