Posted by Brandi_TX on April 14, 1999 at 21:44:25:
My responses have ranged from arrogant (sp?) “Well I know it is just sitting there, but I store all my furniture in it and will get around to doing something with it SOMEDAY. By the way, how did you get my name and number?” To puzzled, “You found us through the courthouse? We owe taxes and they haven’t found us, how did YOU do it?”
I haven’t tried sending a letter 1st, though that may be better than shocking them on the phone. Not sure, will have to try it. (I suppose that is why I just ordered Joe’s Abandoned Property course - to take a look at his methods.)
The big plus I see in calling instead of writing is the fact that you know when you have the right person. Just because the tax office says “these are the owners”, doesn’t mean those are the people you need to be talking to.
I am finding that with abandoned houses, the recorder’s office is FULL of documents related to the property that makes no sense! A divorce here, a false avidavit there, or a distant relative that stakes claim somehow and they all cloud the title. Meaning, these people have usually screwed up their title so bad, THEY can’t even tell you for sure who really owns it! (Not that they don’t each have their own opinion, mind you!) And instead of going to an attorney to fix it, they add a few more documents to the Recorder’s office and make it that much harder to straighten out!
The plus I can foresee in writing a letter would be that it will allow them to call you and possibly give a clue as to their motivation. In my opinion, if they don’t respond, you may still be left wondering if your letter got to the right person.
As for the way they feel about me calling? I am not sure that I much care. I mind my P’s and Q’s, I don’t call too late or too early in the day, I am very polite, and I would respect there wishes if they ask that I not call them again. (Hasn’t happened yet.) Bottom line is, you don’t know until you ask, and if they get “hostile”, that means they have a huge chip on their shoulder and probably did something to deserve an empty house that is withering away. Move on to the next one, but leave your name and number should they ever want to “get around to it”.
I am digging through the “no’s” looking for a “yes”, and I have a feeling it is right around the corner.