Friday, March 19, 2010

What's Happening with Moghul the Mogul?

Post by the Hawthorne Hawkman, image from The Snitch blog.

After finding out that Bashir Moghul will be losing at least one rental license due to delinquent property taxes, I decided to dig deeper. Several months ago, a concerned resident sent me a list of properties that were, at that time, owned by Mr. Moghul. I was going to look into the dealings of this purported slumlord, but a certain other one-man housing crisis got my attention for a bit.

Some of those properties have been sold or lost to foreclosure or tax forfeiture already. And based on MLS data of the Hawthorne neighborhood, I've identified several other properties that weren't on my contact's list. What follows is a list similar to the "unabridged Pamiko" blog post a while back. This information was not easy to obtain, as Hennepin County doesn't publish prior years of delinquent taxes online. I had to go downtown and do some research. Even then, a number of properties weren't giving me information.

It turns out that he had entered into a confession of judgment, or a repayment plan on many of his properties, and those documents had to be printed out separately. I've displayed them here, on the JNS pdf support site. I had to put on the charm and beg and plead with municipal employees in order to get them to stay past closing time on a Friday so that I could get these documents. Oh, and I did have to pay for them, and will not be submitting a receipt to my employer - just a reminder that this site has a paypal button.

Now, about that list...

(Disclaimer: the live links are accurately described at the time of this blog post. However, if ownership changes or the owner otherwise resolves the delinquencies, the links will go to the property's current status. Also, for clarification, the hyperlinks for back taxes jump to only the current tax year, but I have indicated the full delinquent amount whenever I have verified it.)

2942 Tyler St NE is a vacant lot in the Audobon Park neighborhood is currently owned by Moghul, not in foreclosure, and owes back taxes for four years, in the amount of $3,291.62.

2516 Lowry Ave N is in the Cleveland neighborhood. Based on data on the city link, it's not entirely clear what kind of property is there, but a photo tour will determine that. And yes, there are back taxes owed here. Two years' worth, at $6,071.22.

816 Park Ave is in the Eliot Park neighborhood downtown. The city's website is not yet updated to show that Moghul let this property go to the point where the last residential house in downtown Minneapolis is set to be demolished. Sadly, it therefore comes as no surprise that there are back taxes owed on this property as well, although I was unable to determine the exact amount. And it's in foreclosure. The mortgagor on the foreclosure is listed as Christopher J. Messman. Who is that?

3347 Fremont Ave N is vacant land in the Folwell neighborhood. Back taxes are owed totaling $9,839.61 for the past four years.

3550 Girard Ave N is a single-family house in the Folwell neighborhood, and the Hennepin County website indicates back taxes, although downtown it looks as if he may have brought this property current.

318 27th Ave N is a duplex in the Hawthorne neighborhood and has back taxes for two years at $8,335.62.

428 31st Ave N is a vacant lot in the Hawthorne neighborhood that has recently been lost to tax forfeiture.

623 26th Ave N is a triplex in the Hawthorne neighborhood where it appears Moghul may have been attacked. Bashir is listed as the taxpayer on the city website, but that website and the Hennepin County website list Manzoor Moghul as the owner. It's not clear what may happen to properties like this if Bashir does indeed lose two or more rental licenses. Oh, I almost forgot: there are back taxes here for two years at $6,414.26. This is also the third of three multi-unit properties that once made up "Desolation Row." One was a Pamiko property and the most notorious one was owned by a landlord who had few, if any, other properties in NoMi. Getting all three slumlords off that block will be a huge victory.

2110 Lyndale Avenue N is a single-family residence in the Hawthorne neighborhood. Bashir is listed as the owner on the city website, but the taxpayer on the city's and county's site is US Bank/Premiere Asset Services. The foreclosure isn't showing up on the county's website, so we could be looking at another loan situation like Pamiko. And taxes have yet to be paid,
$4,946.50 over two years.

2131 Lyndale Ave N is a duplex in Hawthorne with one year of back taxes, $7,239.59. Records show it is owned by "Bashir Moghal," not Moghul, but Bashir has claimed he owns this property at various Hawthorne meetings he's attended.

2514 Emerson Ave N is a duplex in the Hawthorne neighborhood with unpaid taxes, $7,901.42 over two years.

2617 Dupont Ave N is in the Hawthorne neighborhood and appears from public records to be a single-family residence. There are unpaid taxes on this property as well - once again, two years' worth, at $1,871.32.

2915 3rd St N is a duplex in the Hawthorne neighborhood with unpaid taxes indicated on the county website, but other records indicate taxes may have been brought current.

2950 Bryant Ave N is a vacant lot in the Hawthorne neighborhood that has already been lost to tax forfeiture. The property was on a list provided to me by a concerned resident, but Bashir's prior ownership has not been independently confirmed.

2124 Bryant Ave N is a duplex in Hawthorne. Moghul and an entity called Entrust Midwest show up as owners, and it's not clear if the property was foreclosed upon by Entrust. There is one year of back taxes on this property, for $9,308.61.

1547 22nd Ave N is a duplex in Jordan, property taxes are listed as delinquent on the county website, but may have been brought current.

2030 Willow Ave N is the property that got the ball rolling here, a duplex in Jordan, delinquent on taxes for two years at $3,884.74.

2615 Newton Ave N is tax-forfeited land that my source said belongs to Moghul. His prior ownership has not been independently verified.

2646 Penn Ave N is a single-family residence in Jordan with two years of back taxes at $2,757.92.

3027 Penn Ave N is a vacant lot in Jordan with two years of back taxes totaling $789.60.

3114 Upton Ave N is a single-family residence in Jordan, owing two years of back taxes at $2,307.97.

3200 2nd St N is a duplex in the industrial/commercial section of the McKinley neighborhood. Once again, two years of back taxes are owed, to the tune of $16,571.81.

3248 6th St N is a vacant lot in the McKinley neighborhood with two years of back taxes at $629.45.

3318 6th St N is a single-family residence in McKinley with back taxes dating back to 2004 and totaling $8,266.68. For those of you wondering how it was that he managed to avoid tax forfeiture thus far, it appears that he paid 2008 and 2009 taxes, but not 2004 - 2007.

2532 Bloomington Ave is a duplex in the Midtown Phillips neighborhood with two years of back taxes owing $7.497.98.

704 Penn Ave N is a duplex in the Near North neighborhood with two years of back taxes at $5,027.72.

1500 Irving Ave N is a duplex in the Near North neighborhood that is actually verifiably current on its taxes.

1900 5th St N is a vacant lot in Near North. The county website indicates delinquent taxes, but the records downtown show that they may indeed have been brought current.

2301 5th Ave S is a duplex in the Phillips West neighborhood, the county website indicates delinquent taxes, but the records downtown indicate a possibility that the taxes may be current.

1917 1st Ave S is a vacant lot in the Loring Heights/Stevens' Square neighborhood. Interestingly enough, it appears Moghul acquired the property in 1993, and in 2003 it was declared to have an exterior worth preservation. Since it's a vacant lot now, something tells me Moghul didn't exactly preserve the historic nature of the property. Oh, and he's two years behind on taxes as well, at $1,375.69.

3814 Fremont Ave N is a vacant lot in the Weber-Camden neighborhood, two years behind on taxes, at $4,937.20.

4206 Colfax Ave N is a single-family residence in the Weber-Camden neighborhood, owing two years of taxes at $4,058.93.

1831 Morgan Ave N is a single-family residence in the Willard-Hay neighborhood, owing two years of taxes at $4,100.24.

1934 Oliver Ave N is a duplex in Willard-Hay, owing two years of back taxes, totaling $7,302.49.

And that does it for the time being, although I believe this list to actually be woefully incomplete. Bashir has several family members who have properties in their names, and it may be that such ownership is merely an artifice for Bashir to run these properties as well. Furthermore, the list comprises only properties in Minneapolis and does not include ones that may have already been lost to foreclosure or forfeiture.

But for those of you who haven't been adding things in your head as we've gone along, the total amount of delinquent taxes verified so far is$122,861.51 in back taxes Moghul owes to Hennepin County. And that's not counting the property or land already verified or believed to be owned by Moghul that has been forfeited.

JNS readers, if you have information about this slumlord and colossal tax scofflaw, that's what the comment section or confidential messages are for. I want a comprehensive list and I want information about what Moghul has done (or more accurately, has NOT done) elsewhere.


la_vie_en_rose said...

How in the world is he able to own so many properties if he can't pay the taxes??

I read through that post from last year that talks about him getting in trouble for using lead paint. Why am I not surprised to see that he owns properties in the crappiest neighborhood in Indianapolis?

Anonymous said...

Boy is this the pot calling the kettle black. I can't believe you did a post on back taxes owed! How about you pay your own property taxes so your community has the funding to fund the services you need like police and 311.

Johnny Northside! said...

$122,000 worth of taxes and you want to say it's the pot calling the kettle black because, oh gee, I owe some taxes on my property? I might also point out Jeff actually wrote the post and merely used my blog as his forum. Jeff does not owe anybody back taxes on property. I wish he did. I wish Jeff were a homeowner in our neighborhood and I hope that happens in the very near future.

But let's talk about Bashir...

Bashir is a slumlord. There's a world of difference between a homeowner doing his/her best versus this notorious slumlord Bashir. How on earth does he have ANY rental licenses when he owes this much in back taxes?

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Also, I forgot to mention that John just happened to be at the Hennepin County Government Center when I arrived. I quickly realized I may not have time to get through all the properties before they closed, so he came and helped me track down enough information to get the post up immediately.

And yeah, I expected some kind of push about the whole tax issue. Let me be clear, as I have before: As the Hawthorne Neighborhood Council Housing Director, I have neither the time nor inclination to pursue individual property owners who are behind on their taxes in the same manner as I do slumlords. But if I knew of a resident who wanted to buy rental property or apply for a rental license and he/she was behind on taxes, I'd advise that person to get caught up first.

Anonymous said...

I may be ignorant to tax law but arent they due every year and are not overdue till next year?
T Jaramillo

Anonymous said...

Dyna adds:

I know of at least one good landlord who is behind on taxes on some but not all of his properties. He lives within a block of most of his properties, doesn't tolerate and evicts criminals if they slip through his screening process, and is active in the community. He's behind on his taxes because a lot of folks are unemployed and can't afford rent so they're doubling up or moving in with other family members. So his rental income is way down and he's having trouble paying his property taxes.

The same economic crisis is probably effecting John- remember that he's a disabled vet and college student. College students rely on temp holiday and summer jobs to pay the bills. We're in a recession and companies simply aren't hiring for those temp jobs like they used too- I used to make $15,000 over the holidays temping at UPS but I haven't been called back since 2007. So John and the thousands of other economicly struggling Northsiders aren't evading taxes- they'll pay up as soon as they can afford to.

Anonymous said...

The City should revoke rental licenses after 180 days of unpaid taxes.

M. Clinton said...

I moved to MPLS from Superior Wisconsin. Bashir Moghul owns a large number of properties in Superior as well and he is behind on the taxes on those properties as well.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

@ the real T Jaramillo, property taxes are due every year but if you go several years without paying, you lose the property in forfeiture to the county. (I want to say five years, but can't remember with 100% certainty right now.)

@ Dyna, I'm pretty sure I know which landlord you're talking about.

@ Anon 11:26, I personally think your proposal could be too strict. If a landlord comes upon hard times, six months could be too short of a time period to catch up on taxes. But clearly something is wrong with the system when Moghul can get this far behind before action is finally taken.

If I were making the rules, I'd say something like this: If you're one year or more behind on ANY property taxes in (pick one: Minneapolis, Hennepin County, anywhere) you are not granted rental licenses on new property. If you are two years or more behind on taxes, you must enter into a repayment plan on all delinquent taxes. If you do not abide by the terms of that plan, the city may revoke all rental licenses.

If conditions are too strict, landlords will simply operate without licenses, creating a (bigger) black market for rental property. Or the strictness may lead to disinvestment in Minneapolis because it could be seen as too difficult a market for rental property.

Anonymous said...

Wow I didn't know it was that easy. I'm going to stop paying mine as well. I thought it was like the IRS where they nab you as soon as they figure out you're late.

Anonymous said...

Tax forfeiture varies on the time frame it could take less than 5 years in targeted areas of
Minneapolis. 5 years is on average and a coj stops the process.