Saturday, November 28, 2009

"These Are Scammers And Predators And We're Going To Take Their Signs Down"

This was the first video made by Jeff and I documenting our removal of illegally-placed signs on utility poles in the Hawthorne Neighborhood. Because it is our first video, it's a little awkward and, well, the sign actually flies off the pole--sails like a paper airplane--and hits me in the face. Imitating Marsha Brady from the Brady Bunch, I say, "Oh, my nose!"

Like I mentioned in the video...this is how tragedies happen.

(Do not click "Read More")


veg*nation said...

what IS the deal with these signs? are they predatory lenders, or are they just aggressive flippers?

MeganG. said...

@Veg - i like to call them predatory flippers.

Johnny Northside said...

Jeff says they are scammers and predators. He has expertise in neighborhood housing matters, so I'll take Jeff's word on it, but if Jeff cares to discuss the issue at length, well...

Prepare to hear all those tedious, mortgage-geek technical details. PREPARE TO LOSE CONSCIOUSNESS.

On another note, I have rejected four or five comments from Jim Watkins of Texas, self-described "best friend" of Thomas Balko, one of the imprisoned T.J. Waconia mortgage fraudsters. Jim calls himself a "best friend" but I prefer the more accurate and descriptive term of "greased up prison errand boy."

Jim (who likes to call himself the "DFW Mentor" and claims expertise in real estate) claims to have video covertly shot of a meeting I had with him at Broadway Pizza, along with my 12-year-old child.

Of course, nothing of note was SAID at that meeting, and it was actually a friendly meeting, and I think Jim is lying about having any video. But all the same, for the record, I've been rejecting the comments of this TROLL, Jim Watkins the DFW Mentor, and I will continue to reject his comments on the basis of him being a troll.

Generally, though, his comments question whether the individuals who post the signs are, in fact, scammers and slumlords and Jim claims to have called them about the removal and destruction of the signs. Whatever.

If I gave a rip, I would have bothered to blur out the phone number on the signs, but obviously I don't give a rip. North Minneapolis has the same right as other neighborhoods to NOT have our boulevards and utility poles used as free advertising space by slippery, scammy entrepreneurs. I remove the signs, Jeff removes the signs, and I hope others will take a moment to remove the signs as well.

Jeff Skrenes said...

Yeah, "predatory flippers" is a pretty succinct way of describing these people.

I'm actually GLAD Jim Watkins is calling these places to inform them their signs are being taken down. Even if they're perfectly legitimate outfits, those signs are still not legally placed.

I had considered blurring out the numbers on the pictures appearing here, mainly on the premise that I don't want anyone calling these places for anything. But then I figured that's pretty unlikely, given that we're labeling them as scammers who are unwelcome in our neighborhood.

Johnny Northside said...

Jim can be MY little greased up prison errand boy, too, and call the people who put up the signs. Hopefully, they'll stop putting up the signs.

veg*nation said...

i'd actually be interested in more detail about how these places operate.

the most disturbing thing i've heard is that large flipping companies come in with cash and undercut reasonable offers from regular buyers, so they are turning potentially homesteaded properties into rentals, and squeezing first time homebuyers out of the market.

on the other hand, a couple of houses on my block were bought up by less than altruistic flippers, who, nevertheless, did invest in repairs and probably saved houses that would otherwise have needed to be demolished. (one of these houses, in particular, had severe water damage and mold.) even if it is crummy that these houses will probably be rentals for a while, the truth is that at the time they came on to the market, and in the condition they were in, the block is somewhat lucky that least these homes have been saved to live another day.

i don't know, however, if these particular flippers have anything to do with the people who are putting up all those (illegal) signs.

Ranty said...

These signs are now all along 35W in Central too, so I'll be going fishing over there... probably tomorrow.

They are ALL OVER.

(I'd love to have encountered a person actually placing one. Perhaps someday!)

Jeff Skrenes said...

I did call both numbers on the signs. Of course I didn't get a live person answering either one of them. The 612-236-9292 number gave me a voicemail of someone named Jason and it sounded like he said he was with "Pick and Roll Properties." Could've been "Pickerel Properties" or any number of things though. Jason gave a schpeel about why they were the right place to go if you wanted to sell your house and then asked you to leave a message.

Even more dubious was the 612-208-SELL number. That voicemail didn't even have a person OR company name.

So I said I was the housing director of the Hawthorne Neighborhood and that I'd removed their signs because they were illegally placed. I then said that they could call my work or cell number if they wanted to have a dialogue about how they could work in a positive way with the community. However, the first step in that direction would be that they would stop illegally placing their signs throughout our community.

I doubt I'll get a call back.

Johnny Northside said...

One comment rejected from a troll, Jim Watkins the "DFW Mentor," though his point is pretty much "which is it? Are they legitimate outfits or not?"

Whatever, troll. Go play with your own creepy, sick blog that nobody reads. Go write a letter to your prison buddy, Thomas Balko. I'm sure he's lonely up in Duluth.

Got some VIDEO, you troll? No, you don't. You have a blurry still photo and you claim to have video, but you're just a big-talking Texan liar. Put up or shut up, you troll.

Oh, wait. You're from Minnesota, originally, aren't you, Jim? I take back the "Texan" part.