40 and 42 S Pulaski Street

Property Address: 40 and 42 S Pulaski Street, Baltimore, MD 21223

Property Owner (40): This property’s SDAT record is incorrect. The property was foreclosed on by Fidelity Tax, LLC via Delaurentis Reiff and Reid, in 2010. As per Circuit Court case number 24C07006190, the plaintiffs were granted “…an absolute and indefeasible leasehold title” on March 5 of that year.

Property Owner (42): Senedou Habtou, 430 Lincoln Avenue, Takoma Park, MD 20912 (Purchased in 2008 from the City via tax sale.)

City Council District and Contact:  District 9, “Pistol” Pete Welch

State Senator: Shirley Nathan-Pulliam

State Delegate:  Keith Haynes

40 and 42 S Pulaski Street
40 and 42 S Pulaski Street

 

1922 W Franklin Street

The ownership of this property since the late 1980s is a brilliant illustration of why we need better corporate/LLC transparency in Maryland. Every company mentioned in this laundry list of acronyms (link opens a PDF) can be traced back to Stanley Rochkind, one of Baltimore’s most notorious slumlords and abandoned property owners.

Property Address: 1922 W Franklin Street, Baltimore, MD 21223

Property Owner: SD-15 Corporation, PO Box 32118, Baltimore, MD 21215 (Corporation is not in good standing, charter has been forfeited)

Resident Agent for SD-15 Corporation: Ronald Washington, 1705 E Joppa Road, Suite 300, Baltimore, MD 21234

City Council District and Contact:  District 9, “Pistol” Pete Welch

State Senator: Shirley Nathan-Pulliam

State Delegate:  Keith Haynes

1922_w_franklin_street
1922 W Franklin Street. Note the open/missing front door, and missing roof.

4006 Glenmore Avenue

Property Address: 4006 Glenmore Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21206

Property Owner: Jefferson Holding, LLC, 1153 Rt. 3 North, Suite 12, Gambrills, MD 21054 (Company is not in good standing, company charter has been forfeited.)

Resident Agent for Jefferson Holding, LLC: George Spiers, 2047 Hermitage Hills Drive, Gambrills, MD 21054

City Council District and Contact: District 2, Brandon Scott

State Senator: Nathaniel McFadden

State Delegates: Talmadge BranchCheryl Glenn, Cory V. McCray

This property has been owned by Jefferson Holding, LLC since 2001, and has remained unoccupied since. At one point, the owners were maintaining the yard, but have stopped, and it’s become a nuisance to the neighbors. Considering all of the other homes on the block are reasonably well maintained, it appears to be a good candidate for receivership.

A shame, though, that it has to go into receivership and the owner can’t be bothered to maintain the home. Perhaps Baltimore Housing should start sending property owners a bill for court time.

4006 Glenmore Avenue
4006 Glenmore Avenue
4006 Glenmore Avenue, broken soffit
4006 Glenmore Avenue, broken soffit

 

 

1248 E North Avenue

Property Address: 1248 E North Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21202

Property Owner: Ifeyinwa T. Ogbuagu, 917 Symphony Circle SW, Vienna, VA 21280

City Council District and Contact:  District 12, Carl Stokes

State Senator: Nathaniel McFadden

State Delegates: Talmadge BranchCheryl Glenn

1248 E North Avenue
1248 E North Avenue

WWJD? 1413 McCulloh Street

Property Address: 1413 McCulloh Street, Baltimore, MD 21217

Property Owner: Douglas Memorial Community Church Village, Inc., 1325 Madison Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21217

Resident Agent for Douglas Memorial Community Church Village, Inc.: Patrick Roberson, 100 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 100, Towson, MD 21204

City Council District and Contact: District 11, Eric T. Costello

State Senator: Shirley Nathan-Pulliam

State Delegate:  Keith Haynes

1413 McCulloh Street
1413 McCulloh Street

1202 Harlem Avenue

Property Address: 1202 Harlem Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21217

Property Owner: Renovations by Design, LLC, 408 Kensington Road, Baltimore, MD 21229 (Company is not in good standing.)

Resident Agent for Renovations by Design, LLC: Thomas J. Iacoboni, 15635 Yeoho Road, Sparks, MD 21152

City Council District and Contact:  District 9, “Pistol” Pete Welch

State Senator:  Catherine Pugh

State Delegates:  Barbara Robinson, Frank Conaway, Jr., Antonio Hayes

1202 Harlem Avenue
1202 Harlem Avenue

2534 Washington Boulevard

Property Address: 2534 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21230

Property Owner: Muhammad Sallahudin Sultan, 2511 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21230

City Council District and Contact:  District 10, Ed Reisinger

State Senator:  Catherine Pugh

State Delegates:  Barbara Robinson, Frank Conaway, Jr., Antonio Hayes

All permits on this property have expired, most recently in 2015.

2534 Washington Boulevard
2534 Washington Boulevard

Slumlords and Tax Sales

Because of the loophole allowed to tax-sale purchasers, many of these liens are purchased without the owner ever taking responsibility for, or maintaining the properties. If you said to yourself “Wait, that sounds like people have the ability to purchase the lien, foreclose on the property and then just walk away.” — you would be correct. And you would also be correct if you assumed the loophole allows for many more properties to become vacant eyesores.

Because of an article written by Carrie Wells of the Baltimore Sun, and an ensuing conversation with another Sun writer and a resident, I thought it would be a good idea to go over the tax sale list and pluck out some interesting examples, as I did in 2015.

In total, there are 1247 corporations on the list, 70 government entities, 15,385 individuals (many of whom own more than one property), 87 limited partnerships, 4,555 LLCs, 151 trusts, and 30 entities that could not be verified.

Many slumlords in Baltimore purchase their properties through the city’s municipal auctions — whether via tax sales or surplus property sales, they’re buying property that should be back on the city’s tax rolls. Sadly, many are not. In fact, these tax sale purchasers owe the city money. A lot of money.:

Scott Wizig, a Houston-based slumlord, owes the city over $1,098,492 in taxes and other liens, on properties purchased by his various shell LLCs.

  • Baltimore Return Fund, LLC owes the city $166,032 on 22 properties
  • Harbor Pier Homes, LLC owes $77,130 on 9 properties
  • Wiz Homes, LLC owes $33,360 on 4 properties
  • Port Homes, LLC owes $67,004 on 7 properties
  • Compound Yield Play, LLC owes $508,804 on 26 properties
  • Chesapeake Row Homes, LLC owes $110,499 on 8 properties
  • Inbrook Homes owes $10,261 on 4 properties
  • Nicky’s Row Homes owes $108,893 on 2 properties
  • Willard Avenue, LLC owes $16,509 on 2 properties

The formerly disbarred attorneys John Reiff, John Reid, and Anthony Delaurentis owe $633,997 on properties purchased under their shell companies:

  • 2008 DRR-ETS, LLC owes $337,739 on 62 properties
  • 2009 DRR-ETS, LLC owes $11,278 on 3 properties
  • Kona Properties, LLC owes $165,172 on 21 properties
  • Montego Bay Properties, LLC owes $35,712 on 4 properties
  • Land Research Associates, LLC owes $84,096 on 7 properties

Other noteworthy names on the city’s tax sale list:

A former “model landlord”, City Homes, lost a lead paint lawsuit and had to file for bankruptcy back in 2013. As a result, they haven’t been paying city fees on various properties. They currently owe the city $118,282 via 19 different entities and 113 properties.

Patrick Curran, under his 504 South Broadway, LLC shell, owes the city $25,286 on five different properties. You might remember him as the owner of a property in Fells Point that collapsed a few years ago and caused all sorts of traffic mayhem.

Ephraim Weingarten, through his CE Realty company, owes the city $68,740 on 3 properties.

Stanley Rochkind, through his various LLCs and trusts owes $698,012.

The Mayor and City Council owes $515,467 on 9 different properties. (I wonder how you collect money from yourself?) By the way, I’d also like to take this opportunity to dispel the myth that the city is the biggest owner of vacant property — they’re not. Individuals and LLCs own far more blighted property in the city than the Mayor and City Council.

Some other random facts:

The largest lien is for $1,187,511 on what appears to be a blighted vacant home on W. Pratt Street. Having walked down that block many times recently, I can’t imagine why anyone would owe that much money on a home that’s maybe worth $10,000.

There are many small liens. 431 are for less than $300, 1415 for amounts between $300 and $500, 3,462 for amounts between $500 and $1000, and 11,959 (half the properties on the list) that are in arrears for amounts over $1000 and less than $5000.

Removing the entries that are simply plots of land, lots, and easements, we’re left with a total of 21,526 properties that have municipal liens attached to them, and have the potential to be foreclosed on by tax sale purchasers. The map above illustrates how much of the city is in arrears, and how tenuous our grasp is, even at middle- and upper- income levels, on housing.