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Thread: Missing property owner (Hot ní Now)

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Missing property owner (Hot ní Now)

    We have a property here that is the home of a former Hot n Now. The now bankrupt burger chain owned the building, but not the property. Bad part is we can not track down the property owner to send a violation notice for the obsolete signage.

    What do you do when a property owner goes missing and all the mail gets returned?

    Off-topic:
    not sure where this thread would go best, so if you feel is should be moved, please do so. Thank you
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  2. #2
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    They have to be paying their property taxes somehow or else they would default. The assessor should be able to help I would think.

  3. #3
         
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    If you have the legal description of the property, your county Register of Deeds should be able to find the owner. Otherwise, the Assessor or treasurer is your best bet.

  4. #4
         
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    We would send as many violation notices to the last known address that we could with a specific time frame cited. If no response was made we would go in and do the work that needed to be done and put a lien on the property. We do it for grass cutting, demolition, etc...

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mileage2762004
    If you have the legal description of the property, your county Register of Deeds should be able to find the owner. Otherwise, the Assessor or treasurer is your best bet.
    How long have Stan and Stan been on the case? Send notice to where the tax statement goes. After due diligence proceed with enforcement and place a lien on the property. Your organization may never collect the funds, but at least you can get the job done.
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

  6. #6
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Budgie
    due diligence
    You really didn't say that did you...

    I would echo the sentiments of my feller Cyburbs. Someone's gotta be paying the property tax.

    Stan and Stan shall be more than equipped to handle this dandy
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    We have a property here that is the home of a former Hot n Now.
    Is that just a western Michigan colloquial term for a "house of ill repute"?

    Maybe I'll start a chain of Hot 'n Nows outside of Vegas.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    The sad thing is the County Recorder of Deeds, City Assessor, City Tax Department, City Clerk, and everyone else I know all have the same contact information for this property owner. The tax dept says that they are behind in the taxes a few years, so I hope it goes to sale soon.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  9. #9
         
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    The sad thing is the County Recorder of Deeds, City Assessor, City Tax Department, City Clerk, and everyone else I know all have the same contact information for this property owner. The tax dept says that they are behind in the taxes a few years, so I hope it goes to sale soon.
    Just get the work done (remove the signs) and put a lien on the property. That way if it does go for sale you will be able to collect the $, otherwise if it sells soon or even if it doesn't you may run into the problem of a non-conforming sign, etc. If we don't get the obsolete signs removed quickly enough we end up hearing a sob story from the new business owner, then the councilman for the ward begin to hear it, next thing you know, the old ugly sign is able to remain. I would get the signs down now and collect the $ after the sale.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    What is a 'Hot n Now' anyways?
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN
    What is a 'Hot n Now' anyways?
    It was a low grade burger joint, similar to Rally's . They specialized in heart attacks in a bag.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner
    They have to be paying their property taxes somehow or else they would default. The assessor should be able to help I would think.
    Nope. And not the Register of Deeds either. They have the owners address at the time of the sales transaction. It is the owners obligation to update the record holder.

    Did you try the USPS National Change of Address database? It is a subscription service. Then again if the owner of the building is an LLC and not an individual, it would not work.

    Around here, you document your due diligence, post in the official paper, placad the building, then sek court order to enter the proeprty, and ultimately, comdemn.

    BTW - Any savy leaseholder would have put a forfeiture on default clause in that lease.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Jaxspra
    Just get the work done (remove the signs) and put a lien on the property. That way if it does go for sale you will be able to collect the $,
    Not necessarily true. At least in this state if a property goes to Sheriff's sale due to lack of back taxes, liens are void and we collect nothing.
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Consult the city attorney. You should be able to get a court order allowing you to enter the property and conduct any specified "health, safety, and welfare" work necessary. I followed this route in the past with tax-delinquent (abandoned) brownfield properties.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  15. #15
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Whose Yur Planner
    It was a low grade burger joint, similar to Rally's . They specialized in heart attacks in a bag.
    In addition to Michigan, they had a bunch of outlets in Wisconsin, including at least two here in the Appleton area. I never tried them when they were open.

    Mike

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Of course Stan knew about this website:
    http://www.djmasset.com/property/Yum/hnnlist.html
    and tried the contact information listed already ?
    Oddball
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    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
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  17. #17
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    [QUOTE=mgk920]In addition to Michigan, they had a bunch of outlets in Wisconsin, including at least two here in the Appleton area. I never tried them when they were open.

    We had them in Indiana as well.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  18. #18
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by JNA
    Of course Stan knew about this website:
    http://www.djmasset.com/property/Yum/hnnlist.html
    and tried the contact information listed already ?
    Yep... they did not list the Portage Store.

    I just wish that the property owner would remove the signs.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  19. #19
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    We had them back in South Carolina as well. They were drive through only joints, with a couple of picnic tables in front, that specialized in the $.39 hamburger and the $.49 cheesburger. With prices like those I'm sure the meat was of the highest quality.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    Yep... they did not list the Portage Store.

    I just wish that the property owner would remove the signs.
    Off-topic:
    Why do municipal planners have such a strong aversion to signs?! I have to admit I had that neurosis too when I was a municipal employee.


    But really, isn't the abandoned building a bigger eyesore than the abandoned sign?

  21. #21
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Whose Yur Planner
    It was a low grade burger joint, similar to Rally's . They specialized in heart attacks in a bag.
    Rally's? I think I heard of that one. But mentioning low-grade, I will attribute it to the old 29cent Hamburger Stand that were franchised in poorer areas of Colorado.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  22. #22
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Same Problem in Grand Rapids Area

    I work in a Township up near Grand Rapids and we also have one of the abandoned Hot N' Now properties. Out problem is that people now use the parking lot as a used car dealership.....after some research I found that a company out of Minneapolis called Sten Corporation bought the franchisor rights. However, when I spoke with the president of the Corporation he told me they had no interest in the real property and said he would forward my concerns to their Bankruptcy lawyer.....its been a week and I'm still waiting

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Jen's avatar
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    we have an abandoned H&N too, can't find the property owner but some one is cutting the grass and plowing the drive all year!

    From all the whining and handwringing I see, my city has no budget to take down a sign for a proeperty that might sit for years.

    In Michigan how long before a property goes to a tax sale? 2 -5 years?Regardless, it seems it takes longer than that for something to happen.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Finally

    Finally got someone to clean up the Hot N Now property. Someone got the name of the Bankruptcy Trustee and I shot him a letter.....not sure if he initiated the clean up but it got done.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  25. #25
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Chet
    Off-topic:
    Why do municipal planners have such a strong aversion to signs?! I have to admit I had that neurosis too when I was a municipal employee.


    But really, isn't the abandoned building a bigger eyesore than the abandoned sign?
    I just got read the riot act those same questions by the owner of our vacant Hot N Now building. Our ordinance, to make businesses remove their signs within 90 days of going out of business, is what the powers that be wanted, to make sure signs don't stay up rotting for years on end. The west end of our City has an interstate going through it and they wanted to clean up a little out there. That's why they also restricted the height to 25 feet, which is still pretty darn tall compared to other communities. Of course, then you get these property owners complaining that that is still way too short and want their 75 foot tall signs when they are right next to the off ramp.

    I told him to appeal to the ZBA and if he lost, to ask for a variance from the 90 day requirement. He then went on and on about how ridiculous our THIRTY DOLLAR ($30) variance fee is.

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