Well the plot thickens


#1

got to speak with the employee finally and got a bit more of the story…sort of.

I asked him how many awnings he stole and he said none. Backed that up with he had no ladder or alum frame pieces or uprights in his load. Totake these down, I’ve seen em go up over the roofline on a ladder and start at one side and unscrew the pans and then dismantle the frame and ledger. Doesn’t mean he didn’t do it, just adds credence to this part. There was a boneyard of pan only pieces in a secure (barbed wire) enclosure the Owners had for repairs,etc. When I asked if these came from there, he hung his head and did not answer me. I will drive there todayand see if these are stolen. It doesn’t make his theft any more palatable to me. Us or the Owner lost money…period.

My first reaction when Rick called me was correct, call the police and be done with it. Finding it was a person on the set up crew gave me pause. The Owner has given the guys carte blanch on taking any misc. scrap, furniture, steps (there are over 70 sets still there), augers, pvc pipe, etc. James convinced me on the phone the Owner gave him permission to take these pans. I called Kevin that day and the next day he called me back with the news he did NOT. Should have gone with my gut

Just a truly screwed up deal. I do not hate James, but I’d like the rest of the story…did he have a partner? Has he done this before? Taken other stuff? Without a definitive answer I’m at a loss. I’ve never had a situation like this. Forgiveness is fine and mentally I have forgiven James, but I want an accounting from him of exactly what he has stolen. The three Partners up there have lost tens of thousands worth of equipment off this job site and we ALL deserve an accurate count. The srap value of apps, and a/cs and alum is a very small portion of it’s true worth as you all well know

The owner seems not to care which I find odd. The place is getting picked clean. And technically he still owns these 9 homes until funded, we have a contract for sale on them.

I have never given up on a project before. Rick and I have worked tirelessly to sell these homes at a fair price. My fear is the homes will be picked clean since Friday is the last day anyone will live there anymore. All power is to be disconnected by the end of this month.

Any ideas on how to secure this Park?

Greg


#2

What would one cost, hook and pull, to Hartford, AL. Just unhook, get your certified check from the bank for the price, and what would two of those cost? What would the cost be for four? Thanks Rick and Greg. Good luck with James.


#3

Greg,

I really think the best bet is to strike a deal with someone like Fred, they pay the move cost and you cover the hold til you can resale, whatever it takes to get 'em outa the way of the scrappers that seem to be taking everything including what it’s tied down so to speak… As there will be no one to keep an eye out period I only see it getting worse!

If nothing else you could move them to Fred’s park and split the down stroke (or use it to recoupe some of the move cost) and sell the notes to Clayton Bank (last I talked to them they are paying about .70 on the dollar for bulk notes), this would help Fred get his lot rent coming in and get the homes outa harms way and putting cash in your pocket instead of worry’s in ya’ll’s mind.

I don’t know how the partnership is structured but I just don’t see the win-win being created with these last few homes sitting in an empty park that is being stripped… time to put on the creative hat. :wink:

Best wishes to all of you!

Ryan Needler


#4

Cost to transpo is 5 per mile or 1275 from gainesville to hartford. Will get you prices manana.

Ryan, we are trying to come up with something creative to move thes last few homes. Rick has been in touch with another Park Owner needing all 9 I believe and we have discussed doing partial finance. these are 90-95 age and most are 2/1 homes, metal on metal. some parts of GA won’t allow homes this age.

These are all wind zone II homes, they all need minor work but several of them are strong, well built units.

congats on being full on rents. what a great feeling that must be!

greg


#5

Greg,

You know I would help in any way possible, please, please call if you need my assistance in any way.


#6

I have been reading here about a month. It is interesting and think the people who post on the board give some good insight and advice. Now being objective, I think that the “partners” are giving it to Rick Lee and it just does not make sense. So according to Greg and the owner of the park they knew but did not care someone or someones were stealing them blind. That is a lot of stuff missing . Then Rick says it “looks like an inside job” , it would seem so. Then by chance Rick catches the guy red handed, and calls I would guess Greg Meade there is even some doubt that the guy was not stealing?, are u in Bizarro world. So the “owner” of the park might but did not give him permission, Greg did not give him permission, then the guy is stealing OR they knew and were taking Rick Lee to the cleaners. I cannot even follow the logic of Greg Meades statements,did he not know the guy was stealing or not.

. Rick lee on one post said he brought some panels back and said that is all I took. Then Greg suggests that the owner gave them permission to strip the park but I guess everyone but Rick lee knew about it. Rick, did you know the owner said it was okay to take all the items not nailed down? If that is the case why would not the partners wholesell the items or use it to alloccate to all the employees involved in some orderly manner other than first in, first to take {or steal} I would assume the owner of the park has sold the land and problay does not “care” as much as Rick Lee especially what happens to the mobiles, I think Rick Lee has an investment and interest in the fate of these mobiles. 24 airconditioners and appliances are missing and no one gets heated up. Then you catch a guy and he can talk his way out of it. Greg story about the boneyard being set aside for items but he gives permission to strip the place. Rick, why did not the owner and the other people tell you they gave permission to sell the remains of the park, did you know that. If that is true and knowing how people think I find it hard to believe they thought the guys would only take the crap and leave the valuable stuff just sitting there. I know that everyone will defend the actions of Greg but if the guy is as sharp as he seems, has been in the business as long as he has, at the very least he should have seen this coming or suspected after the first theft. Sorry but I do not buy this confusing, moral "forgive and forget (mostly forget) solution to a very strange set of circumstances. Rick, are you going to make enough money on this deal to be worth the time,money and effort . I hope so my friend cause you are one trusting man and surely a better man than me. Greg please let us know the outcome cause it sure looks bad from the outside looking in. Just makes no sense


#7

I’m not a big player on the board (or in the mobile game) for that matter but I can answer a few of your issues. I “dabble” a little compared to what most of the people do on this board and I hope to be where they are one day. Greg has posted, not only on this board, but another and his opinion is well respected. He didn’t just gain this respect because he decided to be a moderator of this particular board. He is well respected because he does this particular business everyday and has for years and his success speaks for itself. Although I’ve never been down to see Greg’s operation (hope this will happen someday), I’ve met many people who, at just one event, will speak on behalf of their success due to Greg’s help.

I really don’t mean to slam (degrade, embarass,etc.) anyone who posts on this board but I want to make sure that you understand how your comments may be taken. From what I’ve read so far, these guys are just much more forgiving than the average person. I’m sure they’ve learned a valuable lesson for future issues but they post to help everyone else from repeating the same mistakes or to get different opinions.


#8

Just the logic and facts do not match. If Rick lee wants to forgive and forget he is a good man. I just can not understand how this could all happen and no one was aware and when someone caught the issue is somehow “confusing” I still smell BS


#9

Hey, I can be forgiving with Rick s money. No problem.


#10

has left me and TJ just plain devestated. TJ’s exact response is," James going up there and stealing is EXACTLY the same as him loading up a trailer to one of OUR vehicles and US going up there to steal panels or awnings."

I agree. The problem is what to do about his theft.

There is no orderly process to break down and remove homes. We had 100 homes in the Park. The Park had another 30+ homes they are selling themselves (10 maybe left up there). Plus they moved another 54 individual owners homes to other Parks and private lots. We have sold 15+ homes to other Dealers that brought on TWO MORE sets of crews, toters, equipment.

The place looks like a war zone. Wide open double entry, 3 families still living in park…supposed to be gone this week. Piles of steps, porches, insulation, smashed pedestals, PVC pipe, insulation, and about a dozen older homes, wide open that are abandoned by the prior owners of the homes. The State gave these folks checks for their homes and they cashed em and took off.

Early on the Park owner gave us permission to take ANYTHING we wanted from these 100 homes. Rick Lee and I have spent very enjoyable times picking thru these homes for old computers, shelfs, etc. Some homes were fully furnished. The Owner also gave our crews carte blanche for any stuff left after homes are moved. STeps? I’ve given away 40 sets or more.

I am amazed that entire homes have not been stolen …yet.

The police do nothing. We caught a thief with a shopping cart full of stuff and they threatened to areest ME for holding him there. They wheeled the cart to me and said they gave him a trepass ticket.

TJ and I sent a crew up to remove A/C unit and place in homes. This worked fine until they threw blocks through the windows and stole them anyway. We live 70 miles from the park, we have crews up there maybe once a week now. I have no sweetheart deal with the Owner…I told him about James’ theft and he was very upset at me and TJ. Thiefs jimmied our office unit open and stole the keys to remaining homes… some had back doors removed. Everything we have tried has only worked for a while. We are out of answers. Finding out James was stealing was the straw. The total amount of stolen stuff is insane…and getting worse. I can guarantee james has not been back there, yesterday an A/c was jacked out of a home and sitting in driveway. I loaded in my truck and brought to our Yard. And yes i called owner and Rick Lee and TJ.

TJ an I owe Rick Lee AND Kevin an adjustment. The problem is to figure out how much.

The value of a 10 X 20 awning is approx 200 in scrap. It COSTS 900. It arguably adds maybe 250 to price of these remaining homes.

The conundrum is how much has he stolen from us? He swears on his life he has NEVER been up there before and has never removed an awning. The problem is once removed the awnings are indistiguishable from the pans in the lay down yard. No one involved in the Park has ever seen him up there before illegally. Does this mean he hasn’t stolen before? No, it doesn’t.

We are just sick. Every part of our business is suffering as we try to come

to grips this. Tj won’t even talk about it.

The thefts have occured since August. The park has sustained losses as have we, and the private owners. It is getting worse each day and I know no way to prevent it. We are not talking a few things. probably over 50 A/c’s were stolen or opened and copper coils removed. A perfectly good package unit destroyed for 20 worth of scrap copper. There are 20 “shells” still there.

The weekend I talked to James with Rick Lee holding him there at the park, Kevin said he will possibly give away some of the beautiful Sagos, basketball courts, and all the plumbing pipe and supplies in the lay down yard. He convinced me Kevin gave him the scrap alum in this yard. He has given them things before up there… he provides them Cokes and bottled water every day they are there. It was very convincing. I called Kevin immediately and next day he said he never did say that.

I t is a very messed up deal, we will continue to resolve it. That’s really all we can do at this point.

Beyond a doubt this makes TJ AND me look very bad. All I can do is go on and try to rectify the thing. Are we responsible for our employee’s actions? You bet. This brought home to us how much we have trusted our crews with keys to homes, tenant homes, customers homes, our homes. This has made us look at empowering our employees in a new light and i don’t mean this in a good way. Tj is really considering leaving the set up business over it.

I’ve only had a very few things happen in my life like this, and for that I am forever grateful.

Greg


#11

I just want to say this about all that. I have always known, at least since first incorporationg in 1973 in Delaware, and 1979 in Alabama, that partnerships are very restrictive, and the liabilitiy status is clearly insane. Do it with the correct vehicle if you’re an entreprenuer. Contracts are everything in business. I don’t know Rick Lee. I know he’s kind enough to answer his emails from me. Nor do I know Greage Meade, nor do I want to. He nevers answers my email. This business is not unique to folks that don’t know what they are doing, our nation is full of the same, so is the world, but…and notice I didn’t say however, grin…good business is where you find it, do the deal right, up and down, and you control the outcome of the venture. Most of yall spend too much time typing about deals instead of doing them. grin Yall come, Alabama is booming!!!


#12

br5 wrote:

I don’t know Rick Lee. I know he’s kind enough to

answer his emails from me. Nor do I know Greage Meade…

Bill -

Not to stir the pot, but more out of curiosity: weren’t you at Alabama MOM last year with your property Tina? If so, then you know, or at least were within spitting distance of, both Rick and Greg.

Rick -

Thank you for sharing this story with us.

I appreciate the warts and all education I get on this forum. When I finally jump into the MH business, I can’t say I wasn’t warned about the downsides!

Take care.

James Hagarty


#13

… This has been proven time, & time again…

Don’t judge me until you walk the speed bumps in my shoes…

I am thankful to God Almighty, that HE ALONE is my provider, and that He is not finished with me yet.

I am bought & paid for by the Blood, therefore, I cannot be cheated, it all belongs to God, take it up with Him.

This is not an easy place to get to, but once you are there, it ain’t bad at all.

Blessings to all,

Rick


#14

No James, it was not me. I had planned to travel to Troy last November, but there were too many good things going on in my own backyard. Alabama’s promise in this business is absolutely fascinating! I prefer dealing with tenants and rent-to-own buyers in mobilehomes, portable storage buidlings, greenhouses, playhouses, playground equipment, portable offices, and custom built portable hobby buildings and shops and carports and garages. If it’s a building needed on a home place, I want to bid on it, and finance it. Our motto is “we satisfy the customer everytime.” And we appreciate every check and money order and cash payment we get, every month. We never, and I mean never, refer to our clientele and customers as scum, (grin). I had planned to go to Albany in 2006 also, but just couldn’t make myself go that far to hear something I already understand. As a consultant, I charge for what this forum gives away, go figure. James my name is Bill Russell and can be reached at 334-651-0750 if I can ever help you in the Wiregrass area of southeast Alabama. Yall come!!! grin


#15

Rick, while I appreciate your outlook we are commanded to be good stewards of our finances. Surely all is in the hands of God but that does not mean we become numb to events in this world. It is called free choice and we make decisions including salvation. To let who ever get away with theft and dishonest actions is not Christianity it is foolish. Anyway, I would really look into who stole all the items especially the appliances and air conditioners. Why would this Greg and this TJ feel so responsible just because their set up guy stole? I just cannot follow the explanation of this Greg guy, it makes no sense. I bet the A/Cs and appliances are be stored somewhere by someone who sells used mobile homes and has the men and material to move it and store it. Couple that with the story about did James have permission (what permission to steal), what do we do, lets do nothing, poor James etc. and I think that it is clear something is not right to say the least. So great you are saved and true all that matters is your relationship with the Lord but you cannot just accept worldly matters as a predestined fate . Someone stole your stuff, you can personally forgive them but that does not mean the right action should not be taken. As Ronald Regean said trust but verify.


#16

"Why would this Greg and this TJ feel so responsible just

because their set up guy stole?"

As a business owner we are responsible for the actions of our employee’s, right wrong or indifferent our employee’s are an extension of us and their actions reflect on us directly… Granted, Greg and TJ didn’t steal the metal but being that their employee did as reputable business men they feel responsible to make outside contacts whole again.

This is the act of someone who cares about their reputation and how others perceive their business actions, just as a quick example from a non theft standpoint, one of our employee’s borrowed a power snake from one of the other property owners he works for in order to unclog one of our drains… we thought the septic tank was 40’ from the clean out so he ran the line that far. Long story made short there was an unmarked / unplatted tank that was 5’ from the home and the cable got bound in to a ball and had to be cut. Is this the cable owners fault, Nope. I didn’t run the line so is it my fault, Nope. Was the employee acting on my behalf? Yup. So who’s responsibility is it to replace the broken cable???

Though the two situations are completely unrelated the underlying problem is the same, an agent has created a loss that has to be recouped in some way or form. Wether we direct an employee to take a particular action or not, if they are on a job site and do financial harm to another party it is the business owner’s responsibility to make the other party whole again… This is one of the perils of being in business and a prime example of why good liability insurance is a critical part of protecting what we have all worked so hard to build.

Best wishes,

Ryan Needler


#17

Thank you for your observations, and comments.

I cannot make any one do any thing, right or wrong.

People are guided by their own moral compass, or the lack there of.

Sometimes there are other circumstances that may influence peoples behavior. Greed, peer pressure, drugs, love, medical, or other bills, public humiliation, the law, etc…

This includes, partners, and employees, subcontractors, and customers, kin, & police.

Also it makes, little sense to invest more time, energy, money & emotions, to pursue a grievence against someone, that will be difficult, if not impossible to prove.

I think that my energies will be better spent on the other irons, that I have in the fire. That I have not paid enough attention to, because I was trying to wrap this deal up.

It also reminds me to pray about these things, which, I shamefully admit, I did not do on this deal.

Since I have given this to the Lord, I therefore will not pick it back up.

Also thank you for the quote from our"Teflon President".

Blessings to all,

Rick

Post Edited (02-16-08 04:15)