This article was posted on Saturday, Feb 02, 2013

Dear AOA:

Gary Halbert elected to reprint an article from Forbes Magazine which is a right wing leaning publication.  Obviously he agreed with the article.  I challenge Mr. Halbert to produce an article he wrote or agreed with in the 8 years prior to Mr. Obama taking office that clearly talked about how Mr. Bush and his administration through their hands off policy was tanking the economy. Maybe I missed the article(s).  If your publication is going to allow such articles to be printed, at least print an opposite view.  By the way, Mr. Ferrara calls the situation that the president inherited a recession which any average observer knows that it was much more than that.   Your publication is good but I would wish that your contributors and or staff writers would remain apolitical unless an opposing view can be published.    Eugene J.

 Dear AOA:   

I just got screwed by the Shriver Housing Project. I need all landlords to know about this organization. A tenant bounced a rent check on me, couldn’t make it good and then asked for a jury trial. This outfit hopes to do something like 2,000 of these for the next three years. Landlords need to know about this BS scam going on.

I recently had a tenant represented by the Shriver Housing Project LA ( for a simple non-payment of rent on a correctly served pay rent or quit notice. The tenant was able to request a jury trial at no expense to them. The Shriver Project’s website explains that they wish to provide legal representation to low income families and individuals facing eviction. Their mission is to fight homelessness on a large scale. Is it fair for landlords to be subjected to a jury trial when tenants simply do not have the ability to pay the amount of rent due? What will happen if all landlords face expensive and time consuming jury trials for simple non-payment of rent? Are landlords responsible for providing free housing to help fight homelessness? In the end, I agreed to 4.5 months of free rent so I would not have to spend $4,500 and a few days of my life for a trial. Presenting the tenant’s bounced check in my case still did not protect me from a jury trial.

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At least with a scam you don’t know you are getting screwed. This works against low income tenants because I will now require double deposit for my lower income units and no longer give people the benefit of the doubt. If I will increase my deposits so will other landlords.  Todd P.                                                                                                            

 Hi Todd: This same thing has been going on up north for quite some time and there does not seem to be anything that we can do to stop it except writing a letter to your friendly political representative.  They seem to be within the letter of the law even though it is totally immoral and unjust.  But when have the politicians worried about that? Thanks for writing, Dan.

Beware of the Phony IRS Site

The Internal Revenue Service has issued a warning about a new tax scam that uses a website that mimics the IRS e-Services online site. The actual IRS page offers web-based services for the general public.

  • The phony web page looks almost identical to the real one.
  • The address of the official IRS website is
  • The fictitious sites claiming to be the IRS tend to end in .com, .net, .org or other designations instead of .gov.

Be aware that the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels.

It appears that it is not bad enough to have to deal with the IRS, but now one has to be careful as to what evil you are dealing with. Peter Muffoletto is with Peter Muffoletto & Company and may be reached at (818) 346-2160, or you can visit us on the web at

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