Thursday, July 31, 2008

When Accomodators Go Bad
Here is an article on a 1031 accomodator who stole investor money. This is the third story like this I have heard in the past two years. The article details the principals' shady past and how they used short-term 1031 proceeds for personal use and nepotism. This is just horrible. One negative point about the article is that it blurs the line between the viability of an exchange and criminal accomodators. It quotes a woman who likely has lost significant sums:
"If I would have known any of this, I would have paid my taxes instead" of attempting a 1031 exchange, she says.
It is important not to mix the viability of an exchange and bad accomodators. Everyone who sells a piece of investment real estate, at minimum, needs to evaluate the benefits of paying the taxes versus the exchange, the exchange property's investement time horizon and the investor's time horizon, and potential estate tax issues. Only reputable accomodators, like large escrow companies, should be used, and sellers need to demand this.

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