Below is a message posted by Jason Horton in May of 2015 (only recently brought to my attention). Though the message is at times remorseful and apologetic, it does tend to gloss over quite a few event's. He also offers quite a few insults directed at me (not a great negotiating tactic).
Several years ago, Mr. Horton called me at my home and asked me to remove various complaints about him and his wife that I had posted on complaint oriented sites.
He explained that they were attempting to rebuild their business, and once it was re-established they would then pay me what they owed.
I removed the complaints I could, and left the one's I could not. After waiting several years to receive compensation, it was obvious they had no intention of paying (the window of time to sue had passed and they knew that).
Ex-Con Jason Horton
A few months ago I noticed that there was a growing number of client complaints about the Horton's and their company; many clients felt trapped in exclusive contracts that they could not get out of with the Hortons, and the Horton's said some pretty horrible things to these clients in emails and on message boards (not exactly what one might expect from a licensed Brokerage). In one such message-board exchange, Jessice wrote a response to a clients complaint that would likely take twenty pages to print.
"What is a contract? It's a person's word put down on paper. Of course, if the person giving their word (with their signature) doesn't have any integrity... the paper—and the words written down on it—are: meaningless. Completely meaningless" - Jessica Horton to Client 2015
Jessica rambled on and on about the how contracts should be honored, and contracts were only as good as the word and integrity of the people entering into it. She castigated the client for wanting out of the contract she felt she had been duped into signing.
[I found this interesting, as the Horton's had themselves walked away from a written lease they had with me, a lease they had themselves insisted on. In May of 2008 the property they were to lease from me already had a tenant in it but his lease was up, and I chose not to renew it in order to lease the home to the Hortons. At the time, Jessica Horton was my Broker, and I was an agent working under her license. Her family needed a home, as they had just moved to Washington and the home they had arranged to live in was not working out. They entered into a written lease with me, for the home in May of 2008.]
Recently, I've been in contact with some of the Horton's disgruntled clients, and I have re-posted much of what I had posted years ago, in an effort to shed a little light on the Horton's and how they do business. It troubes me that a Real Estate Brokerage is being operated by a convicted felon, a man previously incarcerated on a Burglary charge, a burglary committed while in possession of a gun.
In Mr. Horton's statement below, you will see that he makes it clear that he handles his wifes business affairs, and she is his sole "client". Jessica Horton is listing homes for clients, without ever telling them about her husbands criminal history; in fact, she is suggesting to these clients that they use her husband to perform repairs in their home she feels are needed in order to expedite a sale of the home.
This affords a convicted felon, a man incarcerated for burglary, unfettered access to these clients home's and personal belongings. This strikes me as being ethically wrong.
In Jason's apologetic message below, he has offered to finally pay the money he owes, though I'm skeptical (as I've heard this all before), I'm willing to negotiate if that's what he sincerely want's. A great deal of what he has said in his message is simply untrue; events are fabricated that seemingly rid him of any intentional wrong-doing.
Fortunately, Jason's to lazy to go back and read the emails his own wife sent me, which contradict most of what he says. The emails are posted within his text and more at the bottom of the page.
While Jason's version of events certainly makes one feel sympathy for their plight, please bear in mind that I was at the time living in Iraq in a tent, in the summer time, which has temperatures higher than 130 degree's day after day; along with brutal sandstorms the likes of which most will only ever see in the movies. Then of course, there were the rocket attacks.
I too was broke, and saddled with two mortgage payments. I had barely arrived in Iraq when they stopped paying the rent and fled town. I spent every dollar I had in the world to travel back to Washington only to arrive at a home that was chock full of trash, food, and furniture. I paid a man $500 just to help me load the trucks with trash and go to the dump.
I had just two weeks to get the house back in order and rented before I had to return to Iraq, or loose my job. The home sat empty for four months, and I had to pay another realtor a $2,800 fee just to find another renter. So my sympathy for the Hortons situation is minimal.
Now they call me a coward for fighting this battle online, when in fact it was my only option. I had no money for lawyers, and they fled to Georgia; the lease was written in Washington, and I was in Iraq. So how else could a person in such a situation fight for the money he was owed?
I will say this, there are no cowards going into war zones voluntarily,....none. Cowards run from trouble, they run from their problems, and they lie to cover their previous lies.
Mr. Horton can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Offer to Settle
Which He Later Rescinded
I would like to start off my response by saying: this is not a 'rebuttal'. Even though I think A LOT of what you've written is: purposefully inflamitory, highly sensationalized and slightly exaggerated (using a euphemism).... It was meant for one purpose and one purpose only: to controversalize Jessica--and to destroy her business.
Well, I am not here to refute what you've written. Two wrongs don't make a single right. And trying to address that... well, it will only make you dig your heels in deeper. And this isn't my purpose—at all.
My purpose is to do a right thing in the right way. Despite the wrongs that have been committed against my wife and her business--by you (and you know what all you've done and how you've done it.). To address this issue--head on--and to offer reconcillation.
Solutions. Not slander.
Yes, it is true that we did come to Bellevue, Washington in 2008. We actually came in February of 2008. I remember this very specifically because: we pulled out of our driveway on Jessica's birthday. I remember it very well.
Yes, it is true that Jessica was hired to be the broker of the real estate company that Mr. Creel worked at. Actually, it was quite the honor. The owner knew thousands and thousands of agents and real estate brokers—all across the United States—but he selected my wife, Jessica Horton, to be the broker of his struggling company. If I'm not mistaken, he had actually seen my wife speak on the subject of: 'Buyer's Representation in the online age', when she was a guest speaker for the National Association of Realtors and the Real Estate Buyer's Agency Counsel. This was back in 2006. Jessica had been selected by Realtor(r) Magazine as one of the top 30 agents—in the entire United States.
The owner had seen her speak at the Annual Conference of the NAR and been impressed by her determination... how she had grown up in a trailer and worked her way—from nothing—to the youngest--female--owner of a RE/MAX franchise (at least she was at that time) in the world. He very much liked her aggressiveness and her willingness to try new things. And that she wasn't afraid to fail... to make mistakes. Because that is how you learn.
Actually, the job offer was the answer to our prayers. See: what you to refer to as a “trail of broken promises in Griffin, Georgia; as well as lawsuits, frozen assets and frozen bank account...” was the litigation that Jessica was involved with her former partners. They attempted to use the legal system—like a club—to try and get their way. They expected Jessica just to lay down and play dead when they pulled out the “Big Guns” [high powered attorneys]. They expected her to just roll over and cave into their demands.
She did not.
What did she do? Well, what she didn't do was: go online and cry about her problems. How people owed her money. How people weren't doing what they were supposed to do. She didn't go and copy and paste volumes and volumes of private e-mails... she didn't scan corporate documents and contracts and post them for the world to see how she was a 'victim' of people. She didn't try and ruin them. She didn't try and attack their business. She didn't try and hurt their families.
No, she fought them—legally. Not like some online vigilante... some coward who hides behind a computer... No, she addressed it in the proper venue. The legal way. The correct way. She submitted to the authority--of the courts--and didn't try and take the law into her own hands.
The initial lawsuit was filed in the incorrect venue by her partners. This was done intentionally. Strategically. Maliciously. Like I said: they didn't expect Jess to fight back. But. They were wrong...
My wife is a fighter. And that's exactly what she did: she fought back--and won the lawsuit.
Yes, bank accounts were frozen. It was part of the litigation. Jessica was an officer [president and Ceo] of the corporation. And because she was an officer of the corporation, her wages could be viewed as belonging to the corporation. So, that meant: if she sold a house... she couldn't be paid for it. Not while the litigation was going. In other words: they [her former partners] were attempting to starve her into submission. Force her hand into settling. And by 'settling' I mean: giving them what they wanted. Sound familiar?
Furthermore, Jessica couldn't break away and form a new real estate company. Why? Because any--and all--current (or past) clients could be viewed as being the 'property' of the corporation. But not only that... any future business could be argued as “being a result of her previous relationship with the corporation.”
To put it in layman’s terms: she was between a rock and a hard place. She was in a “damned if I do. Damned if I don't situation."
Real estate was all that she knew how to do. Real Estate marketing is what I did for a living. My clients used to be some of the top agents in the area. But. After Jessica got her license... she became my only client. I concentrated—pretty much exclusively—on her career. All our eggs were in a single basket...
Foolish? Yes. But. We live and we learn....
And the litigation brought us to our knees. We honestly didn't know how we were going to make it. How we were going to survive. Litigation is expensive. We had invested heavily into Jessica's company... we didn't see a single way out.
So, imagine our surprise when: the phone call from Bellevue, Washington came!
When—completely out the blue—a job opportunity came our way. A job for Jessica and myself. The salary was slightly less than what were used to, but some bonuses and 'perks' were factored in. So, yes, we accepted it in a heart beat. Quite frankly: it was answer to our prayers.
The owner of the Bellevue Washington real estate company paid for all our travel and moving expenses. It took two trucks (a 26ft moving truck and a 16ft moving truck)—completely loaded down—to get us out there. It wasn't cheap. But the owners paid for it all—completely.
We were excited.
Well, that excitement faded—quickly. When we arrived, things weren't exactly the way we had been told they would be. For starters: our housing situation was supposed to be already handled. Completely worked out. Taken care of.
It was not.
We ended up spending several days living in a hotel (with all our stuff packed up!). And when the house--that we had been promised from the beginning—was finally made available to us... it also came with a very unexpected guest: the owner's son (a grown man) was living in the garage/shed. It had been converted into an efficiency apartment. As a parents with two small children that love to play outside in the yard... this wasn't exactly the ideal situation.
It was a very strange and stressful situation. It was creepy.
But we had just traveled 3,000 miles across the country. We were tired of living in hotels and suitcases... we were ready to get unpacked and settled in. Very ready to get on with the next phase of our lives...
I will make a long story short: things weren't exactly what we imagined and the living conditions were not working. Mainly because someone—either the owners of the property or their son—kept coming into our home while we weren't home. It was a bit disconcerting to say the least.
Again, it was creepy as all get out.
And, yes, despite a few 'encounters' with you, as a real estate agent, and my wife, as your broker had at the real estate office... you did, in fact, graciously agree to rent us your home. This is true. You had a beautiful home and we were very happy there. It was our intent to stay for a very long time. It really was, Michael.
However, I'm sure we all know the saying: “The road to hell was paved with good intentions.” Despite the production of the agent in the office increasing almost 300% under the leadership of my wife (agents who had never closed a single transaction were now selling homes!)... it still wasn't enough to keep the company going. At least not with how some of the company's money was being utilized and spent... There's a lot that I could say about this, but ultimately it doesn't matter. It was the owner's company and they could do with it as they pleased.
And they did...
The owners approached Jessica about a possible merger with another real estate company. They wanted Jessica to 'sell' the agents on the idea of the merger. Jessica was to go to the new company and be the 'recruiter' and trainer. I was to continue to handle advertising and marketing and various other administration functions. Her salary was to remain the same and my salary (plus all back pay that was currently owed to m) was to finally kick in.
Unfortunately, after Jessica convinced 90% of the agents to go along with the merger... it was revealed to us that they [the owners] were only “brain storming” when they had previous mentioned salaries and compensation. They were just “talking out loud” and “floating some ideas” by to us. After further consideration (that we weren't included in)... Jessica's salary was to be reduced by over 50% (with bonuses for production) and they still couldn't afford to pay me.
Well, as you can imagine: this was not acceptable to us. Not in the least. We were barely getting by at our current income. And I was pretty much working 40 – 60 hours a week pro bono. There was no way in the world that we could get by on this “minor reduction” in salary.
Now, I'm going to just tell it like it is: I panicked. Me. Jason Horton. I wanted to pack up and head back home—back to Georgia. I had enough of the owner of the real estate company and all the little games they liked to play. Jess wanted to stay and make things work. For us to find other jobs. For her to even start selling real estate.
We did—in good faith—approach you. Immediately. We made you aware of what was going on very quickly. And of course you were not very happy about the news. And that is understandable. You were thousands of miles from home... in a very harsh environment... and quite frankly: you didn't need the extra stress.
And you did try and work with us. You did. However, you wanted the full payment (or very close to it) and would see about working with us the next month. However, I looked at the numbers and it would have wiped us out—almost completely.
When you were told this... it didn't go over very well. And that is understandable. You had every right to be upset. Every right. You had two people in your home...that probably wouldn't be able to pay on time. We tried to figure out some 'win-win' solutions, but none of them were acceptable to you. Again, this is understandable. You had a contract. You didn't need a compromise. You needed the contract to be honored.
I get that. Fully.
But. Life isn't alwas perfect. In fact, it rarely ever is.
We just didn't have the money. We really didn't. Jessica didn't get paid her last months worth of salary. Her entire salary. I wasn't being paid. And we had several thousands of dollars that were owed to us for covering—out of pocket—business expenses for the company.
And I think emotions got a little charged on both sides. You were in a stressful position. We were in in a stressful position. And things escalated...
Things escalated and you told us to make sure that we were out of your home by the time your plane landed. The implication was there would be trouble.
I see you failed to make mention of this fact.
--------------------------- Email I sent to Jessica Horton --------------------------
I'm really not an emotional person to be honest with you. I merely handle problems based on "worst case scenario" assumption. As I said in my earlier email, if you can fix your situation in Bellevue, and stay, thats great. I prefer that.
I will say however, saying "Take your emotions out of it and think" is somewhat of an amusing statement, having read your recent rants to Jon. Though I did enjoy reading them.
You two let me know what I should do. It'll take me at least a week to get there from the day decide to go. I don't care to go, because I really wanted to see my wife in a month. I did receive the statement from the water company, and I have the bill. I believe our portion was a bit over 200, and its duly noted.
Good luck to you, you've got the weight of the world on your shoulders, but you strike me as one that can handle it.
Now where does one glean "You better be gone when my plane lands!" from this email? I would love to see the unaltered email that supports this absurd claim.
But. I'm not here to get into that. I'm not here to make excuses. Because: regardless of what you told us to do (and you did tell us to get out of your house!)... that doesn't matter. We had a contract.
And even if you told us to get out... that wasn't the legal answer.
But. I can look you right in the face and tell you: I wanted to do right by you. I didn't want to put you through any additional harm or inconvenience. I didn't want you to have to wait. I honestly felt that us moving out would allow you to get the home rented out quicker. I really did.
Anyway... you told us to make sure we were out of your house by the time you landed. And we did. As best as we could. Except I didn't have the money to move us back. I barely had enough for one moving truck (remember it took two to move us out there). And I certainly couldn't afford to pay movers. So, some of our family flew out and drove the one truck back.
I busted by bottom getting that one truck loaded and packed up. And I pretty much did it all by myself. I was exhausted. I was tired. I was wore out.
What I couldn't fit into the truck... I tried to sell. What I couldn't sell... I tried to give away.
I'm not sure what happened. The maintenance guy (at the real estate office and who you used as your personal handyman) was supposed to come in and move out the remaining furniture.And there was some nice furniture. He was supposed to take it as partial payment....
-------Excerpt from Email Jessica Horton Sent Regarding that Same Furniture------
The items were left because I honestly thought that they could be sold to help you. I know that I could have gotten a couple hundred dollars for the couch and love seat if I had stayed longer. I thought you could sell it and get some money. - Jessica Horton (email at bottom of page)
We had just made a very large bulk food purchase at Costco before we found out that we weren't going to get paid.... that the merger wasn't going to go as planned for us. And there was probably a $1,000 worth of food there. The maintenance man was supposed to take the food also (he had like 4 or 5 kids at home with him) as part of his payment. The leftover furniture and food were supposed to cover the cost of moving the rest of the stuff off. Dumping any trash. And doing some minor repairs around the house.
I don't know what happened. I don't know why this didn't happen. I really don't. It was my understanding that he would handle it. I can only speculate... and I won't do that. It's not productive.
But. It doesn't matter. The point is that you said that it didn't happen. And all I can say is: I apologize and I'm sorry. From the bottom of my heart I'm truly sorry. BUT. That was my call. Not my wife's call. It was mine. I am the one that is responsible. Not her.
It was my mistake. It was my error. All the way. Not hers.
However, Michael, you DID tell us to get out of your house... and I was glad to do it. For a lot of reasons. - I'm still waiting to see this email - mwc
01.) I wanted to get back home. To a place where even if we didn't have anything...we would have family. Family to help us out. Family to help us get back on our feet. We had NOBODY out there. And I'm not blaming anyone for that. It was our choice to go. But we were 3,000 miles away from our family and the only life that we've ever known. Ever. If it came down to be being broke 3,000 miles away from home and being broke and being near our family... being near a real estate market that we completely understood... we would choose home. It was the natural choice. And I think that most people--in our shoes--would have made the same choice.
02.) Plus, I didn't want any confrontations with you. You were upset. You had every right to be upset. Every right. But. I didn't want any problems with you, Michael. And there would have been problems if we had met—face to face. Guaranteed. We had enough going on without an altercation erupting. - Does my email posted above sound like an angry hostile man heading home to a confrontation? - mwc
03.) And I really thought us getting out would be the most helpful thing for you. I really did. The quicker we got out.. the quicker you could get it rented back out. The quicker you wouldn't have to worry about it.
I made arrangements—as best as I could—to have everything handled. I did the very best that I could with what I had to work with. Again, I apologize that things didn't happen. I really don't understand what happened. I made the proper arrangements. I don't know why Don didn't come and clean everything out. I really don't. Again, all I can do is apologize. - The man they claim that they gave all of these things to, was the same man that helped me move the junk out. He never made mention of being given the property, nor did he want it. I offered it to him myself. - mwc
As much as I want... I can't change the past. All I can do is learn from it and move forward.
We got back to Georgia and we tried to pick up the pieces. Starting completely over is never easy, but the market went from bad to worse....
The litigation was finally over, but the expenses and experience crippled us. Ruined us. We lost it all. Our house. Our cars. What little we had left...
All that we had was each other. Jess, the kids and myself.
The local economy was in the toilet...
I worked various odd jobs...
Jess continued to do her best to sell real estate. It was all she knew how to do.
And our kids? They witnessed their entire life vanish. Completely. Gone. Everything that they had every known was gone. And we were left destitute. It was so bad that we [Jess and myself] spent several weeks living in a camper that our family owned (while our kids stayed in the house with our family). But you know what? That was okay. Because we still had each other...
And you know what else? We came to realize something: As tragic as everything was... we realized that we had spent our entire life with the wrong values. While we were chasing after money over everything else... we missed the most important things. See, we both had grown up rather poor... not poverty poor, but poor. And for the first time in our lives... we had stuff. And we liked it. I guess it became like a drug—we wanted more and more and more...
And we had to lose everything to find what's really important. The things that truly matter in life.
And, of course, you contacted us several times about money. But. I was still too proud and arrogant to tell you how bad our situation really was. You wanted to settle. You wanted payments. We just didn't have it. We were barely getting by.
I wanted to pay you. But. I just didn't have it. I really didn't. But. I also didn't want you to know how bad we had it. I didn't want you to know how badly we were suffering.
But Jess and I both kept pushing... we kept working our way out. We did the best we could with what we had. Never taking a penny of welfae, food stamps or any governmental assitance. There were times when I had to walk to get places. When my boss had to pick me up to get to work. There were times when I had to rent Jess a car just so she could show a home and hopefully sell one.
And I will be honest: I should have done a better job of communicating with you. I should have. I should have kept you in the loop. I should have been honest about our situation with you—and the lawyer that you had call us.
But. I honestly believed... if we just kept pushing... if we just kept working hard... if we just did more... if we were just more competitive.... that we would EVENTUALLY dig ourselves out the hole.
I really believed that. Jess and I both did.
And I know what I was thinking: “Just give me some room! Just let me get out of this mess... just let me get on my feet—just a little... just let me see a little daylight at the end of the tunnel... THEN! I will be able to take care of you (and others).”
You were calling... e-mailing...
(it's not necessary for me to mention all the things that you did to Jess. Some of the things that you posted online. Some of the people you gave her number to... Some of the ads you ran for her... You know what you did. And you'll have to live with those things. Just as I have to live with the choices that I've made. I'm not here to judge you. That's between you and God. Not me.)
Others were calling too...
I felt like the walls were closing in on me... I just needed some space... some time... some room... and we would eventually work our way of the mess...
I was under so much pressure...
So much stress...
So much anxiety...
I felt so helpless..
All I cared about was: us. And that was wrong. I should have thought of you—and others. But. I didn't. Even if I couldn't afford to pay you (and I couldn't). It wouldn't have cost me anything to tell you the truth about our situation. But. That would have cost my pride dearly... I didn't want you to know how badly we had it.
So, I didn't tell you. I ignored you. And you know what? I was wrong. I made a lot of mistakes. And for that I am sorry. But. I am the one who made them, Michael. Me. Not Jessica. And certainly not her brokerage. Her real estate brokerage in Georgia had NOTHING to do with this. Nothing. Nothing at all. But. You know this. And you knew exactly what you were doing and why... However, again, that's on you.
But. The point is: you knew what you were doing. That's why you came after Jessica's business. It was the easiest and quickest way to hurt us. To cripple us. It would do the most damage in the least amount of time.
But I don't blame you. I even understand why you did it. Other people had done the same to you. Some pretty nasty and ugly things have been said about you—by others—online. I'm sure you knew—firsthand--the effect it would have. And that's why you did it.
And I will be honest with you about something else: I thought that our lives were over. I really did. That we were going to be ruined. But the strangest thing happened: people started extending us grace. Mercy. Charity. Compassion. They would read the report and I guess they felt sorry for us... I don't know... but they extended kindness to us—when we didn't deserve it. And it was such a beautiful thing.
Yes, there are those who have tried to use this report to hurt us. And, yes, some of them have even been successful. But. That doesn't matter. That's a reflection of who and what they are. That's a reflection of their souls... Not ours.
And I have more than enough to say grace over--in my own life.
And that's what recently dawned one me.... My attitude--towards you--had been: “Screw it! He attacked us. He attacked my wife. He attacked her business. He did a wrong thing in the wrong way. I don't owe Him a thing! Nothing! He was Shylock and took his pound of flesh. He tried to hurt us... So, you know what? lex talionis... and eye for an eye... I'm done”
Meaning: we hurt you. You hurt us. We're even.
I was so angry at you for all the things that you've done to my wife. I can't tell you the times that I've considered coming to Washington to find you...
You terrorized the woman that I love. The mother of my two children. You didn't want justice... you didn't want fairness.... you wanted to hurt... to terrorize... to make her suffer... You wanted to inflict pain. Serious pain. You wanted to shame her. Humiliate her. And you didn't care how you id it.
And I wanted to do the same to you. More. Except I didn't want to do it on a computer. No. I wouldn't to see you... up close and personally.
And I hated you. Despised you. I was becoming full of bitterness and hate too.
But. God was working in my life. And then I FINALLY realized: “that's not right. It's not right at all. It doesn't matter what you did to us. It doesn't matter why. It only matters what we do.”
And that's when I realized: “Jason, even if Michael told you to get out of the house... even if he came online and viciously attacked your wife and her business... YOU are still responsible for your choices. For your actions. For your response. For your decisions. For your obligations.”
It doesn't matter what you've done. And, we both know: you've done a lot to her. A lot.
And you know what? I forgive you. Jess forgives you also.
After all that you've done...
After all that you've said...
After all that you've participated in...
I encourage you to pick up the phone and call me. You have my number. And lets discuss your compensation. And if you don't want to actually call me... e-mail me and we'll come to some type of arrangement--and handle all the logistics And we'll reach a settlement.
So, the question is: what will make this right for you? What will set you straight--financially? What number will make you whole again? What dollar amount will reimburse you for your pain and suffering?
What is owed to you? What do you feel should be coming to you?
Is there a number, Michael? Will money actually solve this problem? I don't think it will. Personally, I think the money is nothing more than a ruse... It was never about the money. It was about dominating Jessica. Putting her under your foot. Shaming her. Controlling her.
But you know what? It doesn't matter. That's on you. If you want money... I will give you money. Call me and lets discuss a price. A settlement for you. Today.
Of course, if this isn't really about the money... it's about something else... then none of this will really matter—at all. You'll just come back with more attacks... You'll figure out a way to rationalize and justify your abhorrent behavior...
We did wrong to you... so, you're entitled to do wrong back. Right????
But. That's on you. I'm not responsible for you. I'm only responsible for myself.
I'm here to try and make it right. I thought we had settled this years ago. I really had. You and I. When we spoke on the phone. However, I see that you haven't gone away. You've only been laying dormant. Skulking in the shadows. Waiting...
In closing, I apologize, Michael. I don't expect you to understand the incredible pressure that we were under. I really don't. And I pray that you—and everyone reading this—will never know that pressure. It's intense. It's painful. And that's a mile they never want to have to walk... not in my shoes...not in theirs...
I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Not even you.
But ultimately... I'm the one to blame. Not Jessica. Not her business.
You want money... call me. We'll get this settled--today. Man to man.
However, if you only want your pound of flesh... then I'm sure you'll continue to get it. I don't have any doubts about it--at all.
But. I'm offering you your money. And I'm doing so knowing: this report (and others) won't ever go away. Ever. Our own personal little scarlet letter...
So, the only questions that remain are: will you accept our apology and try and reach terms with me. Or, will you continue down the path that you've chosen. See: Jess and I didn't have a choice. You told us to leave. To get out of your house. And we didn't have the money to pay you. But. You had a choice.
You have a choice now also.
And it's your choice to make—completely.
Again, I really am sorry. I regret that things ended so badly. But. I'm the one to blame. Not Jess. Not her business. This was my failure. Not hers. I'm the one to blame. The buck stops with me. And if you what is owed to you... call me. Lets talk. Man-to-man. Lets make you whole.
Thank you for your time,
Jason Lewis Horton
May 28, 2015
Below are the actual emails exchanged between me and Jessica Horton during the time Jason claims I was a hostile and angry man telling them to get out of my house before I get home.
Nowhere does Jessica mention this story about the handyman that was gifted all of the items left behind in exchange for cleaning the home. In fact, she states the items were left behind for me in the belief that I could sell it all of and apply those funds towards their debt. A landlord cannot do that, as I explained to her in the last email.
Jason Horton molds and shapes his stories in a manner that always makes him and his wife sound like two good people just trying to do the right thing. Yet, at the same time, they simply cannot stop lying to people. These emails are today still stored in Yahoo servers, they cannot be altered. I have no need to lie about any of this; they have every reason to. The emails speak for themselves.
OnWed, 9/3/08, Jessica Wynn Horton wrote:
From: Jessica Wynn Horton Subject: To: "CreelRealty" Date: Wednesday, September 3, 2008, 9:28 PM
It would be very hard for me to come up with $2,800.00 this month. I have not been paid. I have not gotten my reimbursements that are just about equal to your rent.
Jon, isn't going to pay me anything that he owes me just to make me go away.
I have put in a call to my attorney back in Georgia to see where we are on my counter proposal for settlement. That would be a quick source of funding for me if I can get that wrapped up.
I need to know what your next move is, I have to start arranging my trip back if need be
From: Jessica Wynn Horton Subject: Re: ?? To: email@example.com Date: Thursday, September 4, 2008, 9:50 PM
At this juncture, I see no other option but to move out completely and try to get the house rented out. I will get it taken care of immediately. While it certainly is your right to fly back...I don't understand how that can help matters. But, that is your choice.
I will get money to you ASAP . I know that isn't what you want to hear but there isn't a whole lot that I can do. I am owed more than just my pay check. I am owed several thousands of dollars in reimbursements.
I will have my things out by Saturday.
Jessica vanishes shortly after this email exchange and cannot be located by anyone. I had no way of knowing if she has in fact left or not.I then finally get a response to an email after flying home. All of the blinds are drawn and doors locked. - mwc
There are people claiming that some of the items you left behind were sold to them, and they never received them.. What are these items?
Also, although I've yet to gain entry into my home for lack of keys, I did notice outside that someone kicked all of the lattice work out of the benches on the back deck. Are you aware of that?
Where are the second set of keys?
OnWed, 9/24/08, Jessica Wynn Horton wrote:
From: Jessica Wynn Horton Subject: Re: Sold Items To: "CreelRealty" Date: Wednesday, September 24, 2008, 6:19 AM
I apologize for the delay but I've not had access to my computer the last couple of days.
1. Yes, Amber did buy my dining set (not yours) and her sister came and picked up the table and chairs. She was supposed to come right back and pick up the rest (china cabinet and 2 servers) but she didn't. She then later called and said that they would not be able to make it back...they were going on vacation.
She wanted to know if I would refund a portion of her money and I told her, "no!". She was to call me when she got back in town and I never heard back from her until I had already moved out.
So, I told her to make arrangements with Ardell or I would either credit her a portion of the money back later on (when I can afford it) if she was not able to get the stuff. Technically...it belongs to you now and that is up to you if you give it to her.
You would be able to sell it on craigs list for a few hundred dollars. The same with the couch. Ardell was supposed to get with you about the staging items in the bedroom next to the master bedroom. I ran out of room to store stuff and couldn't fit any more.
2. I am not aware of any such damage to any latice work.
3. Ardell has your keys and has been in the house on at least 1 occassion. You told me to cooperate with her and I did. She asked me to please leave the keys where she could get them and I did.
4. As far as a second set of keys...I NEVER got any keys from you or your wife. The only keys that I got were from the renter. Ever. Jason tried to get a set from her on the day we started moving in and she told him that she would have to get back with him on that. So, when the renter moved out...he got them from him. Now, there is some sort of keys in a drawer that still has a lot of your stuff in in it...it is in the kitchen. We never messed with that drawer or your stuff. We just left it like it was.
I hope this helps answer your questions. I am working on my end to help get you squared away.
My preference would be for you to sell them off and apply it to my debt. I know that you will be honest about the amounts collected.
I would prefer to handle her on a personal level for a reimbursement...which would be secondary to you collecting monies owed. You have been greatly inconvenienced and she made a choice not to come back that night (as discussed) and to go on vacation. So, I am not being coldhearted...but it was a matter of priorities for her.
They might be the keys in the drawer. I don't know. I am not aware of any such deal being made and left for us. I am only aware of getting the key to the front door from the renter. There is a set of keys in the kitchen, in a drawer. We never used them.
So I ask you, where is this angry hostile Mike? Where is the intimidation for them to leave the house quickly? I did everyting a person could possibly do to accomodate and assist the Horton's with their problems, and for it I got nothing. I got lies, excuses, and accusations. Everything they have caimed I did and said is a fabrication, and these emails prove that. In fact, the only time you will see profanity in these emails is from Jessica Horton.
She showed herself to be a vulgar melodramatic bully, and that is exactly what her clients are saying about her. Jason claims my business was with him, not her; show me a single email ever exchanged between Jason Horton and me at the time of the lease inception, or the breaking of the lease.
As I've told Ardell in regards to Amber, Washington law prohibits me from handing out a tenants belongings (see below) and as you said, she apparently abandoned the items and has left them stored at my house for months.
I'll take a look at them today when I get in the house and see what to do with them. To sell them or even give them to Amber (which I'm not inclined to do at this time) I'll need something in writing from you. The money would go towards your debt.
The latice was likely kicked out by one of the children to gain access under the benches. Looks like a spot that would entice a kid, and kids tend to do such things. Its not a huge expense, I'll send you pictures of it. You can see the latice broken to bit lying under both benches. ________________________________ Washington Law
When a rental has been abandoned, the landlord may enter the unit and remove any abandoned property. It must be stored in a reasonably secure place. A notice must be mailed to the tenant saying where the property is being stored and when it will be sold. If the landlord does not have a new address for the tenant, the notice should be mailed to the rental address, so it can be forwarded by the U.S. Postal Service. How long a landlord must wait before selling abandoned property depends on the value of the goods..
If the total value of property is less than $50, the landlord must mail a notice of the sale to the tenant and then wait seven days.
Family pictures, keepsakes, and personal papers cannot be sold until 45 days after the landlord mails the notice of abandonment. If the total value of the property is more than $50, the landlord must mail a notice of the sale to the tenant and then wait 45 days. Personal papers, family pictures and keepsakes can be sold at the same time as other property.
The money raised by the sale of the property goes to cover money owed to the landlord, such as back rent and the cost of storing and selling the goods. If there is any money left over, the landlord must keep it for the tenant for one year. If it is not claimed within that time, it belongs to the landlord. If a landlord takes a tenant's property and a court later determines there had not actually been an abandonment,\the landlord could be ordered to compensate the tenant for loss of the property, as well as paying court and attorney costs.
My keys have the garage door opener on them, the tenents had the garage door type that clips on a visor. So I can tell which set Ardell has today. My wife says she took the keys over there and put them on the kitchen counter, so hopefully they will turn up. I've had a cold ever since returning, so I'm not on top of my game today. My wife has returned from China as well.
It's incomprehensible that you left so much personal material in my house. Also, Ardell said you told her you were on vacation; is that true??? I literally have to pay someone to take bags of garbage to the dump.. Do you have any explanation?
On Thu, 9/25/08, Jessica Wynn Horton wrote:
From: Jessica Wynn Horton Subject: Re: Sold Items To: "CreelRealty" Cc: "Ardell" Date: Thursday, September 25, 2008, 6:38 AM
John and Sara did not make payment on the moving truck and I had no choice but to let it go back to the company. It really ticks me off because the little asshole used it personally to move from Bellevue to Seattle and stalled me on the payment. Then he refused to make a payment. So, I had no way of hauling it off because AS USUAL, I couldn't get in touch with Don to haul it off.
When I spoke to Ardell last, it was mentioned that I took my kids to see Mount Rushmore because I was in South Dakota. I was in South Dakota because I have a very good friend there that owns a real estate company and I needed some help and they came through for me by offering me help. I hardly constittute paying $10.00 for a SEASON PASS for Parking at Mount Rushmore as a damn vacation.
See, I had to home school my kids because it was too late to go back to Georgia because school started a full 4 and almost 5 weeks ago and I had no idea where I would be living in Washington at the time.
So, not that it is any of your business where I roam...but I was teaching my kids about the presidents and the policies that they had while in office as to why they were selected for the monument. It's not a vacation...I assure you. If I was on a vacation I wouldn't be anywhere near the North West. I would be on the beach in St. Augustine or down in Orlando. But, I'm not. I am working on trying to get you squared away.
You can either believe that or not. At this point...I'm growing a bit tired of always trying to do the right thing and doing the best that I can with what I have to work with.
It always seems to not matter and everybody always looks out for themselves any way. Maybe I should just adopt a "well screw you buddy" attitude like the rest of the world.
But, try as I might...I'm just not like that. I still believe in trying to do the right thing. You will come up with a figure and we will begin working on compensation. It isn't perfect. It isn't fair. But that is just life. I assure you what happended to me wasn't fair either but I am doing the best that I can do.
After 3 days of working all day, we're within sight of completion. I've patched the damaged walls and will paint them, I cannot repair the water damaged floor behing the fridge; I gave Don a few misc items and 500 cash thus far in exchange for his help, but will need additional assistance.
I can't find anyone to buy your furniture (I've tried) and I can't leave it in the home because it could lessen the amount of rent I can get.
I've rented a second storage unit and put some of your items in there with mine, the cost of the storage is 140.00 per month. Items such as the various Christmas ornamentation, various wall hangings, and candle holders I will likely discard or give away as you previously suggested.
We have completly filled a 15 ft Uhaul with trash I have to take tp the dump tomorrow. Tomorrow I get to clean out your make-up drawer, and do something with your husbands bar-b-q pits.
I am curious when you plan to pay me any money.
Again, They Were Never Told to Leave, They Simply Left!
I'll iron out a payment plan and send it to you, but I need some idea of the most you can pay, and on what regular intervals. Its a waste of time, and a cause of additional ire to iron anything out if it all boils down to pay what you can when you can.
What makes me so angry Jessica, is that there was no justification for not at the very least placing all of your items in the garage. I've had two back surgeries with a total of 4 disc fused together and a titanium plate in my neck. I shouldn't have to carry your sofa, and drage 80lb bags of trash around. I never served you an eviction, and yet that house looked like someone left because the police were on their way.
Thats what has irked me the most. Food in the fridge, makeup in the drawers, food in the pantrys, fridge in the garage, etc, etc. Those things weren't left like that becasue you lost your job, or had bad luck, or had no money. Thats simply a lack of caring about what I have to do to restore the home. Thats what I don't understand. Now I'm paying a lot of money to deal with that mess, money I really don't have.
If you can send at least half of the 1400 by the tenth, it will at least help me with the mortgage payment due on the 15th. Its a start.
Good luck with your business, realizing mistakes is the best prevention to repeating them.. Many focus on being bigtime, and forget its all about making money.
I apologize but we we got in very late last night. I was trying to work some things out. I agree with you 100%, it is a waste of time to have a payment plan that is totally out of reach. I want to be fair to you. I sware that with everything that I hold dearly.
I have put you in a bad situation. I don't deny that or try to wiggle my way out of of it. I stand up to be accountable for it. However, I've got to be honest with you at the same time that I try to be fair. I am not trying to screw you over or out of anything.
I understand your anger. It is deserved. Your right I should have placed the stuff in the garage. I panicked. I don't know what else to tell you but that. I totally panicked. I don't expect for you to understand that or to excuse my actions.
I panicked. I was due money for a paycheck that I didn't get. I was due THOUSANDS of dollars in reimbursements that I didn't get. I had payed money out of my account for Brio related activities and I was sitting on next to nothing. I panicked. I didn't know what to do or how to do it.
I was without money. I was without anywhere to go. I was scared. If this has happened to me in Georgia...I would have had plenty of places to go. I had nowhere to go to up here.
It wasn't that the police were on their way to get me. It was that I was scared. Jason didn't like Sara & Jon after the first month of being here. He wanted to pack up and go home. - (this would have been a really good time for her to say "you told me to leave, that's why I left!") I had a lawsuit that I was dealing with back in Georgia with my former partners and a certain real estate organization. I had moved my entire family out here and I didn't want to turn back around. I didn't want to admit defeat. I wanted to stay and make it work. Jason told me that it was going to end bad and I should have listened to him. I should have. But, I didn't and I learned a valuable lesson. 9 times out of 10, Jason is right about people. Probably more like 9.9 times out 10.
The items were left because I honestly thought that they could be sold to help you. I know that I could have gotten a couple hundred dollars for the couch and love seat if I had stayed longer. I thought you could sell it and get some money.
I thought Ardell would be interested in the staging stuff left in the bedroom and at the dining room. I thought Don would take the food for helping you. I had no more room in storage and didn't know what to do. Now, honestly leaving the make up was a mistake. I never would have done that on purpose. I didn't mean to do that. I guess, I just overlooked it. - So the items were left for me, they were left for Ardell, but they were all given to Don for helping them move,...got it. - mwc
Michael, I will do my best to get you at least $700.00 by the 10th. I can't sware that I will get you the whole $700.00 but I will get you a good chunk of it. But, I will do my best to get you the whole $700.00. I know that my word doesn't mean crap to you right now and it will take seeing money come in to make you begin to trust that I am doing the right thing. That I will do the right thing. I will do it not because I am scared of what you will get online and say about me...but because it is the right thing to do.
Michael, I understand that you are angry. If I were in your shoes...I would be pissed! I know you are and deserve to be. But, it hurts me when you say some things about me that just aren't true. I can give you the names of several people that will tell you how I've came through and PERSONALLY made payments for company debts while I've been up here.
See, because of the lawsuit our accounts were frozen until a verdict or settlement could be reached. Only commissions and monthly bills (phone, mls, electricity, etc..) could be paid out of the account. But, I personally paid them. Was it the entire balance? NO! But, I paid it down bit by bit. I could have just walked away but I've sacrificed and did my best to make ends meet.
There is one asshole that hasn't been paid but it was because of his behavior that he didn't get paid and will have to wait on the company to pay him. He called me every day at work and on my cell. Sent me nasty text messages and harassed me online. Is the money owed to him? Yes, but he can wait for the company to pay him. I would have tried to work with him but he got very ugly torwards me and that did it for me.
It hurts me when you think you really know about me when you don't. You weren't around me long enough to really know about me. I may not have been in the Brio office every day but I started work at 6:00 AM most days and worked all weekend with Brio Stuff. Stuff that I could NEVER get done in the office because of constant interruptions.
Jon had me doing all kinds of crap that wasn't even related to Brio (as far as I was concerned) and then I had to put out so many blog posts per week (was told to do so). You have no real idea about my work habits or ethic.
I worked my ass off at that company. Production completely turned around. Agents that weren't producing began to produce. Jason worked his ass for that company and never got paid for it. He was supposed to have taken over Liz's pay but he never got it because the company couldn't afford it.
Unethical? I think not. Ethics are part of the reason that I was resigning. Do you honestly think this merger was planned? No, it was a last minute Hail Mary to save things. He wanted me to buy the company from him but the more we dug into the "secrets" of Brio the less we wanted to own it. Things were going on in the past that I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW ABOUT! I may be a bitch and a lot of other things but I am not unethical.
I had an ethics charge brought against me by the Georgia real estate commission and I still have their finding to this very day. I was told by the Sr. Investigator that I was the most organized and had all stuff together agent that they had ever investigated and I was completely in the right for what I had done. I am not unethical. I just have the gift of pissing people off. There is a big difference. I probably do need to work on my people skills a bit. I may get around to it one day.
My AR persona? Yes, I was told to right a lot of shit that I didn't care to write about. I can't believe what a damn fool I was. I allowed FEAR to make a scared little girl who didn't want to piss off her boss and lose her job. You're right. I wan't deny it. I was not aware of it at the time but looking back...you're right
I am sorry for what I've done and what all has happened to you. I will make it up to you..(Never did)
I will have money into you by the 10th. I will continue to do so. (Never did)
I know you are angry and I understand. But, I don't want to fight with you Michael. You are right and I am wrong. I am sorry for what you've had to go through. But, I am not the kind of person to leave you high and dry.
I freaked out. Yes. I was scared. Yes. I felt like I had nowhere to go. I had to clear my head and get focused. Let me make this right. I will have money in by the 10th.