While you are reading this blog, I will be going through the agony of US Customs at LAX, having landed back in the country from French Polynesia. I know there are people who say just pack those black pearls, Tahitian rum and Cuban cigars in your luggage and keep your trap shut, but I am not one of those people who listen to that stuff. I don’t believe in smuggling stuff when you can report it, pay the tiny little tax and be done with it. Not everything that is Duty Free means you don’t pay tax anyway. And, if a US Custom official finds unreported taxable crap in your luggage, they can take it away from you. Why anybody would try to sneak stuff through US Customs is beyond me.
Why break the law? Why cause more problems for yourself? Life is filled with enough problems all by their lonesome little problem-selves, we don’t need to create more of them for ourselves. It’s like sellers who try to find creative ways around the rules of a short sale. They don’t realize that when they try to do that, they are taking a chance that the lender will find out. If the lender finds out, the lender can take away their release of liability. Just rip that rug out from under their short sale noses. There is no reason to tamper with your release of personal liability. None.
SB 458 paved the way for banks to go after sellers who commit mortgage fraud in a short sale. If there is no mortgage fraud and everything is clean and above board, sellers get a clean break. No deficiency judgment and no liability. They get off scott-free and can walk away into the sunset or hop on Air Tahiti if they so please. But there could be consequences if a seller breaks the law.
But consequences are not the only reason not to break the law. Heck, we have the death penalty in California and it doesn’t stop murderers from killing other people. Consequences don’t mean much to some people. Unfortunately, neither does just doing the right thing. For example, nothing seems to stop the antics of a person like Lindsay Lohan. Oh, wait, I think I spot her in line, three people down from me. Oh, crap.
In case you’re wondering, you don’t pay tax on $800 of merchandise, per person. Two people equals $1,600 of tax-free items. Pearls are taxable even though they are hand-made, regardless of what you may read online elsewhere.