Another Crook Embezzles from Neighbors

I wonder if it’s hard for these people to sleep at night. Stealing from neighbors? The ones you say “hi” to on the street each day? Maybe it’s just me, but I could never get used to the guilt. Your neighbors are trying hard to pay their bills, to put the kids through college, some of them even struggling to pay HOA dues. Other neighbors have lost jobs in this economy, and are wondering where the next bag of groceries are coming from?

Then some runny-nosed, gambling-addicted, coke-head of an HOA treasurer grabs all the neighborhood’s money for a quick run to Vegas.

The latest case involves a Homeowners Association treasurer from the Parkwood HOA In Durham, North Carolina. This yahoo only stole $150,000 to $200,000. This kind of theft doesn’t just happen because the crook is arrogant. It happens because the crook thinks you, the homeowner, are stupid. You’re too dumb to read the annual report. You’re too stupid to suspect a crime. You’ll deny to the bitter end that you were the one who was robbed.

But just try selling your home, Bunky, to another buyer. It’s required by law that you disclose all defects in a property, including whether the HOA treasurer had a blank check to transfer money from your Homeowners Association to the casinos.

That should do something for the offer price on the home you’re selling. After revealing that the HOA is now totally out of money, prepare to lower the asking price of your home by 20 or 30,000 dollars.

You’re a sucker. A sucker for living in a Homeowners Association where trust is the only promise you really get. A sucker for not realizing that governing covenants across the land are so poorly written that thousands of Homeowners Associations are in the same sad shape. Yep, Buddy. Welcome to HOA life. You’re a sucker.


Ward Lucas
Author of
Neighbors At War: The Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association

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Ward Lucas is a longtime investigative journalist and television news anchor. He has won more than 70 national and regional awards for Excellence in Journalism, Creative Writing and community involvement. His new book, "Neighbors At War: the Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association," is now available for purchase. In it, he discusses the American homeowners association movement, from its racist origins, to its transformation into a lucrative money machine for the nation's legal industry. From scams to outright violence to foreclosures and neighborhood collapses across the country, the reader will find this book enormously compelling and a necessary read for every homeowner. Knowledge is self-defense. No homeowner contemplating life in an HOA should neglect reading this book. No HOA board officer should overlook this examination of the pitfalls in HOA management. And no lawyer representing either side in an HOA dispute should gloss over what homeowners are saying or believing about the lawsuit industry.

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