Liar Liar, Pants on Fire!

On very rare occasions a damaged homeowner actually beats his HOA in court. It’s incredibly rare, but it does happen. And this one happened in Tennessee.

In its infinite wisdom, the Rivertown On The Island Homeowner Association decided to confiscate and auction off some poor shmuck’s house for non-payment of dues. But in its glowing arrogance, the HOA figured it needn’t inform the homeowner how much he had to pay to stop the foreclosure.

It was a $300,000 house. The HOA grabbed it, kicked out the owner, and hocked the house for $12,000. But nobody seemed to know how much the owner was behind on his dues. In fact, the owner had been paying his dues all along. Despite the HOA’s ledger which proved the dues really were being paid, the HOA decided to tell the judge a wee little fib. It claimed the aforementioned shmuck had paid nothing.

Ah, the fibbers got caught and the trial court ordered the house returned.

But the geniuses who run the Rivertown On The Island HOA decided they really hadn’t been arrogant enough. They appealed the case to the Tennessee Court of Appeals, arguing that the judge in the first case was biased against the HOA. Ya think? Get caught lying to a judge, and then try to blame the judge for getting steamed?

Anyway, the Court of Appeals decided that lying HOAs need to get caught once in a while. It upheld the first judge and jammed trial fees down the open throats of the HOA officials. Sadly, though, all those Rivertown homeowners are going to have to cough up a special assessment to pay for this stupid court case.

That means the family who won this court case will end up being about as popular as ticks on a picnic blanket. Best advice: move out! And vow never again to live in an HOA! TNCO 20111206623.xml&docbase=CSLWAR3-2007-CURR&SizeDisp=7

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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