Houston Homeowner is “Robbed” by her HOA

A woman in Houston, Texas has learned what thousands of other homeowners have learned: the HOA has incredible powers to seize and auction off your home for a tiny infraction.

Ann Izzat is 67 years old. Her home of 32 years was owned free and clear. At least that’s what she thought. She acknowledges she might not have paid her dues of $1200, but she says she never got notice of the overdue bill, and was never personally served any papers. But the sheriff’s office showed up on her doorstep, ordered her to completely empty her home of all her belongings within 30 minutes, and then took all of her possessions to the curb.

Her Kingwood Homeowner’s Association then auctioned her home off. A California company bought the home at auction for $7000.

Izzat has lots of company. Harris County HOAs seize and auction about 6000 homes a year.

Randy Wallace, a reporter for FOX TV in Houston, brought us this story.

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.

9 thoughts on “Houston Homeowner is “Robbed” by her HOA

    1. Ward Lucas Post author

      Hilary, thanks for the note. Sadly, there are thousands, possibly tens of thousands of homeowners who’ve been evicted. In my upcoming book, I tell the story of an elderly lady who lost her home over a 78 cent error in her dues. Incredible, but true.

  1. Chicken Little

    The sky is falling….

    Where is your stories about the tax lien horror stories? The bottom line is that if you do not pay your bills, ignore court service, ignore multiple attempts by anyone to contact you regarding a legal matter, you might end up with a “bitter pill” to swallow.

    Ignorance is no excuse. You cannot have the benefits and luxuries that come with a managed community yet at the same time, not participate in the payment of timely dues. Period! 99% of the time, all matters are discussed at length at open and regularly scheduled meetings for all residents to attend and provide their opinion and input on the matter. Not participating in HOA meetings due to work, soccer, football practice, The Real Housewives or the countless other reasons for not participating in the most simple and basic form of government is IMO irresponsible at the least and wreckless at worst. To complain about decisions that were made at open meetings where residents are invited and encouraged to attend and participate is weak. Hindsight is always 20:20 isnt it?;)

    1. Ward Lucas Post author

      Whoa there, Nelly! Where’ve you been? There wouldn’t be so many people reading this blog if meetings were held in the open. There wouldn’t be a massive federal investigation and dozens of felony indictments in Nevada if 99% of HOAs were open, honest and above board. There wouldn’t be so many tens of millions of dollars embezzled out of HOAs across the country if you and your buddies were really honest. My friend, you’ve got your head in some very strange clouds, indeed! But keep inhaling. You stoners keep the rest of us amused.

  2. Nila Ridings

    Chicken Little,

    Only on paper do HOAs work perfectly. Keep in mind what’s written on the paper in some HOAs changes by the hour and there is no way to know what is correct. I live in an HOA like that. Take a look at just our annual reports. They say extremely opposite things from year to year. How is a homeowner supposed to know what the rules are? Or what’s covered for repairs?

    Next, let’s talk about elections. Every single year since I moved here…over 8 years ago…the procedures for elections have been different. Totally different. And often times it’s the board and their cronies counting the votes.

    Attending meetings, unless you plan to sit there and praise the board for every decision, stupid and otherwise, that they make don’t attend the meetings! The board will start yelling for you to move, get the other residents to yell with them, and if you persist in asking a question, the police will be called. It’s never been a open discussion about anything. It’s a dictator’s meeting to tell you what the “rules of the week” are and you best sit there and nod your head and cheer them on or be ready for behavior that most people do not wish to endure once per month.

    Records, what a joke. I’ve spent thousands of dollars to see records. The judge ordered them turned over. Read my blog about trying to see records. You’ll understand that HOA boards in a high percentage of the cases don’t want homeowners to see ANY of the records. Why? Could we discover embezzlement? Yes, we could. Could we discover the amounts paid for simple services is completely off the charts which could indicate kickbacks? Yes, we could. Could we discover cash that was taken in was never deposited in the bank? Yes, we could. Could we discover self-dealing by board members? Yes we could. That’s the short list. And it’s all reasons why board members don’t want homeowners looking at records.

    I’m sure there are some HOAs that run smooth as silk…today. The next election they could put a rogue board member on the board and watch how quickly hell breaks loose. No HOA or condo association is exempt from what I and tens of thousands if not more HOA members have been through.

    If you question what you see on this site, please read the articles an then look at the comment sections or do an internet search for HOA nightmares, battles, embezzlement, whatever you want to type in and read the comments on those stories. All of those people can’t be wrong. Look at how many say they would never live in another HOA…count me in that group, too. All of those people cannot be wrong, can they?

    I’m glad you found this site because you’re going to learn how being ignorant about the wide world of HOAs isn’t a good idea. Welcome to the HOA “learning center!”

  3. hoasavers

    How about if we all start meet up groups for our areas? I started one today called Scottsdale HOA Meetup – Owners for Change in HOAs in AZ…I didn’t see any groups on the site for this in the US. It may be a good way for us to network.

  4. Nila Ridings

    Forming groups is a great idea. Getting a few people from area HOAs to meet and discuss issues and needed legislation is a great idea! Change will come once the HOA Army is built all across the country.


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