Monopoly? (guest blogger, Nila Ridings)

Not sure why the game of Monopoly always led to fights when we were kids. Someone would invariably cheat, the others would protest, and….there went the neighborhood!

Same thing goes on today in many American Homeowners Associations! Your new retirement community seems perfect, the dues seem about right. Suddenly, without notice the rules change. Monthly dues skyrocket from $180 to $500 a month, with even more hikes on the way. 

When you weren’t watching the rules changed. They changed because a new developer or a new majority took over the HOA. Now, you suddenly find yourself foreclosed upon, or you’re priced right out of the neighborhood where you once had your dream home. 
Don’t believe it?

Read the link below and weep.



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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.

2 thoughts on “Monopoly? (guest blogger, Nila Ridings)

  1. anonymous

    1. Developer builds 182-unit subdivision ( the story is not clear how many homes were actually completed ).

    2. 16 homes are sold.

    3. Developer goes bankrupt. Bank takes control of the unbuilt/unsold lots and the HOA corporation.

    4. The bank paid HOA assessments on the vacant lots/units it owned.

    5. Investor Hans Hsu — one of the Job Creatorz ™ — buys the bank’s property, giving him control of the HOA corporation.

    6. Hsu changes the governing documents, which courts enforce as a “contract”, giving him power to

    – approve or reject any sale in the community
    – evict a new buyer who is unapproved
    – eliminated the veto power of the homeowners over the budget
    – raise fees by more than 15% (which was the limit in the old governing documents)
    – eliminate requirement for a reserve fund
    – created new expense: $10,000 in attorney fees

    7. Hsu raises HOA assessments from $180 per month to $500 per month — a 278% increase.

    8. Any owner who does not pay can have his house foreclosed upon.

    9. As in other HOAs, the personal assets of the homeowners are forever collateral to whatever debts and liabilities the HOA corporation creates.

    If this is free-market capitalism, as proponents of HOAs claim, then something is seriously wrong with free-market capitalism.


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