A Las Vegas Reporter Who Just Doesn’t ‘Get It’

A reporter for Channel 8 News in Las Vegas tried to help a homeowner in the Terra West Homeowners Association. It seems the woman, Esther Sardina, had inadvertently underpaid her HOA dues by twenty cents. The woman wrote a check to the HOA for a dollar but they started hitting her with late fees anyway. So this reporter swung into action, confronting a board member.

Terra West dropped the fine. But that’s beside the point. This HOA board simply doesn’t want this woman living in the neighborhood. They want her gone. No HOA puts a 42 cent stamp on a fine for 20 cents…unless they’re¬†intentionally trying to provoke an expensive fight where both sides have to run out and hire lawyers.

Now that Terra West has been publicly shamed the HOA will go out of its way to torment this woman in perpetuity.

Has this kind of nuttiness ever happened before? Oh yes, as I document in my new book, Neighbors At War: The Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association. A woman in West Boca, Florida had her house seized because she underpaid her dues by 78 cents.

Good Friends, there is no such thing as a benign Homeowners Association! Every one of the nation’s 335,000 Homeowners Associations is just one board election and one tyrant away from disaster.

When will the nation’s news reporters learn that? Someone tip off this reporter that he’s a fruitcake.


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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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