Little Pleasure On Pleasure Island

People move into lush-looking Homeowners Associations thinking they’ve bought a little slice of Utopia. But few people know that there really is no workable Utopia in this life. In fact, the original Utopia, written five centuries ago by Sir Thomas More, was actually a farce; a comedy about the inability of the human race to get along with one another. Homeowners Associations founded along the same lines of More’s Utopia have built into their own structure the probability of failure and decline into despotism and tyranny.

There’s an old bit of survivalist wisdom that teaches if three men go into the wilderness, two will always turn against the one. So any government which is allowed to use tyrannical rules against a minority is doomed to failure, disaster and a complete loss of justice. In fact, the genius of our country’s Constitution is that it doesn’t create a ‘majority rules’ ethic. It’s not a Democracy. It removes the people several steps from the rulers, and it divides the rulers into several separate but equal bodies of government. Our Congress is divided into a House and Senate. But the two must work together to pass legislation. The Executive has veto powers over Congress, yet Congress has the ability to overpower the Executive by gathering together a super-majority. And when everything goes to Hell in a hand basket, there’s a Supreme Court which can overturn or delay the implementation of bad legislation. All states except Nebraska have a similar structure (Nebraska has a unicameral instead of a bicameral legislature).

With all this in mind, we sadly turn our eyes to the Pleasure Island Mariner’s Cove Homeowners Association near Port Arthur,Texas. We’ve discussed Pleasure Island before. Like every other HOA in the country, Pleasure Island is just one vote away from disaster. If an HOA attorney needs a little extra cash, he advises the board to use minor violations of covenants to fine, seize and foreclose on straying homeowners.

Deborah Dommert got behind on her HOA dues. Then the late fees and legal bills started rising too quickly for her to catch up. Remember that HOA covenants invariably order a homeowner to pay all the legal bills of the Homeowners Association. And like thousands of other homeowners across the country, she now faces the seizure and foreclosure of her home. She has no court of last resort. She has no Congress which can pass laws shutting down these neighborhood tyrannies. She is without access to real justice.

HOA attorneys are taught by huge HOA management conglomerates to never allow a homeowner to negotiate a way to catch up on dues. In national legal seminars, attorneys learn how to boost their income by abusing those who can’t afford legal representation.

Deborah Dommert will most likely lose her home. But some investor in future weeks or months will make a tidy fortune out of her personal disaster. The investor might even turn out to be a close ‘friend’ of the HOA board or law firm.

The biggest disaster of all is the loss of personal freedom for all of us.

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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 “Little Pleasure On Pleasure Island

  1. aynonymous libertarian

    “As of October 1, 2012, the amount required to cure the default was $2,498.10.”

    If she’s the type of person who doesn’t have $2,500 in the bank to pay her debt to her neighbors, she’s the type of person who isn’t going to be invited to Galt’s Gulch anyway. So who cares what happens to this looter/moocher?

  2. Nila

    Perhaps the HOA has breached the contract with this woman? We didn’t get the details of why she is withholding her dues. My HOA has breached the contract with all 513 homeowners and hasn’t won a lawsuit yet where breach of contract played a part in the litigation. Sometimes withholding money is the only way to get their attention. I wouldn’t call her a “looter/moocher” without knowing all the details. And if it is a breach of contract you can bet the HOA won’t be the one providing those details.


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