Nasty, Nasty, Nasty

I never gratuitously toss around the word ‘fascism’. My parents grew up in the era of German and Italian fascism and it was a devastating word to them. But I still remember how they regarded the fascist totalitarian governments that were wreaking havoc on the world.

So, as I monitor Homeowners Association stories around the country and see stories like the one I’ve linked below, I’m just stunned at the parallels.

South Natomas, California is the scene of an ongoing donnybrook between an elderly former U.S, Marine and the Sonora Springs Homeowners Association. Allen Campbell and his wife, Cynthia, moved into the neighborhood of 200 homes in 2009. He was elected to the board of directors but he became troubled with the lack of accountability in HOA finances. In fact, he was so troubled that he resigned. Cynthia was elected to the board a few months later and she, too was dismayed by the lack of transparency and the apparent hiding of financial records. She also resigned.

The remaining board soured on the Campbell couple and the harassment began. They were banned from neighborhood facilities, shouted down at HOA meetings. At one point, the board began hiring security guards to stand over and around Campbell whenever he showed up for a public meeting. Campbell is 75, in a wheelchair and on oxygen, yet this HOA board apparently felt threatened? In one meeting Campbell says when he stood up the security guard hit him on the chest where he had a fresh incision from heart bypass surgery.

It got worse. The HOA’s law firm began sending Campbell legal bills, including a $1340 bill for a so-called “enforcement assessment.” It’s blatantly obvious that the Sonora Springs Homeowners Association and its law firm are planning on liening, seizing and auctioning off the Campbells’ home. They’ve had practice doing that, seizing at least one other home in the neighborhood. In fact, that was the exact financial issue that so troubled the Campbells. There was apparently rent money coming in from the house that had been seized, but the HOA board wouldn’t account for where the money was going.

There’s so much more in the link below. But even after reading both sides of the story, I somehow think these security guards should be wearing knee-high black boots and HOA armbands of some sort. 


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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.

1 thought on “Nasty, Nasty, Nasty

  1. Gary Pierce

    Thanks for posting this story – As I have said in my comments to the SACRAMENTO BEE – Darren Bevan and his
    law firm here in Sacramento CA are a bunch of sharks!


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