Typical Trickery

There’s yet another lawsuit in North Carolina involving an HOA’s use of phony bookkeeping to jam fees down the throat of an elderly homeowner.

Alan Elam says his family is being bullied by their Homeowners Association (so what’s new?).

Charlotte House HOA and William Douglas Management say HOA dues are late after 30 days. But when Elam is more then 10 days late, he gets fined. When he pays his dues, the fine is charged against next month’s rent which makes him automatically late for the next payment. The fines and late payments have added up to more than $10,000.

Elam’s attorney calls it ‘accounting trickery.’ He’d be more accurate to call it “Standard Operating Procedure.”

The Elam family is destined to lose this lawsuit and forfeit their home.  That’s also standard operating procedure.



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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 “Typical Trickery

  1. Nila Ridings

    Class action is right! I’d say they should get a hold of the Attorney General’s office for their state and ask for the Consumer Protection Office. This sure looks like deceptive practices to me. (I’m not an attorney) They should also contact their local office for elder abuse. The document says 30 days right on it!


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