South Bend Sucker Punch

The developer always urges homeowners to be the first to buy into a brand new Homeowners Association. “If you delay, the price will only go up,” he’ll say. And sure enough, you throw your money down.

But new home buyers across the country are learning they’ve been victimized by one of the least prosecuted scams in America.

The latest one involves Lafayette Falls near South Bend, Indiana. Years have gone by. The developer is still collecting the dues, but homeowners are just now beginning to ‘get it’. The nice waterfall at the front entrance is now just green puddle with a broken pump. The streets are badly in need of repair.

On one street is a half finished home that hasn’t been touched for a year.
Neighborhood meetings are nasty affairs where the homeowners demand some kind of action be taken.

All the employees of Lafayette Falls? They’ve closed down the old office and they’re now working for another developer called ‘Turning Point’.


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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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