For you readers who are CAI members (and I know you’re there by your IP addresses!) here’s a fantastic idea for you! Debtors’ prisons!
A few local courts here and there have revived the illegal practice of throwing debtors in jail until their debts are paid. Since Homeowners Associations are de facto governments they certainly could take people who are late on their dues payments, fines or special assessments and toss them in jail. Heck, HOAs don’t have to abide by the Constitution so a debtor’s prison would be perfect! With the help of some local judges who are in the pockets of the CAI it would be a breeze!
If some miscreant homeowner is a problem, don’t just sue them, lien them, and foreclose on their home! If they’ve planted an illegal shrub, or left the garage door open beyond the 10 minute time limit, don’t harass them or pass out tickets. Throw the bums in jail!
It’s legal! If all the other ‘stuff’ you do to homeowners is legal, then this surely is.
Having been the victim of collections fraud by the Madison Hill H.O.A. corporation and their attorneys at HindmanSanchez P.C., this is a topic I have an interest in. I even wrote a book about my experience. After 4 years, the H.O.A. corporation and their collections attorneys can not or will not account for the alleged debt they tried to collect from me; which was over $2,000. I also know from personal experience that the courts will not enforce laws against collections fraud if the collection agency is a law firm, because (1) judges are biased in favor of lawyers, and (2) officers-of-the-court are held to an appalling low standard.
Since the Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that H.O.A. corporations can create private police forces and detain home owners — Poris v Lake Holiday POA, see Privatopia: November 10, 2012, February 24, 2012, January 27, 2013, January 30, 2013 — perhaps other states can follow suit, and legalize private security forces throwing dissident home owners into private prisons under the guise of a some-document-called-a-contract.
And how many people are going to these “debtors prison” over fraudulent debt?
In May 2012, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (Republican) signed a “New Law That Takes Debt Collectors’ Word” for how much is owed.
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In response to a New York Times story (June 13, 2011) about 3rd party debt collectors who buy debt for pennies on the dollar (with the original creditor writing-off the losses), one reader had a suggestion that our policy-makers should really consider:
“The disconnect between the party originating the debt and the party eventually holding the debt notices” is a distortion of the market that was one one of the causes for the economic crash a few years ago. Perhaps it is time to eliminate these market distortions and moral hazards, and prohibit the selling of debt to 3rd parties. This would force creditors to exercise more due diligence, knowing that they can not pass the costs of their bad decisions to a 3rd party. Acceptance of and being responsible for risks is how capitalism and free-markets are supposed to work.
But that will never happen, because “policy is simply the things that defend the power and hierarchy of creditors, the rich and the elite…There’s almost a Nietzschean zeal for the wonk world to first and foremost accept creditors as a master class to whom all policy bends.“
Fox News is a bit late to the party on the topic of debtors prisons. For example, see Evan McKenzie’s blog post on December 12, 2011 ( over two years ago ), in response to an NPR story, “Unpaid Bills Land Some Debtors Behind Bars“.
A year before that, in November 2010, the libertarian magazine Reason reported about “The Return of Debtor’s Prison. Collection agencies use the criminal justice system to pocket credit card debts” (be sure to read the comments section).
A lot of Reasonoids seemed gleeful at the thought of sending debtors to prison, because it’s consistent with the principles of Ayn Rand, or something. But on the bright side, many Reason readers do recognize the dangers of the current practice. There may be hope after all.
Most HOA’s are a prison sentence to begin with. Possibly, living in Prison-cell, may just be better than living in an HOA. At least this way you wouldn’t have to worry about your “Home” being foreclosed upon by the HOA.