Every City Needs A Joe!

guest blog by Nila Ridings 

I can name on one hand the cities that have television reporters that will actually expose an HOA and their bad actors. Or HOAs that refuse to allow homeowners access to the financial records.  Nope, pretty much television stations have gotten the “memo” on not covering HOA stories.  Or so that’s the way it appears.  Phoenix has Joe Ducey and he doesn’t hesitate to expose the HOAs.  He actually invites homeowners to contact him with their HOA nightmares.  So, Arizonans…Let Joe Know!  And pass along a heartfelt “thank you” from all of us!
This video…intentionally blurred…hummm, I wonder why?  I’m laughing.  I know WHY and so do you.  Regardless it’s typical of an HOA meeting.  Is there any wonder why homeowners don’t attend HOA meetings?  Are they afraid of being physically hit, yelled at, and bullied?  Or do they chose to spare their nervous system the extra stress for two hours once a month?  At my HOA some of them “premedicate” from a glass bottle or an aluminum can before walking through the clubhouse door.  
Some might find it entertaining while others find it obnoxious.  Either way, “welcome” to meeting night at your lovely HOA!

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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.

8 thoughts on “Every City Needs A Joe!

  1. Robert

    from the story:

    “Kathleen Daurio said she was hit by another homeowner at a recent HOA meeting”

    But according to our friends at the Independence Institute, Colorado’s Free Market Think Tank:

    “Since HOAs are local and small, participants are often neighbors, and hence have incentive to settle disagreements in a civil manner.”

    – “Free-Market Alternatives To Zoning”
    February 28, 2009

    Who should I believe? More thoughts here.

    1. Ward Lucas Post author

      Sooner or later the esteemed Independence Institute will have to face the facts that neighbor disputes aren’t what they used to be. It’s now big business. It’s now an out-of-control tort system. I have a great deal of respect for the Independence Institute and always have. They’re just wrong on this issue. As soon as they examine the massive racketeering scam in Las Vegas they’ll have to take a second look.

      1. Robert

        I used to be a volunteer “research associate” for the Independence Institute. So it’s not like I went into this with a bias against them. I was a member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy for 25 years. But my conflict with the Madison Hill H.O.A. corporation opened my eyes to a lot of ugly truths.

        Saying that the Independence Institute is “just wrong on this issue” is like saying that the New York Times was “just wrong” about the Holodomor.

      2. Robert

        “It’s now big business. It’s now an out-of-control tort system.”

        Yes, it is a big business. But no, it is not a “tort system”. A tort is “a negligent or intentional civil wrong not arising out of a contract or statute.” H.O.A. corporations litigate against home owners to enforce a some-document-called-a-contract. The basis for their claims is contract law (or H.O.A. statutes), not tort.

        It is one of the reasons why the “tort reform” movement turns a blind-eye to the rapacious and unconscionable activities of H.O.A. collections attorneys.

        I used to make the mistake of conflating the two (“tort” and “contract law”) until recently, when somebody on another forum corrected me.

        1. Ward Lucas Post author

          Hi Robert. I won’t let go of that word, ‘tort.’ It’s just such a nasty sounding word. And when you’ve got an HOA official using a crowbar to beat the crap out of another homeowner in Wichita, that’s not enforcement of a contract. When a man walks into a board meeting in Phoenix, or Louisville, or Chicago and guns down board members, that may involve a contract but it’s certainly not contract law. Embezzling, theft, assault, slander, libel, vandalism, poisoning of pets, racism, sexism, mistreatment of kids…I think a lot of tort lawyers would consider trying to make some extra spending money handling those cases. The entire HOA system is fundamentally flawed. But you’re right. The tort reform crowd needs to look at the wider picture of comprehensive legal reform.

  2. Robert

    “I can name on one hand the cities that have television reporters that will actually expose an HOA and their bad actors.”

    You can count to 31 on the fingers of one hand using binary.


    Just keep in mind that

    01 = 2 ^ 0 = 00001 in binary
    02 = 2 ^ 1 = 00010 in binary
    04 = 2 ^ 2 = 00100 in binary
    08 = 2 ^ 3 = 01000 in binary
    16 = 2 ^ 4 = 10000 in binary

    On a more serious note, it would be interesting to hear Ward’s perspective on why media outlets are so reluctant to report about H.O.A. corporations and H.O.A. legislation, given the number of people they directly affect. H.O.A.s are a veritable gold-mine to any investigative journalist looking for a story.

    1. Ward Lucas Post author

      My quick answer is that TV reporters are fundamentally lazy. They have so many phone calls and letters to deal with, so they do the easiest stories first. You need a spokesperson on an HOA story? Call the CAI. You need an expert to talk about housing legislation? You call the CAI. You want to host a monthly TV show to answer questions from homeowners? You call the CAI. Nuff said?

  3. Holly HOA

    Attendance at board meetings: I was screamed and yelled at by the large, very tall husband of the HOA president while I was seated during a board meeting. He accused me of an HOA lawsuit being “my fault”, when the board, including his wife, were the ones who filed the lawsuit. The husband sat down, after several minutes of bullying, because the CAM finally told the president that her husband’s behavior was inappropriate. Why would anyone ever want to go to a meeting where that type of behavior is allowed? Homeowners don’t crave conflict and stress.


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