Ya know something? God has a sense of humor!

I just got an email that in a contentious HOA meeting in Westmont, Illinois, a CAI attorney was giving a seminar on Homeowners Association law. If I understand her story correctly, she and another homeowner stood up and waved copies of my book, Neighbors At War! at the CAI lawyer and the crowd. She says the lawyer turned away in disgust.

There’s no question I’ve been very critical of both the CAI and the Illinois Supreme Court which has made some really bizarre rulings this past year. The latest ruling is that your contract with your HOA isn’t really a contract. Well, sometimes it’s a contract. Sometimes it’s not. If you withhold your dues because they won’t repair the roof, then it’s not a contract. If your unit leaks on the HOA president’s unit, then it’s a contract. {HEAVY SIGH}

Anyway, hearing that angry homeowners are waving my book in the faces of members of the HOA industry just gives me a warm feeling in my belly. It’s a movement, folks! It’s a movement! It starts off with little protests like this, and then grows into a small roar. Suddenly we’re a force of nature not to be trifled with.

Keep it going!


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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.

7 thoughts on “What a Hoot! WARD LUCAS IS HATED IN ILLINOIS!

  1. Deborah Goonan

    Another HOA-Land inconsistency. First insist that HOAs are BUSINESSES subject to contract law. Vehemently deny that HOAs are quasi-governmental. But then insist that owners have no right to withhold payment of assessments for services the HOA supposedly agreed to perform in the contract (CCRs). Name one other business that can get away with nonperformance of contract obligations without penalty, and without state regulatory intervention. Name one other business that can foreclose on your home for delinquent fees involving maintenance of common property. Betcha can’t. HOAs are private government by corporation!

  2. Nila Ridings

    Deborah, we just had a case in Kansas where the HOA (mine) lost all counts of the lawsuit including breach of contract (failure to maintain the structure)and violation of the Kansas Consumer Protection Act for using deceptive practices. The judge said in his research he could not find another HOA in the entire country that had been found guilty of violating a consumer protection law. So this one set a precedence. The attorney presented a lot of supporting documentation as to why an HOA member in a PUD is a consumer and the jury and judge agreed. The HOA lost the lawsuit (after demanding a jury trial) and had to pay the homeowner’s legal bills, but it appears no lesson was learned.

  3. Arizona Dave

    I’m just lovin this story! Keep shaking those Neighbors at War Books in the faces of the CAI lawyers and legislators. Don’t you just love how the court rules one way, and then the other. It’s only a “contract” when it’s for the HOA and against Mr. or Mrs. Homeowner.

    Sounds like Illinois has quite the kangaroo-court system. Kudos to the book shaking homeowners, who fought back, and put Mr. CAI Attorney in his place! Not only does God have a sense of humor, he gets the final say as to who is wrong, and who is right.

  4. Cynthia

    Everyone’s leaving Illinois! The taxes are high and our protection is low! We have no rights as homeowners nor as a board member! I feel sorry for the seniors that opted for a condo as oppose to an assisted living facility or a nursing home because they chose to invest into associations where they have absolutely no one to protect them as opposed to all kinds of protection under the laws for both nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Our fine CAI attorneys found a lucrative business through the association nightmare!

  5. Cheyenne

    My HOA went to court to make it illegal for the Board to approve tenants so my neighbor didn’t have to disclose that his tenant would have a band practicing nightly in his garage and the board wasn’t informed that the kid would put an old car up on blocks in the driveway while he fixes it. Many of us don’t like living with this sort of thing, what do you suggest we do to get rid of the band and the car on blocks? There is nothing in the CC&R’s that addresses such situations.

    1. Ward Lucas Post author

      Most cities and counties have code enforcement people who’ll monitor noise, cars on blocks and other public nuisances. Putting code violations in the hands of public employees reduces neighbor vs. neighbor anger and makes neighborhoods more livable. Putting that kind of control in the hands of neighbors means that people with an agenda can run amok through a neighborhood.


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