From Robert Racansky

from Ward Lucas:

This poor guy has been battling what appears to be a brain-dead HOA bent on no other goal than destroying a homeowner who stood up to them and won. Here’s his latest letter to me:


from Robert Racansky:

What is revealing is the account ledger and how much
they spent on Hindman Sanchez (law firm). Buckingham (atty) told me in person that heĀ was being paid by the insurance company.

Per the account ledger I received yesterday, the total amount of
attorney fees paid to Hindman Sanchez P.C. was $19,184.35.

Obviously I’m biased here, but crap like this a perfect example of the
underlying fundamental problems with H.O.A. corporations — the lies,
the unaccountability, the imbalance of power, the perverse incentives
and moral hazards, etc. The problem is that it’s not as “sexy” as a
story about American flags being banned or an H.O.A. board being dicks
to a dying 6 year old girl, so it’s hard to make our policy makers and
pundits understand what needs to be done. Instead, we get a law
saying “H.O.A.s must have a written collection policy”. However, for
those of us who go through this — as I have been for six years — it
is an INCREDIBLY frustrating experience for so many reasons. 6 years
is more than 10% of my life, and more than 20% of my adult life.

Something else occurred to me last night:

People can — and do — lose their homes over trivial amounts,
sometimes a few pennies, sometimes a few dollars, etc. Sometimes
those amounts are nothing more than arbitrary and artificial
accounting artifacts. But our legislators and courts treat those
amounts as “damage” done to the H.O.A. corporation, which must be
permitted to exercise incredibly draconian powers because….well, I’m
not sure why.

But if an H.O.A. corporation f***s up in the amount of, say, nearly
$7,000, nobody will ever be held accountable. The home owner is
expected to just grin and bear it, because our legislators and courts
don’t treat that as a “damage” that the home owner is entitled to

“Equality before the law” is a sick lie we’re told as children to make
us accept any injustice in our lives.


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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.

4 thoughts on “From Robert Racansky

  1. Nila Ridings

    Standing up to an HOA is nothing more than offering yourself up in front of a firing squad. One way or the other the HOA board will commit themselves to destroy the homeowner that stands up. My experience has been HOAs operate like a cult. Either you agree at all times, praise their every move, never question them, or there will be hell to pay.

    This is precisely why a few homeowners cannot make a difference on a national scale. We need hundreds if not thousands of warriors to demand the legislators stop listening to the CAI and those that follow their play book.

    Every day that passes the American homeowner risks going deeper into the abyss of no return if they live in an HOA. I’ve been in this battle for eight years and it does not get better. The board just becomes more determined to destroy the homeowner that they cannot silence.

    Sorry to hear Robert is still dealing with these idiots. One thing is for sure, he understands their game and will be able to articulate the details to the legislators when the time comes.

  2. Rich

    Robert, you are not alone. I just finished a two year battle with my HOA over the location of a fence for a pool. The stupidity of the HOA still baffles me. What’s disappointing is no one really cares until it affects them directly. I also was left with attorney bills with no way of ever recouping the costs even though I won the lawsuit. That sucks! Attorneys are making big dollars of the backs of ordinary people and as long as that happens I see no change in the future. I feel your pain. Stay strong!!

  3. Nila Ridings

    Rich, cases like yours is EXACTLY when the Kansas Uniform Common Interest Owners Bill of Rights Act allows for the homeowner to recover their legal fees. It is not fair for a homeowner to lose tens of thousands of dollars trying to stay in a legal battle with an HOA. The cards are stacked against the homeowner from day one. The HOA uses the homeowner’s money to pay an attorney to fight that same homeowner and then has the back up of an insurance company to step in and try to bankrupt the homeowner, too. Ultimately, as you found out, you win but you still lose. Every state should allow for the homeowner to recover their legal costs when they prevail in the case.

    We had a pool case in Leawood, Kansas that was an incredible nightmare. I wish I could have connected you to Janet during your battle. Congratulations on the outcome!

  4. Susan from Sanctuary at Oak Creek

    Robert and Rich, I feel your pain and your pocketbooks. Five years and over $50,000 (on our end alone) we are still fighting a lawsuit that was meant to shut us up and punish us. The justice system has been perfectly fine with not moving the lawsuit along. The other homeowners in our 73 home HOA, as Rich stated, don’t want to get involved, i.e. until THEY become the next target.

    Our lawsuit is about the HOA not maintaining property they own, about our installing landscaping without approval-even though if it is less than 10% of the lot it doesn’t need approval , and about the right to install Florida-Friendly landscaping instead of St. Augustine sod. Florida HOA law FS 720.3075 (4) (a) and (b) ,, specifically affords us the right to install Florida-Friendly landscaping. Should be an open and shut case, right? Did I mention our countersuit of breach of fiduciary duty against the board – pages of instances. The HOA is on their third attorney and the case is still ongoing. It’s very, very frustrating, mentally and financially draining. The saddest part is that we DID read the HOA documents before we moved in and we knew what was allowed/not allowed. But all it takes is one dictator to completely change a friendly HOA to a revenge HOA.


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