Whoa! Is this the Beginning?!?

There are some scattered court cases which may have an interesting impact on Homeowners Associations, an impact many of us would love to see. From the National Law Review, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals ruled that HOAs are debt collectors. We all know they file liens and harrass homeowners into paying dues, fines, collection costs, attorneys’ fees. But if they’re debt collectors then they have to follow all the laws governing debt collections. With what we know about HOA bullies that could subject associations to huge fines.

(link to National Law Review discussion of HOA debt collectors)

The Supreme Court’s recent disparate impact decision has been discussed before on Neighbors At War. It will most likely lead to a huge increase in lawsuits because people were discriminated against even if there was no intent to discriminate. Well, housing discrimination is basically the middle name of many HOA board bullies. This creates tremendous financial liability for all HOA communities.

(link to National Law Review article on disparate impact decision)

Then there’s the Nevada high court ruling that HOA liens have super-priority status over mortgage companies. Nearly two dozen states have such rules. Lenders might become extremely wary of lending money to potential buyers of HOA property. Once that trend starts, HOA home values will crash because buyers won’t be able to find lenders.

(link to recent FHFA warning about super-priority liens)

The tide may be turning against the so-called lure of HOA life!

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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 “Whoa! Is this the Beginning?!?

  1. Cynthia

    Ward, in my opinion this is a “beginning” that should have happened long ago concerning abuse and criminality in American housing that should have never been allowed to happen and endure in the first place. Other states have held that HOAs and/or their accomplices have to follow the FDCPA. We have seen these court rulings, “here and there,” and in different states. All one needs to do is google this subject. Here is a link to a brilliant article by George Staropoli from 2010 on this very subject and Arizona law: https://pvtgov.wordpress.com/2010/01/23/hoa-debt-collection-practices/.
    I have to applaud the West Virgina Supreme Court because they actually listened to the HOA homeowners, allowed them to present their evidence and followed the laws! This is groundbreaking in HOA issues, abuses, and criminality against innocent and unsuspecting HOA homeowners. These HOA homeowner abuses and crimes are intentional and willful inflicted many times for sinister, illegal and malicious purposes and selectively targeting and discriminating against the most vulnerable HOA homeowners. Many courts, like in Monroe County, Pennsylvania refuse to allow HOA homeowners to present their evidence to prove their innocence, will not allow access to HOA books and records for the victimized HOA homeowners, and/or refuse to uphold the laws protecting innocent HOA homeowners, refuse to uphold the governing documents of the community (CC&R’s), and hold Kangaroo courts, or witch hunts to fraudulently and criminally strip innocent HOA homeowners of their finances, homes, equity and belongings and they don’t want anyone else to know, or become aware of their on going criminality! America needs to wake up about the HOA issues, abuses and criminality and educate themselves on who is behind these crimes, injustices and property thefts and ask themselves why innocent HOA homeowners have had no help, minimal, or no ‘voices,” and why the traditional main stream media will not report on these crimes, criminality, property thefts and the systemic corruption in many locales? Every predator, perpetrator and any and all of the accomplices in the HOA criminality and property thefts, in every locale in America need to be exposed! No matter who they are, or who they know and especially if they have a law license, or if they “sit on a bench,” or did “sit on a bench,” it should make no difference. These thieves, thugs and bullies need to be prosecuted under all individual state and federal laws in effect and if those laws are not strong enough, these are the laws that need to be enacted now! The public deserves to know the deep and dirty truth about the HOA crimes and criminality in America and the mainstream media needs to report the truths and facts on the range of these crimes and property thefts, and not just distract the general public with American flag flying HOA accounts. These HOA accounts are important, but as anyone with any sense knows, there was a federal law passed in 2005 to protect HOA (COA, POA (CID/CIC)) homeowners rights to fly the American flag. If HOA boards, attorneys, etc., don’t know this, or are just creating the conflict to generate legal fees, fines, collection costs, or other, then the federal government should step in and charge them with discrimination!

    1. AngelaB

      I have always wondered how HOAs’ ability to fine or punish people for violations is even legal, considering that the HOA is judge, jury, and executioner. Yes, I understand that many rules are there for a reason, but there is little recourse for an owner to fight a bogus compliance violation other than hiring a lawyer at that owners’ expense. I have heard of owners fined for things they didn’t even do and when testifying at an HOA “hearing” could not prove that they didn’t do it so the violation stuck. This would not be acceptable in a true court of law. The constitutional rights of HOA residents is being violated every day.

  2. AngelaB

    Considering that I’ll never be able to sell my condo for a profit, I’d love to see the HOA market crash.

    This could also be a huge blow to developers who don’t care about existing communities and infrastructure or about preserving farmland or wildlife habitat. There has long been an insidious partnership between local government officials and developers. I have seen many a housing development forced into what was previously a rural community, totally changing the nature of that community against the residents’ wishes. Local governments love these HOA communities because they don’t have to pay for much of maintenance at all leaving HOA residents essentially double taxed.


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