Impact of Embezzlement in an Emergency!

OK, the biggest reason for a Homeowners Association is to protect property values. Right?¬†Well, let’s visit another of hundreds of thousands of parallel cases around the country. This one involves the Big Wood Springs HOA in Winnsboro, Texas.

I’ve lived in Texas, El Paso and San Antonio, and even as a kid I knew how powerful some of those winter and spring storms could be.

Members of this HOA were trapped when a December storm damaged the only bridge that separates them from the rest of the world. They need tens of thousands of dollars to repair the bridge along with a number of HOA roads which were damaged by the rains. Emergency vehicles can’t reach them, visiting nurses can’t reach elderly homeowners. Government agencies can’t help out because the damaged bridge is on private property. It’s illegal to use state funds to improve or repair privately-owned structures.

The problem is that the former HOA treasurer was recently arrested for embezzling 60 to 80 thousand dollars from the neighborhood’s budget. Now, there’s no money left for the emergency repairs.

Who’d have thought? Who’d have thought that an embezzler could cause an emergency that would risk the lives of an entire community?

What are your property values now, Big Wood Springs?

(link to KLTV report on HOA embezzlement)


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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 “Impact of Embezzlement in an Emergency!

  1. Deborah Goonan

    I think it has been a huge mistake to remove maintenance and repair of basic infrastructure such as roads and storm drainage to private indiviudals or collective groups such as HOAs.

    Passable and safe roads are supposed to be a matter of public interest!

  2. Pingback: TEXAS – Impact of Embezzlement in an Emergency! | HOA Reform Coalition

  3. Cheryl

    Totally agree that communities have empowered HOAs to transfer fiscal responsibility from a town/city to avoid the cost for providing and maintaining infrastructure to neighborhoods. Developer has big dreams and profits then dumps maintenance onto property owners leaving the city unencumbered. Homeowners lose every time!!

    1. IC_deLight

      Stop with the “community” nonsense. The “community” didn’t “empower” anything. The homeowners weren’t there when the HOA was created nor when the land they purchased was burdened by an HOA. Local government is complicit in this scheme and typically mandates the HOA and the maintenance scheme as part of a development agreement between the local government and the developer. Homeowners do lose every time.


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