There’s Gotta Be A Better Way!

There’s yet another home confiscation in Florida, this one in the Waters Edge Homeowners Association. A young Florida family got behind in their HOA dues and their home was snatched right out from under them.

Young families are not wise to the ways of the world. They don’t understand how profoundly corrupt organizations like the HOA movement can simply steal what they own. Young people trust in the honesty of neighbors and neighborhood lawyers. Sadly, too many families who are just searching for a dream end up living a nightmare.

(link to WFTV story on homeless family)


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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.

2 thoughts on “There’s Gotta Be A Better Way!

  1. Cynthia

    Ward Lucas, you and I both know what has happened to this family is common place in many HOAs across America. Elders, the disabled, single female, single female parent and single male households appear to be the first targeted, or selectively discriminated against for these crimes and property thefts, but young HOA homeowners too are attractive prey for these predators. An HOA homeowner does not even have to owe $.01cent!

    A simple question about and inappropriate demand for money, or clarification on a vote, by law, or other is enough to have an HOA homeowner targeted, slapped and fraudulently made homeless by these syndicates of thieves, thugs, bullies and criminals.

    In this recent case from Florida, I would like to see the HOA’s books and see how much of the alleged arrearages were truly actual costs, or dues, and how much were alleged collection costs and alleged legal fees. Also, had the HOA homeowners overpaid dues in prior years and their overpayments ever been refunded, or credited as is required by most states HOA laws?

    For those still in denial and not wanting to believe the HOA fraud closures, extortion and homeowner abuses are happening, I am going to post one of the best HOA fraud closure investigations covering one small NC County ever done by a journalist, in my opinion. This journalist went on to do the same types of investigations in Charleston, South Carolina, I believe and the numbers of HOA fraud closures were unbelievably outrageous there also. There were thousands, upon thousands, if I recall correctly.

    It is my understanding the young journalist, Matt Tomsic, left journalism and is pursuing law school! Please see this investigative series from New Hanover County, NC and published in the Star News of Wilmington, NC. What Matt Tomsic had uncovered in his investigation over a very short time frame is just scratching the surface of the HOA fraud closures across America. What is interesting to note in the NC investigative report is how little is owed. NC has non judicial foreclosure and the attorney involved, so the article states: ” Charles Meier, who represented associations in 112 of the 125 foreclosure filings, said the clerk of court approved each sale to the association.” I question this, and want to know just how many HOA homeowners actually owed a dime, and/or were even notified.

    Additionally, Mr. Meier said: “We were following the statute,” said Meier, who represents more than 100 associations – work he’s gotten mostly through management companies. “The procedure that we used was specifically approved by the clerk of court.”” I do not believe this for one minute. Not at least in the manner he is stating.

    “In the StarNews review, 70 percent of foreclosure proceedings were filed against homeowners who owed less than $3,000 in dues and assessments. Five percent were filed against homeowners who owed more than $10,000.”

    1.) Homeowners Associations stepping up legal pressure with foreclosures

    Entire article:
    Saturday, March 05, 2011
    Homeowners Associations stepping up legal pressure with foreclosures

    2.) Which homeowners associations are foreclosing on neighborhood owners?

    Entire article:…/999999…/MULTIMEDIA/110309845
    Sunday, March 6, 2011 at 3:30 a.m.
    Last Modified: Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 3:10 p.m.
    Additionally, the article states:

    “The StarNews review of foreclosures isn’t comprehensive because associations aren’t regulated by any state agency, meaning a list of every association in the county does not exist. The StarNews found about 1,000 associations – which included some duplicates – in New Hanover County and searched court documents for foreclosures filed by those association.

    Foreclosures by local homeowners and condominium associations more than doubled since 2008, though the filings have waned recently, a StarNews review of New Hanover County foreclosure filings found.”

    Are we ever going to know how many homes have been stolen and how any many families devastated across America in this HOA madness?

  2. Barbara Billiot Stage, Esq.

    It’s not just the young people who are victimized, but anyone who moves to Florida from a state which does not have HOAs. As soon as someone gets behind on their dues, the community association managers and the HOA lawyers pounce on the delinquency to generate billable hours and fees for both. Since HOAs are not regulated by any state agency in Florida and the Florida Bar will usually not consider a Bar complaint from homeowners because they are not the lawyer’s client, the added fees and costs very quickly run up to an amount higher than the missed payment for the assessments.


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