HOA Neighborhood Shaming

Shaming. It’s another word for bullying. For abusing. Often, public shaming is more hurtful than physical abuse. If you’ve never read Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1850 novel, The Scarlet Letter, then you’re missing one of most powerful works in the history of literature. And if you’re honestly in this fight against the national Homeowners Association scam then you need to read Hawthorne to begin to understand how mean and horrible public shaming really is.

I don’t get too many emails from homeowners in Michigan, but there’s a big HOA controversy in that state right now. A new couple applied to their Livingston HOA to have their home construction plans approved. They were. Then the couple was asked if they could move their proposed home a few feet to save some trees. They did. After spending 200,000 bucks to build their foundation and do the framing they were hit with an HOA lawsuit, claiming they moved their house without permission.

Now the whole neighborhood is torn apart. There’s vandalism, there’s a petition to recall the board. But this new couple will forever live with the shame of having caused all this ruckus.

Shaming. It’s probably the most vicious weapon that HOA Nazis have in their evil arsenal.

(link to Livingston Daily story on the HOA feud in Michigan)


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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 “HOA Neighborhood Shaming

  1. Nila Ridings

    The writer of this article sent some emails to random people apparently. I was one who received her request for comments.

    My response was for these folks to tear the house down. Return all of the materials they can for a refund. Donate the rest away. Sell the lot and go build their dream house in a Non-HOA neighborhood. They have no idea of the hell that lies ahead for them! Being on the board will not change a thing. They need to cut their losses and run now!

    This HOA is already a toxic war zone. It will only get worse!!!

  2. C Bryant

    Well it’s my turn to turn the shame around, and shine a glaring light on the “HOA Nazis” who ‘serve’ on our Board, in Burbank, CA. After paying a $10k special assessment 7 months ago to restore our rotting wood walkways, and two and a half years of the Facist board sitting on their ‘thumbs’, while supposedly ‘analyzing the budget’, part of a walkway collapsed, three weeks ago. An Inspector from Building and Safety came out and yellow-tagged the walkways. The Board complained to the Inspector’s supervisor and demanded that the yellow-tags be removed because several units were listed for sale?!?! At least one of the sellers is a real estate agent, I might add. The supervisor capitulated?! So the moral of the story is, owners who are jumping ship and their realtor’s commission take precedence over those owners and residents living in harms way day in and day out! HOA Boards MUST BE ABOLISHED! I wish I could upload pictures of the near-disaster and the amateurish temporary and costly patchwork the Board authorized.


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