Kansas City Star: HOA Central!

The Kansas City Star continues to be the premier newspaper providing in-depth news coverage of the national HOA abuse scandal. In this category, at least, the Star is acting like a national newspaper, not a City newspaper. People in all fifty states and Canada are following the expose’ by reporter Judy Thomas and her team. Finally, some true muckraking by a journalist who has the guts to stand up to this massive and corrupt lobby.

And don’t think this reporter isn’t getting abused for her efforts. I maintain no personal contact with her. But I’ve been in the trenches in another city when an investigative team breaks a scandal wide open. It’s not pretty. It’s bloody. The hate calls, sooner or later the death threats. The midnight phone hangups at your home number. The threats to family members. Sometimes a parked car up the street watching your comings and goings. Yep, I’ve been there and I know exactly what’s going on.

But the Kansas City Star plunges forward. As long as this newspaper supports its reporter the stories will continue. They’ll go on because the national HOA scam is huge and there’s no end to the stories, the victims, the sources.

Competing editors across the country will start getting jealous and begin doing their own investigations, of course claiming that they were the originators of the HOA expose’. I’ve seen that happen, too. To me. Yep, I’ve been in the trenches.

And sooner or later we’ll see some legislators tiptoe forward and test the waters. If they sense constituency support they’ll possibly ‘suggest’ some controlling legislation. I’ve seen this happen, too, and I’ve watched them suddenly back off and say, “I’ll try again next year.” It’s another phony promise by cowardly legislators too afraid of losing a vote or a donation here and there.

Another brave reporter is Jeff German of the Las Vegas Review Journal. I’ve never spoken to him, but he’s also one of the very few reporters who’s dared challenge the corrupt HOA industry. I know by the power of his investigative efforts what he’s gone through to expose the scams and the lies and the suicides/assaults/murders of HOA scammers who’ve turned state’s evidence.

Despite the “We’re so innocent” claims of major figures in the national HOA industry, we are dealing with classic organized crime, racketeering, violations of RICO statutes. The lawsuit industry could clean up its own corruption, but there’s just too much money to be made. In this industry, if you’re not dishonest you’re not making any money.

Follow the money. Who’s getting rich? Those are the criminals.

(link to latest Kansas City Star report on HOA abuse of a homeowner)



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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.

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