Tag Archives: corruption

More on Crooked HOA Nevada

guest blog by Bob Frank

The massive corruption involved with major over-charging of assessments and accumulating hidden slush funds from surplus assessments is still going on in Sun City Anthem, Henderson, NV with no end in sight.  Neither the state nor the city leaders are willing to act to stop it.  The facts are plainly documented–even this year with yet another board member who got it, and was ignored.

The total waste and abuse in this association alone is over $10 Million by now and growing every year.  There has been no accounting for such fraud.   Annual budgets cover up the issues, and assessments are never reduced by the prior year’s surpluses.   After a decade of such openly illegal abuses, not a single dollar of over $10 Mil. of surplus assessments has ever been “returned/refunded” to the overcharged 7,144 unit owners.  Those thousands of dollars denied to be refunded or credited to members amounts to grand theft–accordingly to criminal law.

But, the Administrative Laws of Nevada give the Executive Branch no authority to punish financially corrupt board members (and that is how the legislative and executive branches want it to be)–except to remove them from a board–which almost never happens.  While board members can theoretically be fined $1,000 by the executive branch, it almost never happens (3 times in 10 years from 3,000 HOAs where there were over 1,000 unit owner complaints about law violations and gross board mismanagement) and when it does, the association is allowed to pay the fine and stiff the members for the second time!

Finally, after what happened to me with being falsely arrested, perp-walked, jailed for 4 hours, entered into the global criminal database, and finger-printed for daring to ask that such flagrant theft by the board be investigated and punished, others are understandably too afraid to file similar complaints with “law enforcement” in Nevada.  So, there is never meaningful punishment for stealing from HOA unit owners–even if it causes the association to go bankrupt.

In case anyone is interested, I have some first person experiences with “tolerated corruption” relating to my 3 years on the NV HOA Commission.   It is a fact that Administrative Law is knowingly and willingly unconstitutional by our federal and state legislators.  The combination of ignorance and greed (dependence on development, HOA management, and real estate industry campaign donations) is totally out-of-control.  It is hard to see through the fog of corruption to envision any progress in the future.  The abusive system seems perfectly protected from all angles.


HOA House Pretty In Pink At Lake Conroe!

guest blog by Nila Ridings

When will it end? The battle over a pink house rises again!

Bella Vita HOA on Lake Conroe, Texas has declared a legal battle with Frank and Anna Manzo. The Manzo’s dream home has a shade of pink that was added after the basic HOA beige was approved. Oh my gosh! You would think the color of the house was going to cause the lake to dry up.

One of the neighbors, Julie Dunaway Williams loves the house and she is standing up for the Manzo’s by creating a gofundme account to help pay their legal bills. The Manzo’s house is valued at $600,000. But as we all know, legal bills in an HOA battle can run into the hundreds of thousands because the goal is always to bankrupt the homeowners.

I’ve written about a pink house in my old non-HOA neighborhood before. I sent a copy of that blog to the owner. He located my number and called me. We had a wonderful chat about his pink house. It was his parent’s house and it was pink when he and his now deceased wife purchased it from his parents. The last time it was painted he asked his wife if she wanted to try a new color? She responded, “This house was born pink and it’s going to die pink!” And so, as long as he owns the house it will always be pink. And the value of the houses in the neighborhood all around it continue to rise.

I recall another pink house story. In my hometown, a plumbing contractor and business partner of my dad’s had a pink house, pink Mustang, pink Cadillac, and a fleet of pink trucks. Everybody in town knew and loved the Rinas family. Their trademark pink was a trademark that nobody forgot. And when they needed a plumber they knew to call the one with the pink trucks. They lived in a lovely neighborhood and to my knowledge no one ever complained about their pink and brick ranch style home!

I think it’s past time for the HOAs to stop with their “pink” phobia. It’s paint. It’s just paint. Get over it. If I ever escape this nightmare HOA I’m living in I hope to live with brightly painted houses all around me. I’m completely sick of the depressing HOA beige!

(link to ABC-13 story on the Pink Stink)


You Can’t Say We Didn’t Warn You!

guest blog by Dave Russell

I was recently interviewed by the Kansas City Star, for their series, HOAs from Hell. While the story about my HOA was flattering, please don’t think for one second that I actually encourage folks to move into these Associations.

I’ve said it millions of times, and I’ll say it again: “You are just one board member, manager or management company away from insanity.” Really, you are.

Sure, I was very flattered that the Kansas City Star selected my community as the one HOA that actually does it right. While our four swimming pools now sparkle, our roofs are sound and my HOA lives up to its original brand, ‘Welcome to Resort Style Living,’ this wasn’t the case seven years ago. And if you really think about it, in a few years from now, my HOA could easily fall once again into the abyss.

I could tell you stories about now-sparkling pools that were once literally swamps, leaking roofs and enough crime that the City of Mesa, Arizona actually had a strategical and tactical plan for our HOA.

I could also tell you stories about our completely dysfunctional former board members, who collectively had an I.Q. of three, who once attempted to manage my neighbors’ financial affairs. But I’m sure you have all heard these stories before.

Now that you have heard all of the HOA horror stories, have read and watched the series, HOAs From Hell reported by Judy Thomas, and you are still considering purchasing a home within an HOA…you can’t say that we ALL didn’t warn you about the pitfalls of owning or renting in a Homeowners Association.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The above link is to an on-camera interview with Dave Russell)

“Fire That Reporter, Judy Thomas!”

All anybody on our network is talking about right now is the amazing series of stories in the Kansas City Star. Today’s paper featured an extensive story on the abuse and criminality going on in America’s Homeowners Associations. Well-researched, well-documented, and well-reported the Star again sets a national standard upon which all HOA stories should be based. This is not to diminish my respect for the Las Vegas Review-Journal which has long reported the organized criminal activities among Nevada HOAs and the corrupt public officials who oversee them. But reporter Judy Thomas has broken new ground with her story on the national HOA scam.

The industry’s reaction is predictable. They’re already accusing the paper of not being fair. They’re complaining that the paper didn’t seek out the other side, and that the investigative series was biased.

Next, the Community Associations Institute, that ethically challenged, dishonest multi-billion dollar outfit will put together a committee of famous people to descend on the management of the Kansas City Star demanding that reporter Judy Thomas be fired. And Judy will be called into her boss’s office to listen to the harangue.

How do I know? Because it’s pro-forma. The same thing happened to me. More than twenty years ago I did an extensive investigative series on mid-west meat packing plants and the kind of filth that’s sold to American consumers every day. My sources? None other than a number of FDA inspectors and managers of several meat packing plants. The most prominent meat packer in Colorado took offense, and the day after my story aired he and a United States Congressman were in my boss’s office demanding that I be fired. After an hour of ranting at me and demanding I be immediately put out on the street my boss told me, “Geez, I’ve never had a U.S. Congressman demand that I fire an employee!”

That Congressman was later rewarded with re-election, then election as a U.S. Senator, and finally an appointment as president of the University of Colorado.

Get ready, Judy. Just keep a smile on your face. Your story is beyond amazing and it should win some prestigious journalism awards. It makes me very proud of the courage of the management of the Kansas City Star.

(link to HOAs From Hell, Kansas City Star)


What Happens When The Condo Blows Up?!?!

guest blog by Nila Ridings

If you live in a townhouse or condo this story is a must read. It contains details you may not have thought of. It raises awareness of how board members are not qualified to hire contractors and oversee construction rebuilds.

What it does not mention, unless I missed it, is the fact while you are displaced from your HOA property you are still paying for the mortgage, taxes, insurance, and HOA dues. All while you are paying for a place to stay unless your insurance provides coverage for temporary housing. And do they consider a year or two temporary?

Some of our readers may recall I grew up in the construction industry. My father was a custom home-builder and developer so I spent a lot of time on construction sites and have a very clear understanding of the process from dirt to dishwashers. I’ve been the general contractor on several of the remodeling projects I’ve done on houses I’ve owned, including one where a fire destroyed the kitchen. Coordinating sub-contractors, negotiating pricing, and choosing materials is a full-time job that requires tremendous organizational skills and the ability to anticipate the next step in the process so the job can move forward toward completion.

I shudder to think about a disaster rebuild in my HOA or any HOA that would be coordinated by board members who do not know beadboard from chipboard or quarter round from crown moulding which would promise a full scale fail as the end result from day one. Imagine moving back to a nightmare like these folks in the article below! Put yourself in their shoes because it’s not all that unlikely you could be wearing them someday.

(link to story about disastrous rebuild attempt)