Tag Archives: HOA

One Good Lawyer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Don’t beat me up! I know there are other good, honest HOA lawyers out there someplace. Well, at least one or two. But I haven’t met them yet.

But this lawyer actually ‘gets it!’ He understands about the kind of fascism found in many of America’s Homeowners Associations. He understands that HOAs are often a rat trap that ruin targeted homeowners at will.  He gets the fact that once a bully board is in control of the HOA they can unleash unbelievable racism, discrimination and abuse. He understands that HOA lawyers are a corrupt layer of infection that can quickly contaminate the atmosphere of a neighborhood. He understands that HOA lawyers have little or nothing to do with ‘justice,’ it’s all about how much money can be pocketed from homeowners who find themselves in a hopeless situation.

I’m linking this lawyer’s short blog below, mainly because he says all of the above but with a lot more diplomacy. But it’s really worth printing out and saving. If you’re a homeowner living in Texas, this connection could someday be very valuable to you.

(link to J. Patrick Sutton Law in Austin, Texas)


Trust A Lawyer?!?!?!

Yikes! How can I say that having two brothers who are lawyers? And how can I say that after passing the LSAT and being offered a free ride through the University of Washington Law School?

I can say that as a forty-year journalist watching lawyers in court. Never trust a lawyer.

In the link below, a CAI lawyer has tried to simplify the ‘education’ process for prospective buyers. It’s a good step forward. But I like Nila Ridings idea of making all HOA home buyers sign an acknowledgement that each buyer isn’t really buying a home. He or she is buying shares of stock in a non-profit corporation where every single asset, every bank account, every stock account, every college education account is pledged as security to pay for each and every misdeed, miscalculation, embezzlement and lawsuit involving the HOA.

Run, people, run!

Run from that HOA purchase as fast as you can!

Tell your Realtor, “Don’t show me anything in an HOA!”

(link to new HOA ‘disclosure’ papers)


HOA Is Easier Target

guest blog by Nila Ridings

Here’s a an auditor from Pima County, Arizona who apparently opted to steal from the HOA rather than the taxpayers. Joshua Bonillas was the HOA bookkeeper for Presidio Villas 2. His day job as county auditor paid him $60,000 per year. He admits to stealing $45,000 from his neighbors via the HOA bank account by forging the treasurer’s signature on the checks.

I have a few questions for him. He’s claiming he stole the money because of his ill children. Did he not have health insurance for him and his family through his county job? If so, how did he end up needing $45,000 to pay medical bills? Why didn’t he put that money on a credit card? Or take a second mortgage on his house? Or set up a GoFundMe account? And why didn’t he steal from the taxpayers instead of his neighbors?

Here’s my opinion of why he chose the HOA for his piggy bank. I’m one who believes if a person will steal one thing they will steal anything. In this case, I don’t think he thought he’d ever get caught stealing from the HOA. As a county auditor, he knew if he stole from the county funds his risks for getting caught and going to jail were much greater. So, he opted to steal where his could play the “my kids were sick” card on his neighbors so as to pull their sympathetic heartstrings and appease them with an “I’m sorry” and walk away with a promise to repay the HOA. Repay when, Mr. Bonillas? In this lifetime or your next? We all know HOAs rarely recover anything when a thief steals the cash. It’s always chalked up to the “we should have known better” or “it was our fault” for not having two signatures required on the checks. In this case, he was not only stealing the money he was forging the signature. I just wonder if the $45,000 was the total he stole or if there’s more to the story?

Bottom line: Joshua Bonillas should be going to jail. April 11th he will be sentenced but his neighbors are already willing to forgive and forget what happened.

What about the homeowners who can’t afford their medical treatment because they are paying HOA dues? Or cannot afford the orthodontics for their children because they are paying dues for some thief to steal? Or the maintenance that was not done thus depreciating their property values? What about all of those real life situations? Will those be taken into consideration at the sentencing? I doubt it.

People make a conscious effort to forge signatures and steal money. No matter what their excuse for doing so, it doesn’t happen accidentally or unintentionally. Homeowners need to stop accepting these lame apologies and push for the highest level of punishment by law. Only when thieves know they will be given significant time behind bars will this HOA theft insanity stop!

Most of our readers recall my HOA has $10,000,000 unaccounted for. The guy who ran the HOA like it was his own business for twenty years dropped dead shortly after I hired an attorney. You should have heard the neighbors telling me how he was such a nice guy to have “volunteered” to be the president for all those years. And how he was so good at the job and just took care of every little thing. (Nobody noticed the houses were rotting to the ground and hundreds of thousands of dollars in bills were not paid in addition to the ten million dollars going missing.) Nobody cared that he had just purchased two places in Carlsbad, California and was running for the BOD of that HOA. Did I ever share with you that his successor had the American flag lowered to half-staff the day he died? Yes, she did. I’m convinced she thought as the new HOA president she had been given the power of authority that the Governor and President of the United States have! All that respect, concern, and sympathy for him. But let a homeowner not pay three months of dues, watch what happens then. No sympathy regardless of their reason for not paying. They will call out the CAI attorney, charge 18% interest, add on the legal fees, and go absolutely nuts to destroy that homeowner!

I do not understand the logic that seems to prevail in the minds of HOA homeowners. A simple apology from a thief seems to suffice. A few late payments from a homeowner sends them off the deep end. Could somebody please explain this to me? I just do not get it.

(link to conviction of HOA bookkeeper for stealing money from neighbors)

Can’t We Wake These Idiot Congressmen Up?

Well, golly gee! A small group of Congressmen have discovered that tax jurisdictions have been selling tax liens to investors who, for a tiny bit of money, can buy up properties where taxes weren’t paid and auction them off to investors. That’s been going on forever. When I was a teenager I bought a tax lien in Seattle for 70 bucks. Never made a dime from it and I ended up giving it back to the city.

But this Washington Post reporter linked below neglects to tell an even larger story. Thousands of homeowners across the country are being foreclosed on and auctioned off because of minor ‘crimes’ like late dues or assessments by Homeowners Associations which also auction off their homes after adding in unconscionable late fees, collection expenses, attorney’s fees and many other ‘random’ expenses. Tax lien auctions aren’t a crime. Stealing by Homeowners Associations really is a crime.

Some reporters ‘get it.’ Some never do. Someone should find a way to educate these two dunces.

(link to Washington Post story on tax auctions)

Citing abuses, federal lawmakers call for examination of tax-lien programs nationwide

September 19, 2013
A dozen U.S. senators are calling on the federal government to investigate tax-lien programs across the country and find ways to thwart “unscrupulous practices” that in the District alone have cost dozens of families their homes.

In a letter to the Justice Department, the lawmakers said vulnerable homeowners — the elderly, veterans and people with disabilities — should not lose their houses to companies that turn small tax debts into massive liabilities.

The senators said they were spurred by a Washington Post investigation that found that investors had bought thousands of tax liens throughout the District, then charged homeowners legal fees and other costs that far exceeded their original tax bills.

When homeowners were unable to pay, the investors took the properties through foreclosure — about 500 since 2005 — stripping families of their equity. One 95-year-old woman, Daisy Dolsey, lost a $300,000 house that had been in her family for half a century over a $44.79 tax debt.

Homeowners have been “put out on the street for a tax debt which initially amounted to less than a week’s worth of groceries or a month of cable television,” the senators wrote, citing Dolsey’s case. “While we understand that some state and local governments are struggling in the current economic climate, it is never acceptable to make up such a shortfall on the backs of some of our most vulnerable citizens.”

The push by lawmakers, led by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), marks one of the first concerted efforts by federal leaders to intervene in an industry that has been run for decades by local governments, often with little scrutiny.

“The rip-off artists very often know that something that works in one area, they can very often duplicate it somewhere else,” said Wyden, who worked for years as an advocate for the elderly in Oregon before coming to Congress. “Washington, D.C., is not the only place where seniors get fleeced this way.”

A Post analysis found that about half of U.S. counties sell tax liens or other instruments to private investors to recover back taxes, while others have programs to recoup the money themselves.

Lawmakers, including Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) and Sen. Timothy M. Kaine (D-Va.), are asking the Justice Department and the recently created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to examine one of the most common abuses: the fees imposed by investors.

The 12 senators also want to know whether local programs ban the taking of homes from the elderly and disabled and offer payment plans to cash-strapped homeowners. The District doesn’t have those kinds of safeguards in place, although this week its leaders passed emergency legislation to add protections to the city’s century-old program.

Lawmakers also want federal officials to analyze foreclosure rates, paying particular attention to homes lost by veterans, low-income families and people with chronic illnesses or disabilities. The senators asked the federal agencies to make recommendations to Congress about whether federal oversight is needed.

“It appears that some third-party investors are cynically leveraging these regulatory gaps to maximize profits,” the lawmakers wrote.

The industry’s trade group said Thursday it “welcomed the opportunity” to work with the federal agencies but was leery of direct federal intervention.

“Every jurisdiction is so different,” said Brad Westover, executive director of the National Tax Lien Association, who met this week with the District’s tax office and D.C. Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) to discuss the city’s program.

Carolyn L. Carter, deputy director for advocacy at the National Consumer Law Center, said a federal probe is crucial.

“There is a great need to reform tax-lien laws so that they promote the interests of citizens and the government, rather than being a profit-making machine for investors,” Carter said.

In their letter, lawmakers also asked the federal government to investigate third-party vendors hired by mortgage holders during the foreclosure process, citing a story in the New York Times saying that banks and their vendors were using aggressive tactics when homeowners fell behind on mortgage payments.

The letter from the senators, which seeks a response from the federal government by Oct. 31, was signed by Wyden, Warner, Kaine, Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Edward Markey (Mass.), Bernard Sanders (Vt.), Robert Menendez (N.J.), Chris Murphy (Conn.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Mark Begich (Alaska) and Richard Blumenthal (Conn.). All are Democrats except Sanders, who is an independent.


Only Slightly Related to Homeowners

OK, OK, so I do occasionally go off on a wild goose chase. I admit it. Hopefully you’ll forgive me.

For the past two days I’ve been absolutely addicted to something on the web. Can’t take my eyes off of it. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has placed a high quality live camera right next to a nest of bald eagles, that grand symbol of America.

Just a couple days ago they hatched a chick. I think there are two more eggs in the nest but I can’t tell for sure. Dad is usually off hunting.

I do believe in celestial miracles and this is one of God’s greatest! Make sure you view it full screen!

(live web cam on eagles’ nest)




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