One of my unspoken goals in creating this blogsite is to gradually build a list of lawyers in each and every state who are not beholden to such dismal anti-homeowner organizations as the Community Associations Institute. Other bloggers and I have been assembling a list of attorneys who truly represent homeowners against HOA bullies and management companies. So I solicit your input on lawyers you think deserve to be recommended by our network. You can privately email me at ward@NeighborsAtWar.com. Ultimately, our vetted list will be made available on all sorts of homeowners rights blogs.
LOL! A recent Forbes Magazine article cites a survey that shows the happiest and the unhappiest occupations in the country. Apparently the unhappiest people are lawyers, and the most miserable of the unhappy are associate lawyers.
It just makes me wonder? Are lawyers, who spend their lives foreclosing on homeowners for such misdeeds as forgetting to cut their grass, parking their car in the driveway instead of the garage, and for planting too many flowers: are they happy…or unhappy? Sure, they make vast sums of money throwing people out of their homes and having their buddies buy those homes up at auction. But what goes through their minds?
I like pondering this question. Sadly, I can’t find the link for proper attribution. But the blogger talked about a statement made by Franklin Delano Roosevelt to a 1938 session of Congress. Here it is:
“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to the point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That, in essence, is fascism – ownership of government by an individual, by a group or by any controlling private power.”
Bill Fry, an officer with the Army National guard, was returning from fighting in Iraq. All of a sudden he learned his HOA, The Spring Lake HOA of Mineoloa, Texas, had filed a lawsuit against him and his family because they put up the swingset to keep his kids company while he was gone.
It’s not an outrageous swingset. It’s not candy apple red and doesn’t flash with florescent colored lights. It’s just a nice wood and canvas politically correct swingset. But the officials at Spring Lake have gone apoplectic. They want it taken down, NOW!
Increasing numbers of homeowners associations across the country have learned there’s profit in being confrontational. Lots of profit. HOA attorneys advise their clients to attack every violation of the covenants with a vengeance. Insignificant fines often turn into tens of thousands of dollars in fees, fines, collection costs and attorneys’ expenses. Some of those confrontations defy common sense.
Ted Faraz of Irving, Texas, found that out the hard way. He installed some solar panels on his roof. His intent wasn’t malicious. He wasn’t doing it to intentionally anger his HOA. He actually invested $15,000 in an effort to be more environmentally responsible.