guest blog by Deborah Goonan (Independent American Communities)
How many times have we heard homeowners, Community Association Managers and attorneys lament about apathy in HOAs? A quick Google search on “HOA Apathy” results in dozens of articles on the subject. Few attend annual meetings, so there’s never a quorum. No one wants to serve on the Association’s board. Does anyone actually read emails, newsletters, or the website?
The link below is horrifying, but really should be read by everyone concerned about elder abuse. It involves state agencies that declare an elderly person ‘incapacitated’ and appoint a guardian who takes over that person’s care and gives the guardian unlimited access to the older person’s bank accounts.
While I was an investigative reporter for the NBC affiliate in Denver I reported on several such cases. Then, attending my 50th class reunion last month, I spoke to a longtime neighbor (and a good-lookin’ gal, too!) about a different kind of theft. Seems that a sibling was executor of her parents’ rather substantial estate and that sibling stripped out all the assets. My friend didn’t get a dime of what her parents left her.
HOA boosters like the Community Associations Institute would have us all believe that embezzling by HOA board members is very isolated. Linked below is one more of the hundreds and even thousands of cases of out-of-control board members stealing from their neighbors.
Charleston Harbor HOA in Kansas City North, Missouri has been the latest victim of over a $100,000 embezzlement!
On August 19, 1938 a thief by the name of Loretta Lock was born. She sells real estate and advertises how honest she is! And her performance in the courtroom would have you thinking she’s a little old church lady who laid down her knitting needles and forgot her hearing aids in a rush to stand before the judge and plead guilty to stealing from two hundred of her neighbors! Annually, they each pay dues of $400. So her stint as the board treasurer and neighborhood thief required some very careful transacting.