Tag Archives: HOA lawyers

We the People, Screw the People

Across this grand country of ours, people are waking up to the massive corruption scheme known as the Homeowners Association Movement. This cash cow has transferred billions of dollars from the assets of homeowners into the pockets of the tort industry. No lawyer can afford NOT to represent Homeowners Associations against individual homeowners. And lots of HOA board officials get slipped cash for going along with the program.

Is this writer really serious? Isn’t he a little off his rocker? Organized crime? Didn’t we all think all members of the Mafia were either dead or in prison?

Well, RICO statutes (racketeering) were certainly aimed at the Mafia. But RICO laws were also aimed at any and all white collar crime that crossed state borders and was therefore subject to federal law. It’s under these very statutes that FBI agents raided scores of Homeowners Associations in Nevada, and under these statutes that the U.S. Attorney was able to indict at least forty lawyers, police officials, HOA board officials, political figures, management company executives and others in the last four year’s worth of Federal Grand Jury investigations.

I started this blog off by talking about how people are waking up. Well, so is the massive tort industry. It’s working madly to smash down any legislation aimed at stopping the organized and profitable abuse of homeowners. The latest proposed HOA tort reform is in North Carolina. But it appears from the article linked below that yet another attempt to restore the Bill of Rights to homeowners is being sucked down the tube.

Do you feel ill, yet? You should.



How to Wrench a Neighborhood Apart

HOA lawyers tell their clients, “Show no mercy on neighborhood scofflaws. Warn them about the violation. Tell them this is a “no tolerance” neighborhood. Then pop them with a lawsuit.”

That kind of advice can tear a neighborhood apart. It also means some pretty nice paydays for lawyers.

Sammi Goldsten lives in the Southern Oaks Society Homeowners Association in the Stevens Ranch area of north Los Angeles County. The HOA asked Sammi to repaint her house, so she painted it almost the exact color as a house down the street. But the HOA decided her choice of colors was wrong and they filed a lawsuit. Surprisingly, they got an $18,000 judgment against Sammi, despite the fact that she wasn’t even aware the lawsuit had been filed.

Sammi had two plausible reasons for being unaware of the lawsuit. She was never served with the subpoena. And at the time, Sammi was at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Her young daughter was deathly ill and was undergoing a series of surgeries as doctors attempted to save her life. Sammi never left her daughter’s bedside.

On the other side of the country, the Southern Oaks Society HOA continued its war against the Goldstein family. To satisfy the $18,000 court judgment, the HOA drained the savings accounts of Sammi’s two children. And when Sammi finally returned to her neighborhood she was served with a contempt of court citation that basically said, either paint your house or go to jail.

It’s not often that an embattled homeowner wins against an HOA. But Sammi’s lawyer, Kenneth G. Eade, appeared in court and asked the judge to set aside his prior ruling. Eade argued that fairness demands two elements; that a defendant to notified of the lawsuit and second, that a defendant be given a chance to be heard. Sammi was given neither.

The judge agreed and set aside his former ruling.

Still, it’s hard to believe there were any winners in this case. Certainly not Sammi Goldstein who now owes a small fortune in attorney’s fees. And it cannot be the Southern Oaks Society HOA, which has now built up a stack of its own legal bills. Finally, it cannot be the neighborhood itself.  Realtors who show clients any homes for sale in Southern Oaks must disclose any “defects” in a property. That would include the contemptible actions of a rogue HOA board that has no compassion for a family during its time of grief and distress.

Sneaky, Sneaky Trick in the Foreclosure State

The wise guys in Florida are picking up some sneaky new tricks. Most homeowners who are overdue on their debts to HOAs owe less than $15,000. HOAs aren’t required to notify primary mortgage holders that the homeowner is in arrears on HOA payments.

HOA lawyers tell their clients to file for repayment in county court rather than circuit court. Circuit courts, of course, are working on huge backloads. So the HOAs can get a foreclosure in about half the time by going through county court.  The major lenders suddenly discover the rug’s been whipped out from under them, and the HOA which was owed the smallest debt now gets the entire foreclosed house.

It’s slick. It’s almost foolproof.  And it allowed one person to grab a one million dollar house for just $10,000. Is something wrong with this picture?  Is this kind of sickness really endemic in America?  What have we wrought? What have we wrought?

Ward Lucas
Author of
Neighbors At War: The Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association