It’s not often that the lowly homeowner has much of a chance of getting a fair hearing in court. The vast majority of all rulings are against the homeowner and in favor of the private non-profit corporation. And many’s the judge who’s told a miserable homeowner that he or she should have read his covenants before signing the real estate documents.
Last week’s ruling, though, by the Supreme Court of Virginia was a clarion call to the National Homeowners Association Movement that it can’t stomp on the homeowner’s Constitutional rights forever. Basically the court ruled that the Shadowood Condominium complex in Reston, Virginia cannot assess fines against residents because there was no such permission granted in the development’s master deed. Bam! Pow!
Oh yes, embezzling is endemic in American Homewers Associations. Just Google “homeowner association and embezzle.” Then stand back and watch the numbers.
The latest one is Dale Palmer, a Kansas City man who managed HOAs in Kansas, Missouri, Illinois and Wisconsin. This creep thought he could get away with embezzling more than 750,000 dollars. He’s going to prison for 46 months, but that’s a laugh. He’ll get off about two years for good behavior.
And the $825,000 restitution?
Don’t count on it, folks.
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Treading where angels fear to go, a columnist for the Press-Enterprise in Inland Southern California wades into the swamp of HOA racism. He ponders whether a Sun City HOA there is racist, because it wouldn’t allow the NAACP to use its meeting house.
Certainly, racism is an oft-documented problem in American HOAs. There are too many such cases to even count. And subtle racism is even harder to measure. But many HOAs across the country have either no minorities at all, or percentages as small as one or two percent. While that’s no way to measure racial divides, it can make one pause and reflect.