Category Archives: Foreclosures

Ripples from HOA Media Exposure Continue

The ripples from the investigative series in the Kansas City Star continue to move across the nation. Editors at many major newspapers are undoubtedly kicking themselves for not diving into the story earlier. Beleaguered homeowners in out-of-control Homeowners Associations who’ve been victimized by the local lawn Nazis are feeling a bit of satisfaction that someone in the newspaper industry is finally looking their way. And some HOA bully boards may be looking behind them to see if investigative reporters are shadowing their activities.

Lord Acton famously said, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said, “Light is the best disinfectant.” The very structure of the modern Homeowners Association creates a system of absolute power. And only by opening up that corrupt and secretive HOA structure to public inspection will homeowners begin to reign in the abuses and financial corruption of a huge number of the nation’s HOA neighborhoods.

The editorial in the Kansas City Star is worth reading, although those of us in-the-know recognize that it doesn’t go far enough. Legislative control? Yes. It’s necessary. But a complete ban of these phony non-profit HOA corporations is the only way to truly restore Constitutional rights to tens of millions of homeowners who inadvertently signed them away.

(link to HOA editorial in Kansas City Star)



More on Crooked HOA Nevada

guest blog by Bob Frank

The massive corruption involved with major over-charging of assessments and accumulating hidden slush funds from surplus assessments is still going on in Sun City Anthem, Henderson, NV with no end in sight.  Neither the state nor the city leaders are willing to act to stop it.  The facts are plainly documented–even this year with yet another board member who got it, and was ignored.

The total waste and abuse in this association alone is over $10 Million by now and growing every year.  There has been no accounting for such fraud.   Annual budgets cover up the issues, and assessments are never reduced by the prior year’s surpluses.   After a decade of such openly illegal abuses, not a single dollar of over $10 Mil. of surplus assessments has ever been “returned/refunded” to the overcharged 7,144 unit owners.  Those thousands of dollars denied to be refunded or credited to members amounts to grand theft–accordingly to criminal law.

But, the Administrative Laws of Nevada give the Executive Branch no authority to punish financially corrupt board members (and that is how the legislative and executive branches want it to be)–except to remove them from a board–which almost never happens.  While board members can theoretically be fined $1,000 by the executive branch, it almost never happens (3 times in 10 years from 3,000 HOAs where there were over 1,000 unit owner complaints about law violations and gross board mismanagement) and when it does, the association is allowed to pay the fine and stiff the members for the second time!

Finally, after what happened to me with being falsely arrested, perp-walked, jailed for 4 hours, entered into the global criminal database, and finger-printed for daring to ask that such flagrant theft by the board be investigated and punished, others are understandably too afraid to file similar complaints with “law enforcement” in Nevada.  So, there is never meaningful punishment for stealing from HOA unit owners–even if it causes the association to go bankrupt.

In case anyone is interested, I have some first person experiences with “tolerated corruption” relating to my 3 years on the NV HOA Commission.   It is a fact that Administrative Law is knowingly and willingly unconstitutional by our federal and state legislators.  The combination of ignorance and greed (dependence on development, HOA management, and real estate industry campaign donations) is totally out-of-control.  It is hard to see through the fog of corruption to envision any progress in the future.  The abusive system seems perfectly protected from all angles.


HOA House Pretty In Pink At Lake Conroe!

guest blog by Nila Ridings

When will it end? The battle over a pink house rises again!

Bella Vita HOA on Lake Conroe, Texas has declared a legal battle with Frank and Anna Manzo. The Manzo’s dream home has a shade of pink that was added after the basic HOA beige was approved. Oh my gosh! You would think the color of the house was going to cause the lake to dry up.

One of the neighbors, Julie Dunaway Williams loves the house and she is standing up for the Manzo’s by creating a gofundme account to help pay their legal bills. The Manzo’s house is valued at $600,000. But as we all know, legal bills in an HOA battle can run into the hundreds of thousands because the goal is always to bankrupt the homeowners.

I’ve written about a pink house in my old non-HOA neighborhood before. I sent a copy of that blog to the owner. He located my number and called me. We had a wonderful chat about his pink house. It was his parent’s house and it was pink when he and his now deceased wife purchased it from his parents. The last time it was painted he asked his wife if she wanted to try a new color? She responded, “This house was born pink and it’s going to die pink!” And so, as long as he owns the house it will always be pink. And the value of the houses in the neighborhood all around it continue to rise.

I recall another pink house story. In my hometown, a plumbing contractor and business partner of my dad’s had a pink house, pink Mustang, pink Cadillac, and a fleet of pink trucks. Everybody in town knew and loved the Rinas family. Their trademark pink was a trademark that nobody forgot. And when they needed a plumber they knew to call the one with the pink trucks. They lived in a lovely neighborhood and to my knowledge no one ever complained about their pink and brick ranch style home!

I think it’s past time for the HOAs to stop with their “pink” phobia. It’s paint. It’s just paint. Get over it. If I ever escape this nightmare HOA I’m living in I hope to live with brightly painted houses all around me. I’m completely sick of the depressing HOA beige!

(link to ABC-13 story on the Pink Stink)

You Can’t Say We Didn’t Warn You!

guest blog by Dave Russell

I was recently interviewed by the Kansas City Star, for their series, HOAs from Hell. While the story about my HOA was flattering, please don’t think for one second that I actually encourage folks to move into these Associations.

I’ve said it millions of times, and I’ll say it again: “You are just one board member, manager or management company away from insanity.” Really, you are.

Sure, I was very flattered that the Kansas City Star selected my community as the one HOA that actually does it right. While our four swimming pools now sparkle, our roofs are sound and my HOA lives up to its original brand, ‘Welcome to Resort Style Living,’ this wasn’t the case seven years ago. And if you really think about it, in a few years from now, my HOA could easily fall once again into the abyss.

I could tell you stories about now-sparkling pools that were once literally swamps, leaking roofs and enough crime that the City of Mesa, Arizona actually had a strategical and tactical plan for our HOA.

I could also tell you stories about our completely dysfunctional former board members, who collectively had an I.Q. of three, who once attempted to manage my neighbors’ financial affairs. But I’m sure you have all heard these stories before.

Now that you have heard all of the HOA horror stories, have read and watched the series, HOAs From Hell reported by Judy Thomas, and you are still considering purchasing a home within an HOA…you can’t say that we ALL didn’t warn you about the pitfalls of owning or renting in a Homeowners Association.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The above link is to an on-camera interview with Dave Russell)