Category Archives: Make it Viral!

Stoopid HOA Buyers

I have enormous sympathy for people who buy into an HOA. Heck, I was dumb enough to do the same thing. Three times! But in retrospect, I was STOOPID! I was a lamb among the wolves. Never had a clue.

The biggest unreported financial crime in America is embezzlement from an HOA. The following story isn’t even extraordinary, it happens in city after city, day after day. But homeowners (like me) are just too witless to ‘get it.’ The HOA scam is beyond any reasonable explanation. If you’ve bought an HOA property you’ve just donated your life savings to a massive national criminal enterprise that the government will never investigate, expose, or end. Kiss your life savings, ‘Goodbye.’

If you live in a non-HOA neighborhood, fall in love with those boat trailers, the purple front doors, the obnoxious lawn ornaments. Your life savings are protected. Your investment will continue to grow. And feel a modicum of pity for the ritzy people on the other side of the street.

(link to Tampa Bay News story on 300 million dollar fraud)


Sara Benson!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Egads! I’ve never met Sara Benson, never even talked to her on the phone, but I’d have an affair with her in an instant, if she’d agree! (Yep, I’m not very classy, but I’m sincere!)

This incredible Illinois Realtor has discovered that up to 80% of Illinois Homeowners Associations are unknown and untracked by the state! The implications are massive. It means that huge numbers of Americans have signed away their access to rights conferred by the U.S. Constitution by buying homes in private corporations where they’re lying naked in front of all their fellow homeowners. They think they’ve bought private homes, but what they’ve actually bought is shares in unregulated corporations in which they can be taxed, liened, sued and bankrupted with their life savings going into a common pot owned by all their fellow neighbors.

It’s the biggest transfer of private property wealth to government in the history of America. Seductive. Illegal. Subversive. There just aren’t words enough to express it. I thought I was pretty smart about the evils of Homeowners Associations. I hate to admit it, but I didn’t have a clue. Not a clue.

This should be the Number One headline in every news organization in America. Sadly, it won’t be. I love America, but Americans are fundamentally stupid. Like the frog in the pot we just enjoy the increasing heat. Until it’s too hot.

Sara Benson and Don DeBat, I hope you sell a zillion copies of Escaping Condo Jail!.

(link to Chicago Tribune article on Sara Benson)


Welcome To Your New Condo!!!

Yes, welcome to your new condo. You’re going to love living here. The neighbors all get along and we don’t seem to suffer the kinds of problems felt in many other Homeowners Associations. You’re buying into a little bit of Heaven, your own private home. Welcome, welcome, welcome!

Oh, we’re sorry we couldn’t give you copies of the covenants, the budget and insurance papers in time for your real estate closing. At the time you requested them, the paperwork was tied up in some minor snafu. But it’ll all get worked out soon.

Ah yes, and ignore the story in the newspapers today. Those crooked reporters always make up their facts and get the story wrong. Everybody knows how warped and dishonest the media are. Just sit back and enjoy your new life!

(link to the neighborhood Welcome Wagon!)





Kansas Legislators, We Are Counting On You!

guest blog by Nila Ridings

Why was I in Topeka testifying in front of the Kansas legislators today? HB 2557. Kansas now has this bill in the Local Government Committee being discussed to make amendments to the Kansas Uniform Common Interest Owners Bill of Rights Act.

The bill needs a lot of work but the legislators were all ears today. Some were very open about how they are hearing from more and more of their constituents that are having HOA problems.

House Representatives Scott Schwab and Amanda Grosserode both spoke in favor of the bill. I supported the bill with many changes and additions and strongly encouraged the committee members to learn who the CAI is and how they operate. Next came the CAI attorney and property manager who tried to convince the legislators all is well in the HOA neighborhoods. Kansas legislators were not buying it! Being a Realtor himself in Wichita, one representative spoke strongly about how HOA problems are getting worse and he’s hearing about it more and more. Afterwards, I spoke with him and he was very familiar with the case of Jerry Berg* being beaten with a crowbar by the HOA board member in his condo association.

(*Jerry Berg’s story can be found on this website            He was also recently interviewed on Shu Bartholomew’s HOA radio show

Observing the discussion was a reporter from the Kansas City Star. Another was a homeowner who had been in a legal battle with her HOA, but will not speak on record for fear of more retaliation. A few more attorneys. And, last but not least, the Special Assistant to the Kansas Attorney General who asked him to attend and learn more about what is happening with the HOA issues in Kansas!

Readers…we are making headway. We are truly making headway. When I worked on the Kansas Uniform Common Interest Owners Bill of Rights Act back in 2008, 2009, and 2010 the term HOA or Homeowners Association was foreign to the legislators. Today, that is certainly not the case. It appears the legislators phone lines and emails are on fire with unhappy HOA member constituents demanding help!

For a chuckle, I’ll share this. The big time CAI attorney spews out the number of Kansas homeowners living in HOAs. He then says, and you see only one or two of them have complaints. (Okay, yes, I nearly jumped out of my chair!) Trust me, if homeowners were not so frightened of their HOA board placing them on their radar for abuse, I could fill buses with people to testify for this bill to pass.

I will not be able to take busloads of people to Topeka, but I’m asking for your help. Keeping in mind this bill is being written with the intentions of helping HOA homeowners and states seem to follow what other states do…would you please send a short note of support to the email below and ask the Kansas legislators to support HB 2577? I would love to hear that hundreds of emails of support were received from all across America. Let the Kansas Legislators know we are counting on them to blaze the trail for better legislation for HOA victims all across America.

Subject: Local Government Comittee- HB 2577

Here’s a sample of what would be a sufficient email:

Dear Kansas House of Representatives:

As an HOA homeowner I am asking you to support HB 2577 because all across America we are experiencing far too much abuse and there is very little to no rights for us. We have limited protection and no place to go for help. Please listen to the homeowners, not the members of the Community Associations Institute (CAI).

I live in (name of your state) and I’m hoping my legislators will follow your lead.

Thank you for your public service and willingness to recognize the need for better legislation for those living in HOAs.

Your Name
City and State


Important HOA Free Speech Decision! Print it out, and SAVE!

A few days ago I linked to the Mel Pittel case in the Meadow Creek Homeowners Association in a suburb of Minneapolis. Several years ago, Mel became suspicious of odd expenditures by his HOA board, and he got himself elected to the board. He also published a frequent blog about his HOA. The HOA, along with a powerful board member who owned a number of rental units there, not only refused to seat Mel on the board, but sued him over his website. A judge issued a gag order prohibiting Mel’s use of the Meadow Creek name on his blog.

Well, on appeal a fascinating decision was issued in Minnesota that overturned the illegal muzzle placed on Mel Pittel. It quoted a landmark 1931 free press decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that few people even know about. A newspaper article is linked down below.

But first, let’s discuss our Homeowners Rights movement. Government leaders of all kinds hate the First Amendment to the Constitution. Once in power, politicians hate to be criticized. They think they’ve earned their power and they despise the fact that in our Constitutional Republic the common people have power to speak out and object. From Bush, to Clinton, to GW Bush, to Obama, every President has tried to stifle speech. Abuse of the First Amendment is non-partisan. And that kind of corruption flows from the very top of government to the tiniest HOA quasi-government. That kind of corruption is deeply ingrained in ALL the current candidates for President.

At the local level HOA boards across the country use a variety of ways to stifle honest criticism. They fine, lien, sue and seize property of miscreants. They shut down free speech in HOA neighborhoods. They resort to neighborhood ‘shaming’ of anyone who questions or stands up against bully boards and the lawn Nazis.

You and I have an absolute moral obligation to stand up and demand that all politicians from every level of government leave our First Amendment alone. In all the world, our First Amendment is unique. The right to criticize is what keeps us free.

In the link below, pay special attention to the last few paragraphs.  In fact, read them first before you study the rest of the article!

God Bless the First Amendment! And you!

(link to Minneapolis Star Tribune story)