Author Archives: Ward Lucas

About Ward Lucas

Ward Lucas is a longtime investigative journalist and television news anchor. He has won more than 70 national and regional awards for Excellence in Journalism, Creative Writing and community involvement. His new book, "Neighbors At War: the Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association," is now available for purchase. In it, he discusses the American homeowners association movement, from its racist origins, to its transformation into a lucrative money machine for the nation's legal industry. From scams to outright violence to foreclosures and neighborhood collapses across the country, the reader will find this book enormously compelling and a necessary read for every homeowner. Knowledge is self-defense. No homeowner contemplating life in an HOA should neglect reading this book. No HOA board officer should overlook this examination of the pitfalls in HOA management. And no lawyer representing either side in an HOA dispute should gloss over what homeowners are saying or believing about the lawsuit industry.

Vanitzian On Pro-Bono

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guest blog, permission by Donie Vanitzian (LA Times Columnist)

QUESTION:  For more than two years, I’ve experienced nothing but problems with my homeowner association board and management. They are uncooperative and obstructive. After eliminating all my administrative remedies, I now believe the only way to fix these serious problems is to sue them.

I’ve interviewed three attorneys, but each is requiring a retainer of at least $20,000. Realizing I don’t have enough money to sue the board and the association, I asked each attorney to take the case on a contingency basis. No attorney would agree to that.

Airbnb HOA Nightmare

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Millions of people around the world have opened their homes to Airbnb, the service that for a small price can find homeowners willing to share their homes for a brief time to travelers. It sounds like a wonderful idea. When a close relative of mine died in Oregon and I couldn’t find a nearby motel I turned to Airbnb for what changed from a few days to a month-long ordeal. In a neighborhood of hundreds of homes I added just one extra car to the daily traffic.

HOAs Getting Into The Credit Reporting Business

This is such a bad idea. Homeowners Associations are linking arms with the credit reporting industry to hammer the credit scores of homeowners late on their HOA dues. Horrible direction for this crooked, crime-filled HOA movement to take.

Look at news stories around the country. Go back and read the past four years of stories on this blog. Look at the horrors uncovered in the Kansas City Star. Now get out your calculator and start adding up the vast numbers of lawsuits that are going to be filed by homeowners whose credit scores were wrongly lowered. When lawsuits are filed against a Homeowners Association, who pays? And don’t say “the insurance company.” Ultimately, homeowners across the country will be forking over millions, hundreds of millions of dollars to pay for legal costs and judgments. Can you say, “Special Assessment?”

Get Rid Of The Elderly!

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Believe it or not, those are the marching orders in many Homeowners Associations. Communities with young people are very popular among prospective home buyers. It’s rare that a young family will seek out neighborhoods with a lot of elderly people. Thus, HOA boards will use every trick in the book to get rid of members of the Old F-rts Club. Instead of trying to work with an older homeowner to get dues collected, many just fine, lien and foreclose.

The commentary linked below is a tragic one. But we hear it time and time again. Welcome to HOA Amerika.

Another Great One From Deborah Goonan

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One of the country’s best Homeowners’ Rights bloggers….perhaps THE best is Deborah Goonan. Her blog is Independent American Communities. Articulate, wise, informed. In short, I’m wildly jealous of her! Maybe in the next lifetime I’ll be reincarnated with her brain.

In any event, her current post, linked below, is one you should print out and keep copies in a file folder where you can quickly find it to hand out to friends.

10 tough questions for opponents of HOA reform

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