It’s incredible, really, how common embezzlements are from Homeowners Associations. With 320,000 HOAs across the country, you’d think there would be a major push to clean out the corruption that seems endemic in such HOAs as the latest one in the link below.
There are many fundamental problems with the structure of the modern HOA. As private non-profit corporations, the HOA is typically beyond the law. Restrictions against government, the protections we’ve grown accustomed to in the U.S. Constitution, don’t apply to the average HOA. As such, dictatorial edicts against such things as freedom of speech, protection against unreasonable search and seizure, and due process happen all the time.
Homeowners in the HOA environment become apathetic. So when the “neighborhood Nazi” gets elected as the tipping point vote on the HOA board, it’s usually by a very tiny vote by the HOA membership.
Overthrowing the “neighborhood Nazi” or overturning senseless edicts usually requires a “Super Majority” of an already apathetic membership. The idea that Homeowners Associations are “democracy at work” should really be a warning about the true meaning of “democratic tyranny.”
The typical embezzler who recognizes the truth of all the above points, feels no guilt or compunction about dipping into the till. He or she feels they’ve earned the right to help themselves, and they do just that.
How many millions of dollars (or hundreds of millions!) are stolen each year from Homeowners Associations? You just don’t want to know. But research by this writer indicates the crime happens in tens of thousands of communities. It just gives you a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach.