Tag Archives: HOA Horror Stories

What First Amendment?

I had an odd phone call from a friend late last year, a few weeks before my book came out. I won’t share too many personal details, but this gentleman is retired, a wonderfully decent man who is well-loved in the community.

But he was next to tears as he said, “Do you know anything about Homeowners Associations?” With what I’ve been through over the past few years, I almost had to laugh. But I asked him to continue.

He told me that he’s lived in his suburban home for the past thirty years and it has never had an HOA. There’s nothing in his original real estate documents and he’s never paid dues to anyone. But he was stunned when someone knocked on the door and said the neighborhood was now represented by a Homeowners Association. The visitor noted a couple of things in my friend’s back yard that were not approved by the new board. One was a back fence that was six or so inches taller than nearby ones. The second was a little white gazebo in the back yard. It was unapproved and had to be removed.

“What do I do?” my friend asked.

For many years this gentleman has conducted weekly Bible studies in his home, not many people, probably just as many as you could fit into a small backyard gazebo. But apparently someone had complained and had called a meeting where a majority of those who showed up voted to reinstitute an HOA that’s been absolutely inactive for the past three decades.

I happen to know this neighborhood. It’s very clean, well-groomed with several dozen tidy one-story, mid-to-upper scale homes. But I also learned that this newly formed HOA is now represented by one of the most powerful, most aggressive HOA law firms in the country. At 70 years old, my friend doesn’t have the resources to go to court.

I do know something else. This gentleman’s Bible studies are going to have to come to a close.

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Another HOA Embezzlement? Yup!

This one’s in Augusta, Georgia, the Evans Homeowners Association. $200,000 bucks are gone. Further details at NeighborsAtWar.com

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A Half Million Dollar Embezzler

This blogger has repeatedly said that embezzling in American HOAs is almost universal. There are no controls, and where there are no controls human beings universally drop to their lowest ethical level. Another example popped up in Davenport, Florida.

HOA president David Meadows has been arrested for allegedly stealing a half million dollars from his Homeowners Association. One resident, Danielle Groth, says it’s routine for her HOA to charge $100 a day for such things as cigarette butts on the ground to kids’ toys in the yard or the wrong style of window blinds.

The Florida State Attorney Generals office says a lot of that money ended up in David Meadows pocket.

The Bimini Bay Homeowners Association. Such a lovely place to live!

http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/news/region_polk/davenport/davenport-hoa-president-accused-of-stealing-500k-from-association

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An Amazing Lawsuit Against an HOA

The Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against a Florida Homeowners Association. The issue is whether it’s legal for an HOA to discriminate against families with children. The Federal Government claims in its lawsuit that the Townhomes of Kings Lake HOA have a pattern of violating the Fair Housing Act by harassing and taking action against families with children.

In one such case, the HOA threatened to evict a couple and their six children because the number of children exceeded HOA covenants.  The Justice Department claims by unduly limiting the number of children, the HOA was in violation of federal law.

A statement by Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez says,  “The Fair Housing Act ensures that families with children have an equal right to use and enjoy housing of their choice. The Justice Department will continue its vigorous enforcement of fair housing laws that protect the rights of families with children.”

The statement by this federal official is nothing more than astonishing. There are 302,000 Homeowners Associations in the country. Most of them regularly violate the Fair Housing Act in one way or another. Anyone who signs an agreement to abide by HOA regulations essentially signs away all his or her Constitutional rights. But the thought of this federal agency filing 302,000 more lawsuits is beyond comprehension.

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Dumb and Dumber on Marco Island, Florida

Homeowners in the South Seas Condominium on Marco Island, Florida, may soon have to pay a hefty special assessment because of a particularly boneheaded decision by their HOA.

The Feds have consistently said that service dogs are covered under the ADA. An HOA doesn’t get to claim they are pets, if the dog is actually performing services for a disabled person. But this particular HOA obviously doesn’t ‘get it.’  They will.

The South Seas Condominium has been harassing 56 year old resident Larry McKay over his 80-pound boxer. In 2008, McKay contracted MRSA, a mostly fatal staph infection that’s hit a number of people in the Southeast. McKay is confined to a wheelchair, and he says the service dog does a number of things for him, such as turning on the lights, and helping him get out of bed.

McKay’s dog helps him with other activities like getting on and off airplanes. The airlines recognize it’s a service dog. This HOA board is apparently too stupid to do the same.

In other parts of the country, such as California, Homeower Associations have been hit with huge fines by the ADA because they insist that all service dogs are merely ‘pets,’ prohibited by the HOA.

McKay has lots of supporters in his condominium. Doesn’t matter. When the FDA slams this condo with a massive fine, each and every condo owner is going to have to fork up some bucks to pay for the idiotic decisions by their HOA board.

A dumb waste  of other peoples’ money. But it’s typical. So typical.

By Ward Lucas, author of Neigbors At War! The Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association

http://www.nbc-2.com/story/19728171/man-in-dispute-with-hoa-over-service-dog?clienttype=printable

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Tiny Mice Gang Up On Big Rats in California

Homeowners usually get the raw end of the deal when they try to fight the “Bigs” in the HOA industry. Some Homeowners in California are trying to turn that trend around. An HOA in Riverside County has sued three former property managers for “fraud, conspiracy to defraud, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty.”  They had employed the management companies for eight years.

Canyon Lake Association then sued its own law firm, Fiore, Racobs & Powers, accusing them of “fraud and malpractice.” They say a lengthy investigation found “no cash management, no separation of accounting duties, credit card abuse by employees, employee salary increases that were not approved by the board.”

The lawsuit further claims that three HOA managers “created and concealed a secret, systemic pattern of conversion and theft of (HOA) assets and funds…and made representations to the board that were not true and were a cover up designed..to delay discovery of the cover-up.”

By the way, this information comes to us from the CCHAL organization in California. It’s dedicated to helping out the “tiny mice” in the HOA movement, and it’s an outstanding organization that every homeowner should join.

One final thought comes to mind here.  We haven’t heard much from the federal investigators in Las Vegas. We hope the widespread corruption they found in the Vegas HOA industry hasn’t depressed them to the point that they want to throw in the towel. Actually, we hope the opposite is true.  We hope they take a look around the country and discover that the legal scams in Las Vegas are as identical and numerous as the legal scams in Riverside County, and Modesto, and Weld County,  Colorado. and Dallas and Houston and Miami, and North Carolina.

If you don’t think it’s happening in your own community, you are either naive or dumber than a box of rocks. When we signed those CC&Rs, we stepped into an entirely new form of government with no checks and no balances. We essentially told law firms and property managers, “It’s OK to steal from us.” And then we whine when they steal from us. What gives?

Ward Lucas, author of Neighbors At War! The Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association

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Another Las Vegas Guilty Plea

Every new guilty plea should bring a shout of joy from the thousands of elderly Las Vegas HOA members who lost their life savings and home equity when this cesspool of crooks decided to start draining their neighbors of their savings.

Hooray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This week Arnold Myers, a former HOA board member and a phony straw buyer of an HOA home, pleaded guilty to fraud and corruption and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. He’s the 27th. The judge ordered him to pay $277,000 in restitution.

This crook whined that he’s battling skin cancer and will turn 79 in two weeks. He couldn’t attend a previous hearing because he also suffered from double pneumonia.

As Christians, we’re all supposed to forgive those who trespass against us.

But with organized crime suspects arrogantly claiming they robbed multiple homeowner associations in Nevada, ruining the lives of hundreds of fellow homeowners, some things are just so difficult to do.

Myers’ principle victims were the Jasmine, Palmilla, Chateau Versaille and Park Avenue Associations.

Rigging of HOA elections, dirty campaign tactics, stacking HOA boards with phony members, funneling HOA money to Organized Crime elements. Myers has been ordered to pay restitutution. Any guesses here? Will any victim see even a dime of restitution?

Ward Lucas
Author of
Neighbors At War: The Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association

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Filed under HOA, HOA Horror Stories, Homeowners Association, Las Vegas HOA

Another HOA Property Manager With Her Pinkie in the Till

It’s always a sad day when a person in a position of trust violates the confidence he or she is given. It’s even sadder when the victims are elderly homeowners who’ve worked all their lives to save their money for retirement.

Homeowners Association boards and Property Management Companies, though, probably have more embezzlers than any other industry in America.

The latest arrest of a suspected embezzler happened in early July in St. Augustine, Florida. This blogger will enthusiastically post her name: she is 57 year old June Elizabeth Supko. She’s accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the Captain’s Quarters Condominium Association.

The president of the Association suspected something was wrong, and asked Supko to turn over HOA computer passwords so the accounts could be audited. She says Supko refused and was fired. A forensic audit discovered the illegal withdrawals. Supko is now facing felony fraud charges.

Good reporting by the St. Augustine Record!

http://staugustine.com/news/local-news/2012-07-04/woman-accused-stealing-thousands-homeowners-association

Ward Lucas
Author of
Neighbors At War: The Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association

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North Austin Homeowners Decide to Quit Being Stoopid!

Hallelujah! It took years, but members of the Sunchase Condominiums in North Austin have decided to quit being stupid. Sunchase homeowners have been paying dues for years, but their HOA board and the property manager, Nancy Thompson, refused to show them the books! Last time I looked, Texas law mandated that HOA members be allowed to see where their dues are going.

Homeowners have poured more than a million dollars down a black hole that hasn’t been audited in more than five years. Readers of this blog know that I’ve got a very low tolerance for the stench rising from tens of thousands of HOAs in almost identical situations. And Sunchase stinks to high heaven!

Investigative reporters from KXAN followed the skanky trail behind the property manager and found that it leads to some other HOAs in Austin where large sums of money vanished like some magic trick at Circus Circus. Tens of thousands of dollars worth of checks have been written to various members of Nancy Thompson’s family. Damn, those no-bid contracts sure are profitable.

Someone at Sunchase should consider calling the huge FBI unit that’s rooting out identical corruption in Las Vegas.

BTW, great investigative work by reporter Chris Willis and KXAN, Austin!

http://www.kxan.com/dpp/news/investigations/homeowners-fight-back-against-hoa-board

Ward Lucas
Author of
Neighbors At War: The Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association

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Chalk it up to HOA Stupidity

Everybody else has reported on this already, but I should at least get my take on the record. So here it is:

In Aurora, Colorado, a Homeowners Association is threatening to ruin the family of a three year old girl who uses colored chalk to draw flowers and hearts on the sidewalks in front of her home.

Seems that some wicked witch in the cul-de-sac complained that the chalk drawings were against the covenants and destroying the value of the neighborhood. The child, Emerson Cohen, is mystified at the dispute, but her mother is furious.

The Stapleton Master Association is furious because the HOA was originally identified as being a Stapleton Homeowners Association. They’re working overtime to lobby the media to say, “It’s not Stapleton, is an HOA within Stapleton. Additionally, Stapleton is saying “We have no rules against sidewalk chalk drawings by children. And the Master Association is pointing its collective finger/fingers? at a member HOA called “the Innovations and Courtyard Traditions at Stapleton Homeowners Association.”

Still, you’d think that Stapleton Master Association could show some leadership and throttle a few complainers by the necks. This little Nazi-like neighborhood is now in the national news for beating down a three-year-old girl whose artistic efforts were all going to be washed away in the first rain, anyway.

Yes, some people hate little children. Even worse, some people move into HOAs because they hate little children. They realize that a single complaint to the HOA board can shut down chalk drawings, lemonade stands, kids playing hopscotch on the sidewalk. Incredibly, a number of HOAs have even enacted rules that mandate that no children are allowed to play outside!

The hatred of little children is a serious disease. Sadly, when a diseased mind moves into an HOA, that hatred is toxic and communicable.

Here, the message is in big print: IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN, DO NOT MOVE TO ANY STAPLETON NEIGHBORHOOD IN AURORA, COLORADO!

Ward Lucas
Author of
Neighbors At War: The Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association

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