Wednesday, July 22, 2009

George Staropoli--who should bail out the HOAs?

The only real solution to the HOA foreclosure fiasco « HOA Constitutional Government: "Given the current dismal state of affairs with our economy, and the increasing rate of HOA/condo foreclosures, I have been doing a lot of serious pondering (ahem!) on this major threat to the survival of HOA-land. I think I hit upon the only real solution to the HOA foreclosure problem, taking a cue from the federal government bailout of the mortgage industry, banks, and GM. I am not proposing another government bailout. Oh no!

Instead, I’m proposing a private corporation bailout. You know, like the Bank of America bailout of Merrill Lynch, etc. But, the major obstacle to this plan was, WHO? I thought and thought of candidates. In these dire circumstances it had to be a “true believer”, a corporation that had faith in HOA-land, and one that would fight tooth and nail to preserve HOA-land from collapse. Only one stood out, loudly and clearly: Community Associations Institute (CAI)."

Tongue? Cheek?


Bailout Breadline said...

Don't give them any ideas. CAI already has a 501(c)(3) arm in place and could conceivably use it to hit up the guvmint for a bailout of Privatopia.

Fred Fischer said...

I agree.

Remember what former presidential candidate Ross Perot once said, once in Washington [ this applies to states also ] “we the people” are quickly replaced by “we the special interests” like CAI. Consequently this will not change until HOA/POA and Condo members create their own special interest group like AARP and NRA did, to exclusively represent their best interests.

Fred Pilot said...

The problem, Fred, is those subject to private local government are typically not voluntary "opt in" participants that actively support it.

Private local government has proliferated not because of affirmative grassroots support but rather public/fiscal policy at the state and local level strongly favoring the formation of CIDs governed by mandatory membership HOAs.

By contrast, membership groups like AARP and the NRA are comprised of individuals who affirmatively opt to join them and support the positive agenda of these groups, i.e. protecting benefits for older Americans or the right to bear arms.

Anonymous said...

Fred Pilot - Fred Fisher isn't suggesting that the HOA members would be supporting the HOA. Their membership in a "special interest" group that lobbied would be a voluntary membership unlike their membership in the HOA.

If HOA membership was such a good thing, they wouldn't have to make it mandatory. If "membership has its privileges" then "involuntary membership has nothing but liabilities". Even marketing this scheme with euphemisms such as "membership", "common interest", etc. shows what a fraud it all is.

Fred Pilot said...

Simply put, an organization has to have a cause. Plenty of HOA inmates don't want their gilded prison cells and government by corporation and its agents motivated by pecuniary vs. public interest.

We know they are against private local government. But what would they be for? I've yet to see any organization form to advocate for an affirmative cause in this arena that has managed to gain even a modicum of support at the state let alone national level.

And no, it can't be about "homeowners" since private local government (condos excepted) isn't about home ownership per se but rather how we choose to govern ourselves at the local level. As Evan McKenzie documented in his 1994 book "Privatopia: Homeowner Associations and the Rise of Residential Government," and subsequently, that "choice" has been made by our elected representatives at the local and state levels. And they have opted in favor of private vs. public.

So if you want public local government, vote the pro-privatization bums out and elect those who favor public local government and form an organization to support them.

Fred Fischer said...

Yes Fred P., I agree we must vote the bum’s out to affect real change.

Because the structure, powers and special privileges granted to CIDs under privatized control have been authorized by State statute with the full support of the courts and until amended or removed all members must obey the law.

Simply the voice of the people/consumers has not been heard or represented since day one in the declarations, State legislation or in the courts because privatized governance was created to benefit others and not the ultimate HOA members. Consequently HOA/POA and Condo members must organize in order to be “equally heard”, influence and hopefully reverse the bad legislation lobbied by others against them since day one. Which would also provide the numbers necessary to vote judges out who have or may support the industries best economic interests over the members and in order to eliminate the blatant conflict of interest relationship that exists in privatized governance.

Tom Skiba said...

Very amusing!. Of course George's understanding of CAI, who we are, and what we do does not reflect reality. But he is certainly entitled to some artistic license when working on his stand-up material.

Anonymous said...

and CAI lobbyists oft-repeated lies before state legislators likewise does not reflect who CAI is and what they do. One thing is certain, the organization is a trade lobby group that preys upon homeowners in HOA subdivisions and the prime beneficiaries are HOA management companies and HOA foreclosure attorneys as well as other vendors.

Shu Bartholomew said...


It ain't what you say that counts, it's what you do.

You can keep telling us that you are all oozing with the milk of human kindness but when your actions belie your words, guess what we the peeps are going to believe? That's right, they are going to believe whatthey see.

But having said that, I hasten to add that not all CAIers give the org a black eye. There are some members who are not cut from the same cloth. I just wish they would stop toeing the party line and speak out.

Anonymous said...

Shu bartholomew says:
"There are some members who are not cut from the same cloth. I just wish they would stop toeing the party line and speak out."

I would like to know these CAI members. Without question! My experience with CAi has been one of devastation, fabricated legal charges, lies, trauma and homelessness. The "industry professionals," I have had the displeasure of invading my life are nothing but scam artists, thieves, thugs, bullies, and liars who selectively discriminate, target vulnerable populations, use fear tactics, and have very "questionable," moral judgement. This is my "polite," opinion. Mr. skiba knows this only too well, as he told me a few years back, "we know we have groups out there that are out of control, we just don't know what to do about them." Then, he (Mr.Skiba) went on to expesss that he "felt it was good and credible that there were those of us in advocacy that really wanted to make a difference and work to weed out the destructive boards, board members and their associates." We spoke of the fact that there was no national directory of the abusive groups, boards, credentialed professionals, etc. In other words, there was no accountability. However, Mr. Skiba also said that if one of their credentialed professionals was suspected of being up to no good, "that individual and their "friends," could be reported to CAI and "CAI would do an internal investigation." The penalty could be the credentialed professional, "loosing their CAI credentialing." OH, HOW SCARY!!! And what about the victims of the credentialed professional? What if there are dozens of families, hundreds, or even just one family homeless due to these illegal and unethical "industry standards," taught and carried out by some? I have heard from victim, after victim, heard tapes of board members and their associates, seen transcripts and there is no question in my mind of what has been done to countless, innocent homeowners, by those that may carry CAI credentialing and/or are affiliated with CAI members/groups.

Anonymous said...

Whether readers across the country found George Staropoli’s commentary, “The only real solution to the HOA foreclosure fiasco (The Privatopia Papers [07/22/09]—who should bail out the HOAs?),” amusing or not, many would likely agree (particularly those California homeowners profiled in’s July 22, 2009 ‘Homeowner Associations Wield Great Power Amid Foreclosures’) that yet another CAI comic theatrical piece (combining minstrelsy, the lampooning of homeowners in a most disparaging way, with a little burlesque-like parody and the continuing grotesque exaggeration of homeowners sadly experiencing financial distress all produced in that lowbrow dime museum on Reinekers Lane, home to any number of show freaks popular in American Vaudeville after 1871 but considered today to be a highly inappropriate and dehumanizing characterization) staring CAI’s Great Vaudeville Company of Alexandria, Virginia, Tom, Carol, Matt and the CAI GTCSS would be truly amusing.

“It ain’t what you say that counts, it’s what you do.”

“Tax attorney Michael Hamersley of El Dorado Hills said he faces foreclosure because the collection agency his homeowners association hired demands more than $2,000 for an overdue assessment of just $226.” Homeowner Associations Wield Great Power Amid Foreclosures, (

Some might argue that homeowners’ foreclosure experiences across the country do not reflect their communities’ (boards, managers, lawyers, CAI and assorted stakeholders) lofty aspirations, “dedication to fostering vibrant and harmonious associations (sic),” and, as such, sadly leaves
too many homeowners feeling their communities have excluded them from “a place to belong.”

“In times of difficulties, illness, loss of employment or other economic problems, CAI advocates flexibility and compassion in the application of collection policies and procedures.” Public Policy, ‘Effective Collection of Community Association Assessments’

“Community Associations Institute (CAI) believes community associations should be provided with a six-month assessment lien priority over the lien of a first mortgage or deed of trust.” Public Policy, ‘Limited Lien Priority for Community Association Assessments’

“Community Associations Institute (CAI) supports an amendment to the United States Bankruptcy Code to provide for the payment of post-petition common expense assessments by debtors solely on the basis of an ownership interest in property in any type of community association. Additionally, CAI supports clarification so that community association assessments are not considered executory contracts.” Public Policy, ‘Assessment Collection from Owners in Bankruptcy’

“It ain’t what you say that counts, it’s what you do.”

Anonymous said...

CAI is a fraud. The arthur edwards management firm in NJ claims the CMCA, PCAM etc on their website and appends these credentails to their mailings. But they do NOT have these credential: I checked with Michelle Drigo of CAI and she verified this for me. I filed a complaint on their own form, got a call on May 4 from CAI promising to issue a "cease and desist" order

It is approaching August and the CAI has done NOTHING to correct this fraud.

The Evil Empire said...

Shu Bartholomew said...


It ain't what you say that counts, it's what you do.

You can keep telling us that you are all oozing with the milk of human kindness but when your actions belie your words, guess what we the peeps are going to believe?"

Screw you powerless peeps. We took out a contract on America in 1973 and it won't be fulfilled until every American homeowner pays both property taxes and a tribute to us in the form of HOA assessments.

We'll cajole, lie and bribe every state and local government official and judge until they see it our way...whatever it takes.

Tony Soprano, eat your heart out. Our thing is legal and earns a lot better than your silly little construction scams.