Saturday, August 21, 2010

Homeowners association battle threatens homes

Homeowners association battle threatens homes

- Residents in a retirement community here say they are being threatened with lien and foreclosure notices because of a legal battle with their homeowners association.

"There was a 93-year-old woman, and they told her, 'If you don't pay your dues, we're going to take your house away from you,'" said Conklin Houle, 73. "You can't do that to somebody who's lived in their house 30 or 35 years."
And the owner of that home with the brown lawn is likely in a heap of trouble with the HOA.


richflocker said...

"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it."

Frederic Bastiat

Is there a cure for this epidemic of HOA plundering?

"Restrictive Covenants" that create debt (including transfer fees to HOAs or foundations or other non-profit corporations)should expire after 10 years (in America).

Like the racial covenants and the satellite dish covenants, we need to render void any covenants that allow liens or enable "governing regimes" of any kind on detached family home property. This should not affect condominiums or similar housing products, but we must eliminate these uncontrolled debt assessments that these "restrictive covenants" enabled. The problem is out of control - the widespread epidemic of horror stories can only be described as "financial terrorism" and "litigation terrorism". IT MUST BE STOPPED.

Expiration dates should be applied to all financial covenants (forced membership, dues payments, late fees, fines, mystery fees) as these violate the spirit of "the rule against perpetuities"

The right to a "republican form of government" demands no less than a simple up/down secret vote. This should not be a dramatic event!! This should be as simple as voting for President and just as peaceful.

"Do the people want to renew the mandatory HOA?". A simple yes or no secret ballot postcard can be sent with the billing statement envelope that goes out already in most HOAS.

Each "owner" gets a serial numbered postcard (no duplicate numbers allowed to prevent fraud), they can vote on this simple question and every owner in every "neighborhood" will have a vote...if they don't return their numbered card they register as a "NO" and against renewal. With the votes tallied by the State Elections board volunteers, we will know the truth about what people really want.

If at least 75% out of 100% of homes in the neighborhood approve of the renewal then nothing changes from the way these are run today, the people voted to allow the contract to continue for another 10 year term. IN 10 YEARS, repeat this process.

All mandatory HOA regimes should be threatened with dissolution. They should become voluntary with no lien rights and no financial shakedown powers, and no concern for solar panels or the color of one's paint choices.

"Without the approval of the people by 75% at least once each 10 years the non-profit status *OR* the rights granted the regime by the developer (including lien rights, ARC approval rights) should dissolve."

-General Idea

richflocker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Someone needs to tell the 73 year old man, Mr. Houle that they CAN and DO take your house away from you, no matter what age you are. Just ask Wenonah Blevins who was in her 80's when it happen to her.

Perhaps, there should be more concern by the industry, and society as a whole, as to what happens to these elders when they do lose their homes to their HOA.

Anonymous said...

richflocker had a great idea except for the renewal part which is the same fundamental issue for every HOA corporation. The fact that a majority claim to want one does not mean that the minority should be compelled to be part of it. After all the HOA does nothing but suck funds out of all of the members to pursue an agenda determined by an extreme minority who at best represent a majority (e.g., elected board members) and at worst represent none of the homeowners (e.g., management company or declarant). Moreover, the homes of the minorities are the security for these pursuits. If anything it is used as a mechanism for "cleansing" the subdivision of minorities - and the term "minority" does not necessarily mean race or religion but can even include those with views differing from those controlling the HOA. Management companies spend a lot of time trying to slice and dice subdivisions so that there is a constant generation of "minorities" who are then accused of "harming property values" and commanded to pay fines and management company fees under threat of fine and foreclosure on their home. Why should anyone be compelled to be part of this process because a majority of other homeowners wants you to be?

Anonymous said...

The problem is people agree to these HOA regulations when they sign the contract to buy their house. I refused to move into a community that had any kind of HOA. I think this would be the only way to make HOA's start to disappear. Personally I think people like to complain about HOA because they have to shell out money to them but are secretly glad that someone is making sure their neighbor doesn't have 15 junk cars in their front yard.