Saturday, July 17, 2010
"Shame on those who lie in bed planning evil and wicked deeds and rise at daybreak to do them, knowing that they have the power!
They covet land and take it by force; if they want a house they seize it; they rob a man of his home and steal every man's inheritance.
Therefore these are the words of the Lord:
Listen, for this whole brood I am planning disaster...
Goodness! I didn't know the CAI-HOA was active then, too!
The neighbors wanted everyone to know exactly where their dues were going, so they also presented their findings at a recent HOA meeting that got so out of control some people were threatened with arrests.
"People are outraged," exclaimed Peggy Sue Wilson-Schmueckle. She’s the homeowner leading the fight to rid the association of what she calls gross mismanagement of funds by the board. “Once we uncovered it and did an audit, people were very outraged. They want them [the current board] to resign.”
The information we uncovered explain why the homeowners are so bent out of shape. Records detail board meetings at nice restaurants; meetings that were not open to the public. We also found a document showing a $4,200 expense paid to the board president's son-in-law for brush work he did in the neighborhood. Additional records showed the HOA donated thousands of dollars to random charities. The HOA even gave more than $1,300 to a group of HOA lawyers to help them lobby the legislature.
Lynn of Davie couldn’t believe her eyes, but a letter from her homeowners association confirmed the worst: She faces a potential $100-a-day fine for having the wrong-colored mulch in front of her house.
Lynn tells me that her problems began when the Association made it known it was displeased that home’s mulch had thinned out too much and needed replacing. To appease the board, Lynn and her husband added new match, but apparently the golden shade of mulch the couple chose was not in accordance with what the Association wants. Thus the ultimatum: Put in new mulch or pay $100 a day until you do.
As the owner of this blog has noted, there seems to be no limit to how frivolous HOAs can be.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Texas State Sen. John Carona (R-Dallas), who serves as president of a huge national realty property management firm with $400 million revenue, says the Texas law that permits HOAs to foreclose should not be changed. Tweaked, but not changed. When you sign for your mortgage, he said, you also sign and legally agree to be a part of the homeowners association. That's fair -- you are duly warned and don't have to buy the property if you don't like the association's terms (my words). He advises buyers to read HOA rules carefully before buying. Seek counsel, if necessary. He also says that homeowners who don't pay their share of homeowners association dues force a hardship on other homeowners in the neighborhood, who often have to kick in more for expenses.
Life is so simple, "if you don't like it, move" or better yet, "Don't live there". If you sign your mortgage docs, you agree to be abused, fined, have your water turned off, get evicted from your own home.
And you thought the IRS was the most hated entity in the country.
Ah yes, more happy homeowners Zogby missed - this time around.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
But when the Navy transferred the helicopter pilot to Florida, he started leasing his home to someone else to help pay for the mortgage. He asked his homeowner's association for permission
"They decided unanimously to vote no," said Mike Lukaszonas, "and the reason was never cited in the letter. They just said denied."
Another genius board at work here.
I wonder if Zogby ever talked to anyone in this haven of happy homeowners?
VIENNA (Reuters) – An Austrian woman has had to convince her electricity supplier that she is alive after the company wrote to her asking for information about her contract following her "passing away."
In a personally addressed letter, the Linz-based company said it had heard of her death through her bank, daily Oesterreich reported on Thursday.
"I am not the dead one," 58-year-old Christine R. wrote back in a fax and email to the company, explaining that it was her neighbor who had died and she was the custodian. She eventually went to the customer center in person to prove her existence.
Burgess' attorney said if the Magnolia Lane HOA accepted Burgess' offer last year, she would've shaved close to $3,000 off her debt, but now she's added another $3,000.
They're all heart, these HOAs, aren't they? They won't work with her and instead of making it easy, they just make it harder for her.
Here is another happy homeowner Zogby missed. An "isolated incident"? I think not.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
The upshot is if REOs aren't maintained and the fines rapidly accumulate into big liens, the properties could ultimately become worthless since the cost to acquire them with the county and/or HOA liens tacked on could reach an appreciable fraction of their already depressed market value.
This is a real economic firefight arising out of the residential real estate crash that could end up with no winners and plenty of casualties. The owners of the REOs would lose and so would Clark County and HOAs with their jurisdictions littered with unmarketable, dilapidated properties.
Sounds like something out of a Joe Bob Briggs drive in movie review that might read as follows: Pool filled with green goop. Rats in the attic. Indoor rainfall. Condo fu. Film at 11 on WFTV channel 9. Three stars. Joe Bob says check it out.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
CHICAGO -- Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich may or may not have broken the law, but he sure did hate his job. He reviled his political enemies, mocked many of the candidates for a vacant U.S. Senate seat and disparaged the voters who failed to appreciate his talents.
"Only 13 percent of you all out there think I'm doing a good job. So [expletive] all of you," the salty-tongued Blagojevich (D), referring to poll numbers, said in a secretly taped conversation played at his federal corruption trial.
By the time Democrat Barack Obama had won the White House in 2008, the two-term governor was deeply in debt and obsessed with finding a new job that paid well. He spent as few as two hours a week in the office, sometimes hiding in the restroom to avoid his budget director.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. economy will lose steam as the year progresses but will not slide back into recession, even though unemployment is unlikely to fall significantly, according to a survey released on Saturday.
The Blue Chip Economic Indicators survey of private forecasters found analysts increasingly glum about the outlook. They now see the economy expanding just 3.1 percent in 2010, down from 3.3 percent in the June poll.
They do not, however, envisage a renewed period of contraction, which has been widely debated in financial markets in recent weeks.
"Our panelists think talk of a double-dip recession is overblown absent a new, major shock," the group said in its report.
One of the more significant parts of this economic story is near the end:
Along with more moderate growth, inflation is expected to remain extremely tame. Forecasters are looking for a 0.9 percent increase in prices for 2010 as a whole, the smallest rise since 1950.
Unlike in an inflationary economy where people accelerate buying decisions in the hope of beating price increases, in a deflationary economy these decisions are delayed with the expectation that prices will decline and a better deal can be had simply by waiting. With consumers tapped out of credit and many unemployed, waiting becomes far easier. That of course retards economic growth, stalling a speedy recovery.
The last time the economy was tanked by speculation and excess leverage was in the Great Depression of the 1930s. It lasted about ten years. We are in a similar situation today. The decade of 2010-20 could end up as a deflationary “lost” decade that people endure and muddle through until a more sustainable socio-economic environment emerges. The deflationary decade may in retrospect mark the death of an economy driven by excess consumerism, speculation and leverage, a passing necessary to make way for the birth of a new and more sustainable economy.