Saturday, May 14, 2011

Texas Legislature Online - 82(R) History for SB 142

Texas Legislature Online - 82(R) History for SB 142
Here is a request to get the word out that this bill is out of committee and headed for floor vote in the Texas House of Reps:

Please support SB142

Senate Bill 142 will be heard on the House floor on Thursday. Rep. Solomons has amended this bill, those amendments will help homeowners tremendously. The Industry is in a panic, if 142 passes, they will have to start playing NICER and attorneys that represent homeowners will have an equal opportunity to receive their fees. We need to protect the good things in this bill, priority of payments, payment plan, equal OPPORTUNITY TO RECEIVE ATTORNEY FEES, restrictions on resale certificates (no more surprises at closing), and the right to have solar power. Yes, there are still some problems, but this is the first bill in ten years that would give much needed help to homeowners and the attorneys that represent them. We must protect the integrity of this legislation!! This Industry consists of developers, builders, HOA attorneys and management companies...they will fight to kill this bill and keep their lucrative cash flow. We need your voice more than ever before.

HOA Reform can charter a bus for 40-50 people, or we will help set up carpools ...please let me know. For those that won't be able to attend, we will be sending form letters with phone numbers and e-mail addresses, for you to send, and your voice will be heard.


I am not sure which Texas HOA reform group sent me this message, so here are links to both:

Texas Homeowners for HOA Reform

HOA Reform Coalition

There were a bunch of HOA/condo bills in the TX leg this session. In addition to SB 142, they include: HB 1639, 2761, 2779, 2869, 3347, 3348, and SB 472.
Update 5/15/11: I received this info:
A message from Janet Ahmad:

Important Bill To Be Heard – Your Help Is Needed At The Texas Capitol
The Texas Legislative session is quickly coming to an end. The Committee hearings agendas have been filled with over 60 HOA Reform proposed legislative bills. Many of us have attended and testified in Business and Industry every Monday and Intergovernmental Relation (IGR) every Wednesday.

This week a very special bill will be considered on the House floor and we need your help. We need your help to personally pass out important information to both Senators and Representative asking them to vote for CSSB 142, a substitute HOA Reform bill sponsored by House Representative Burt Solomons.

We realize some of you can not make it to the Capitol so we are asking for you to join by sending e-mails to lawmaker and making phone calls to their offices. Your help is so important. Go to to learn more about CSSB 142 and other bills.

Our civil and constitutional rights are being eroded by an industry that for too long has blocked consumer’s access to the courts for any and all responsibility; foreclosed on homesteads from families non-judicially, despite our constitutional protections of homesteads. For the past decade homebuilders and developers have crafted self-serving Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) and its business of lucrative HOA management with the intent to impose astonishing controls, fees and divisive methods to prohibit residents from electing their own board members, airing legitimate concerns about defective drainage and shoddy home construction practices within communities. In collaboration with their management companies and their affiliate attorneys, builders are empowered in ways unimagined, such as implementing NON-Judicial foreclosures in as little as 28 day, without any formal notice to the homeowner. It’s frightening how the powers of HOAs have grown out of control.

In as week and a half the 2011 Legislative Session will end, so please join us this Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at the Capitol to make history.

IT'S TIME FOR CHANGE! Join the Coalition on the steps of the Capitol in Austin. Please try to arrive at 10:00 AM so that we may gather for instructions and materials. Handouts will be available for homeowners to take to their legislators listing legislative changes needed. Please respond as soon as possible. Let us know that we can count on you.

For those of you who can not attend please pledge to make calls and send e-mail messages. More instructions and Senator and Representative contact information to follow soon.
In the meantime find your legislators at "Who Represents Me?" on: and contact them asking them to Support CSSB 142.

Tens of thousands of homeowners have suffered non-judicial and judicial foreclosure filings, exorbitant fines, fees and other harassments for frivolous and capricious citations. We need you help.
Be sure and read the latest news updates:
Help us to help you by keeping in touch. Tell your story through HOBB, and to your elected officials. Please post your comments on the many news reports below.
Thank you,
Janet Ahmad, President
Home Owners for Better Building


Anonymous said...

Short of abolishing HOAs (which I am in favor of), there is only one reform that is needed:

Make HOA membership truly voluntary, in that a homeowner can leave the association at any time.

It is the only way that HOAs will treat homeowners as customers, rather than as captives. Any other reform -- however good or just good-intentioned -- will be abused by the industry. As long as homeowners are not free to leave, the profit motive ensures that homeowners will continue to be abused.

This modest proposal to prohibit mandatory membership in an HOA union as a condition of home ownership is no more radical than the Republican Party position of prohibiting mandatory membership in a labor union as a condition of employment. If the union provides value, people will want to be dues-paying members. If not, the union will go out of business, as it should.

Anonymous said...

And speaking of mandatory membership in a labor union as a condition of employment, the conservative/libertarian Pajamas Media blog (via Instapundit), writes that

Al Franken made a late appearance and demonstrated, once again, why Saturday Night Live suits him better than the United States Senate. Franken got angry and said it is untrue that anyone is ever forced to join a union. He obviously never worked in the produce section at Shop ‘n Save in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In a closed-shop state like Pennsylvania, the laws require employees to be members of a union if the employer is unionized. Enzi quipped, in response to Franken’s error, that you wouldn’t have to join a union unless “you wanted a job.”

According to Republicans, workers are "forced" to join labor unions, but not forced to join HOA unions. Numerous comments in that discussion thread affirm this observation.

A comment I posted there -- -- questioning this double standard still has not been approved by the blog owners for inclusion in the main discussion thread (it would have been comment # 38). I mention this because Pajamas Media has a history of not approving my comments regarding this question. If I had known how to link to pending comments before now, I could provide a list over the past year or so.

Anonymous said...

Since the above comment was approved by the moderator, my comment at Pajamas Media was (retroactively?) published as comment # 39.

The response is priceless, part of which is excerpted here:

What we do believe is that HOA unions have a right to exist; they have a right to have rules and regulations so long as they don’t attempt to circumvent standing Federal, state or local authority and they are, HERE IT IS, voluntary! If you don’t want to join an HOA union, then don’t buy a house in a neighborhood that has them.

Funny that none of the PJM authors or readers feel that way about labor unions.

The right-wing's cognitive dissonance regarding their position on mandatory membership in a labor union as a condition of employment vs mandatory membership in an HOA union as a condition of home ownership is downright Orwellian.

Anonymous said...

OK, I've finally figured out how to post a link so my entire discussion with some conservatarianican can be viewed at once: , with this question posed:

1. Do conservatives, libertarians, Republicans, Ayn Randians, etc. believe that workers should be required to join a union as a condition of employment, where mandatory membership in a labor union is a prerequisite condition of employment? [ YES / NO ]

2. Do conservatives, libertarians, Republicans, Ayn Randians, etc. believe that home owners should be required to join a union as a condition of home ownership, where mandatory membership in an HOA union is a prerequisite condition of home ownership? [ YES / NO ]

If the answer for 1 is different than the answer for 2, please explain why.

Mika Brainy said...

The above writers ignore a fundamental difference between labor unions and HOAs: Labor unions were established by the workers, not by the bosses/owners and/or management, and their only weight and power is by united pressure. HOAs, OTOH, were formed (in most cases) by developers and their power is "legal" and derived from the sanctity of contracts, combined with archaic feudal real estate laws.

IMHO, the only way to defeat this flawed institution is by exploiting the very same powers embedded in contract law and invalidate the contract on legal grounds, e.g. lack of free and informed consent of (most) homeowners, lack of mutuality, unconscionability, etc., which create an illusory contract of adhesion that robs homeowners of their property rights and deprives them of liberty and dignity.

I firmly believe that most homeowner advocates fight a false cause by demanding "enforcement" (and thus validate the CC&Rs contract) and/or by basing their fight on the U.S. Constitution (which does not apply to the HOA private institution).