Saturday, January 29, 2011

HOA meeting canceled after threat rumors

HOA meeting canceled after threat rumors:
Seems that rumors circulated about some unspecified person supposedly making threats about bringing a gun to the meeting and shooting people. So the meeting was canceled and the Mesa police were called, but they found no evidence of any such plot aside from the rumors. Everybody is hoping that's all there is to it...

Thanks to Pat Haruff for the link.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Holy reptilians, Batman! Giant lizard terrorizes condo complex

The 5-foot Monitor lizard wandering around a condo complex in the city of Riverside was way bigger than animal control officer Jenny Selter could have imagined.

"She said she saw it and almost jumped back in her truck," said John Welsh, spokesman for Riverside County Animal Services. "The residents were freaking out because here's the Godzilla-like creature walking down the sidewalk."

The whole story is here.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Jack LaLanne dies at home at the age of 96

Jack LaLanne dies at home at 96
Jack LaLanne was one of my heroes. He was a great guy who never cared that much about money, so when he invented most of the exercise equipment you see in gyms today, he didn't bother to patent it. Cables, pulleys, adjustable weight machines...he was doing all this in the 1930s. He was telling people not to eat sugar and white flour when doctors were still smoking cigarettes. And he was working out every day right up until the day he home, at the age of 96.

Goodbye, Jack--you won't be forgotten.

HOA recall election sparked over roofing choice

Roofing material OK spurs recall effort

EL DORADO HILLS — Waterford Village Homeowners Association board members face a recall vote following their approval of composition roof in the otherwise tile- and shake-shingled El Dorado Hills neighborhood.
It seems that the HOA board touched a political third rail of sorts by messing with a distinguishing component of higher end California homes: the tile roof.

Dueling locksmiths: Lawyer advises foreclosed clients to become squatters

Lawyer advises foreclosed clients to break back into their homes

The 58-year-old attorney admits to breaking into homes at least half a dozen times, including one before with the Earls, leaving the clients to squat in their homes while he defends their legal right to possession. His unconventional methods have gotten him fined by a judge in San Diego, arrested in Newport Beach and threatened with contempt — and jail — in Ventura.
Wonder if we'll see this resistance tactic spread to HOA foreclosures?

Jimmy John's founder contemplates moving headquarters out of Illinois |

Jimmy John's founder contemplates moving headquarters out of Illinois |

"Jimmy John Liautaud told The News-Gazette on Tuesday that he is angry about the moves, which boosted the individual income tax from 3 percent to 5 percent and the corporate income tax from 7.3 percent to 9.5 percent."
And so it begins--the exodus of businesses/employers from the state of Illinois.

New website: HOA Busters

Check it out:

The Cheerleading For State Bankruptcies And Municipal Defaults Is Downright Ghoulish

The Cheerleading For State Bankruptcies And Municipal Defaults Is Downright Ghoulish:

Maybe. But this underscores one of the main differences between real governments and CIDs. Real governments have a support network in the political system and in a wide range of public and private institutions. CIDs don't. The difference isn't theoretical. It has huge consequences for the millions of people who own HOA and condo units. For example, there is a profession called "public administration" that trains people to serve in government jobs, and it includes university departments, academic journals, a hundred years of published research, and major professional organizations in nations all over the planet. CIDs have the Community Associations Institute. Cities do national searches for the best city manager they can find. HOAs take their chances in their local area and may end up with a real winner, or they may get a crook or an incompetent. I could go on, but I think you get the point.

One of those consequences is clear from the current discussion of municipal bankruptcy. Cities and counties can go bankrupt under Chapter Nine, and now Republicans are agitating to include states within that provision as well. If they win big in 2012, you can bet that this will happen. When a government goes bankrupt, they can restructure their debts, including their agreements with their employees and their unions if any. That includes their employees pensions, which are a gigantic liability that has resulted from public officials making incredibly stupid sweet deals with public employee unions. But if you are a taxpayer in one of these cities, you get out from under what would otherwise be a crushing tax increase. You, as a citizen, can be relieved of a burden that your elected officials put on your shoulders, if whoever is overseeing the Chapter Nine proceeding decides it is the only way to keep the city going.

Compare that with a CID. When the HOA or condo association goes belly up, the owners remain liable for the debts of the association, including multi-million dollar judgments resulting from bad decisions made by the BOD. The limit of any individual owner's debts? The equity they have in their unit. If the board refuses to levy a special assessment to pay the debt, a judgment creditor can have a court appoint a receiver. The receiver levies the assessment and secures it with liens on the units. Owners who don't pay lose their homes in foreclosure. (Sound familiar?) See the Le Parc, Oak Park Calabasas, and Kingsbury Court cases for a description of how these judgments are handled.

So, while people certainly have lost their homes for not paying their property taxes, just like they lose them for not paying their assessments, there is a floor, or a safety net for them. How about for all these millions of CID residents? Not so much. HOA bankruptcy really doesn't accomplish much for the owners, who remain financially responsible, in most cases right up to the point of their own fiscal ruin.

Limited HOA reforms likely in North Carolina

The study committee's recommendations would provide more protections for homeowner by requiring that no liens lead to foreclosure unless assessments have gone unpaid for at least 90 days. Homeowners would also be allowed to pay late assessments in installments and must be mailed a copy of an offer to make the late payments.

Homeowners would be given more power to force homeowner association boards to meet openly and remove board members who fail to abide by the law or association bylaws. Associations financial records would also be open to review.

The catch is that state lawmakers can't force these rules down the throats of existing homeowners associations if current contracts and covenants call for something different. The regulations, if they become law, would only apply in total to new homeowners associations or those that agree to accept them.

Read more about the state's pending "HOA reform lite" here.