Saturday, August 06, 2011
Livingston Township officials say Racaniello's display, which he intended as a celebration of Lent, violated an ordinance that generally prohibits postings on a structure, including a tree, "calculated to attract the attention of the public."
But it doesn't stop there. This is a multi-chapter sage that isn't over yet. And it is not an HOA. It just plays one on TV.
Friday, August 05, 2011
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- As the foreclosure crisis continues to wreak havoc on the housing market, a source of national pride has taken a sour turn. Home ownership is on the decline and, according to a recent Morgan Stanley report, the United States is fast becoming a nation of renters.
Last Friday, the Census Bureau reported that the percentage of people who owned a home had dropped to 65.9% during the second quarter -- its lowest level since the first quarter of 1998 and a far cry from the high of 69.2% reached in late 2004.
Yet, in a research paper issued a week earlier, Morgan Stanley (, Fortune 500) analysts Oliver Chang, Vishwanath Tirupattur and James Egan argued that the home ownership rate is even lower than the Census Bureau statistics say.
The rapid growth of HOAs during the past four decades appears headed for a downturn with fewer homeowners to comprise them.
Thursday, August 04, 2011
The study examined trends across more than 300 American communities over the last two decades and concluded that ethnic identity trumps income as a predictor of where people live. Among minority households, even those with relatively high incomes tend to be clustered in neighborhoods where most of their neighbors are the same race and many are poor, the study found.
And it appears that racial discrimination in the housing market may be the reason, which wouldn't surprise anybody who has ever read anything on the history of institutional racism in the real estate and banking industries.
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
The City Council on Thursday passed an ordinance that holds banks responsible for maintaining properties once they have foreclosed upon them and left them vacant.
The ordinance sponsored by Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) came in response to a growing problem with vacant buildings in the city. The Mayor’s Office says the city spent more than $15 million to deal with vacant buildings last year.
Of course the poor banksters are whining about it relentlessly.
Tuesday, August 02, 2011
Federal and state prosecutors are in advanced negotiations with Bank of America in pursuit of a settlement that would forgive the bank for a broad range of past mortgage abuses in exchange for fines that would finance a significantly expanded relief program for struggling homeowners, according to three people with direct knowledge of the matter.
"Forgive the bank." Isn't that ironic? When do banks forgive us?
Monday, August 01, 2011
During the meeting, Cabrera accused Alam of being "a dictator," adding that board funds went missing during his tenure. Alam then rose to ask what happened to a $100 rebate Cabrera had promised while she was president.
Cabrera sued Alam for slander, and the case eventually wound up before the state appeals court in Santa Ana, which found last week that free-speech protections extend to elections for governing boards of condo associations.
The panel added that no evidence was presented that Alam knowingly presented a falsehood--seeing as how the missing-rebates question was never resolved. In other words, all indications were Alam believed he was telling the truth. And he only rose to defend himself amid Cabrera's accusations.
I haven't read the actual ruling (the link to it in the story is broken) and don't follow California appellate law as closely these days. But it's consistent with a 2000 California Court of Appeal decision in Damon v. Ocean Hills Journalism Club 85 Cal.App.4th 468 wherein the court ruled that letters published in an HOA newsletter critical of the HOA's manager were fair commentary on a matter of public interest and therefore not defamatory.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Phillips has posted a Jesus sign in her yard and there was no reaction from anyone until she received a letter from the Sutton Lakes Homeowners Association telling her having it in her yard is a violation of the covenant
"It is basically telling us to remove the sign, under the bylaws," she said.
Phillips said she did sign the Covenant, Conditions and Restrictions, or CCR, but never agreed to allow the free exercise of her religion to be prohibited.
"I did not give away my freedom of speech, religion, my rights as an American citizen," said Phillips.
And what about that American flag flapping atop the big pole in the background of the video? More bad press for Privatopia.
Among the biggest items on the chopping block in Congress are education and Medicaid spending — federal dollars that make up the largest parts of most states’ budgets. Nearly every state government has already set its budget for the next year — some for the next two years — under the assumption that federal spending would remain more or less consistent. If such money is abruptly pulled, states won’t suddenly be able to change their spending obligations or raise taxes.
“They’re going to have to eat that in some way, and many will pass [the cuts] onto local governments,” said Frank Shaforth, director of the Center for State and Local Government Leadership at George Mason University.Amid the recession and dropping revenues, there’s already been an uptick of bankruptcy filings by cities, towns and rural districts across the country over the past two months and there could be more if Washington follows through on its promise to slash spending as soon as possible.
This gloomy prediction explains that no matter how the federal fiscal crisis is resolved, Washington's penury will be passed on to states who in turn will shift more services to local governments. Who in turn will shift more services to...let me guess...HOAs? What's that saying about excrement flowing downhill?
Shu Bartholomew sent this link. This seems to be one of the nastiest condo disputes around. It has lasted nine years and you need a libretto to understand it, but it makes for fun reading.
N.J. Supreme Court rules in favor of Hoboken condo association in injury case tied to sidewalk ice removal | NJ.com
The Stewart ruling was based in part on the idea that commercial property owners can absorb additional insurance premiums and maintenance expenses as costs of doing business. The condo building is a collection of residences and not revenue-producing, the court said, noting that condo associations collect fees only for property maintenance.
The court said there was no justification to find “that this overwhelmingly owner-occupied 104-unit condominium complex was a commercial entity,” LaVecchia wrote.
Thanks to Shu Bartholomew for the link.