Saturday, January 28, 2012
A new homeowner rights weblog. Thanks to Free Pilot for letting me know about it.
From rental restrictions to electric vehicles and electronic meeting notices, Californians living in homeowners associations are seeing several new laws governing their communities that took effect Jan. 1.
The California Association of Community Managers reports that one out of every three Californians lives in a homeowners association.
One of the most significant of the new laws was state Senate Bill 150, which prohibits associations from restricting owners' abilities to rent their properties unless a rental restriction was in place before the owner purchased the property. This section of the bill applies to a governing document provision that becomes effective on or after Jan. 1, 2012. The law requires owners to provide a statement describing any applicable rental restriction to potential buyers.
Thanks to Fred Pilot for the link to this summary of the new HOA/condo laws. There are quite a few this year.
Friday, January 27, 2012
World's Worst Dad Candidate Thought It Was A Good Idea To Leave Son Behind In Foreclosed House - The Consumerist
Parenting doesn't get any worse than this. Leave the 11 year old son a Playstation and a note that says "You know your dad loves you more than anything." Right. And then the cops spend five weeks looking for him. Thanks to Mystery Reader for this depressing saga.
They have been called the 'ghost estates' of the Irish Republic - about 300,000 homes built in the frenzy of the property boom that no-one wants to live in now.
Soon, many brand new houses could be demolished.
Watch this video and see how the Irish were fleeced by developers and realtors.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
STUDIO CITY (CBS) — A SoCal woman says the energy efficient window installed in a neighbor’s condominium is melting the plastic components on cars parked in her carport.
Heather Patron of Studio City was dealing with a mystery regarding her Toyota Prius.
“The side view mirrors were melting,” says Patron. “Anything that was plastic on the car was melting.”
Legislation crafted by Sen. Lori Klein, R-Anthem, would say that county ordinances which now require dogs in public parks and on public lands to be on a leash do not apply if the owner has at least $50,000 worth of liability coverage. Klein said there is no reason that owners of responsible, well-behaved dogs should not be allowed to let them run free.
But Klein is specifically annoyed by leash law rules of homeowner associations. And she said her legislation, SB 1065, would preclude HOAs from citing homeowners under rules that forbid a dog from sitting, unleashed, in an unfenced front yard.
Alternative headline: State legislation would preempt Privatopian pooch on porch prohibition.
Monday, January 23, 2012
Four months ago, a 101-year-old Detroit woman was evicted from her home because her son could no longer afford payments. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development stepped in and said she go back home, but has now reversed course, deeming the residence unfit to live in.
She tells The Detroit News "Here I am, 100 years old (rounding her age), and don't have a home. Oh Lord, help me."
Now that the HUD controls the property, officials say the house is beyond repair and the department won't pay the cost to get it up to code. The department is looking for alternatives, but for now the woman has no permanent home as she crashes with a friend.
She lived in the house for nearly 60 years, but lost control when she entered into a reverse mortgage. Her sad plight serves as a warning sign for retirees who think a reverse mortgage may be an easy fix to their financial problems.
Here's the original article from the Detroit News.
Reducing mortgage balances is a risky idea that hasn’t been shown to keep borrowers who owe more than their property’s worth in their homes, according to Credit Suisse Group AG. (CSGN)
Of the 11 million of “underwater” homeowners, about 6.5 million have never missed a payment and 2 million more are making on-time payments after a delinquency, said Dale Westhoff, the bank’s global head of structured products research. Widespread principal reductions may drive defaults “much, much higher” as borrowers seek the aid, he said.
And of course the banking industry would have a totally objective view of this idea...
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Since Feb. 1, 2010, condo buyers haven't been able to secure unit-by-unit "spot" approval for FHA-backed mortgages if an entire building was not certified. Instead, the federal government set criteria to determine the financial viability of an entire building before deeming the project as FHA-approved, even if it had previously been certified. An approval lasts two years.
The number of rejected buildings is adding up, due to bad paperwork and bad balance sheets as an increasing number of condo associations struggle with rentals, short sales and foreclosures. It is jeopardizing the plans of condo sellers who rely on the FHA's stamp of approval as a marketing tool and condo buyers who either want or need an FHA-approved building.
This is a huge problem not just with FHA loans but with Fannie Mae certification, which is also building by building.
Rumor has it that on Monday, after months of negotiation with big banks, the White House may announce a settlement that would let the banks off the hook for their role in the foreclosure crisis -- paying a tiny fraction of what's needed in exchange for blanket immunity from future lawsuits.
We hope these rumors are untrue.
President Obama has the ability to stop and change the direction of this sweetheart deal. He should reject any deal that benefits the one percent and lets the big banks get away with their crimes. Instead, the president should stand with the 99 percent and push for real accountability and a solution that will help millions of people in this country.
From Van Jones, who was Obama's Green Jobs Czar until the right wingers went after him on AM radio and Fox News.
Here we go again with local government being incorrectly equated with a contractual arrangement. It is not and moreover lacks the necessary elements of a legal contract regardless of whether the framework is a private nonprofit corporation as is the case with mandatory membership homeowner associations or a public entity such as a special district.
A measly $338.91.
That's how much Sherman McCray owed his homeowner association when the board of directors foreclosed on his Clermont house.
Oh, no. Between 2010 when McCray failed to pay a homeowners assessment and that final hearing, the all-powerful homeowner association in the Vistas subdivision had levied late fees, costs and interest, and it had busied itself running up absurd lawyer bills by sending threatening letters at every turn.
Total cost now: $4,272.24.
The commentary describes this as yet another sickening tale of diabolical, petty homeowner associations in South Florida and asks why the HOA would exercise a punitive option against an elderly disabled veteran obviously overwhelmed by health troubles and without a thorough understanding of the rules. McCray clearly needs an advocate to help him navigate the dangerous legal minefield that's Privatopia.