Friday, February 01, 2013

Proposed bill would help homeowners in gated communities | PoconoRecord.com

Proposed bill would help homeowners in gated communities | PoconoRecord.com: Newly introduced Pennsylvania House Bill 319 aims to give property owners better access to the records in their associations by requiring all association records, with a few exceptions, be accessible for inspection and duplication by owners.

"With alarming frequency, people come to me with frustrations about getting access to association records," said Rep. Mike Carroll, D-118.

Carroll is a co-sponsor of the bill, which has been introduced several times before, but has never had enough traction to get to the floor for discussion.
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It's hide the pea time again as the HOA bar gins up frivolous disputes and legal fees.  "Ain't nuttin to it," Jelly sez.  "Like shootin fish in a barrel."Joe Viterelli

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Corporatism in America: IL Supreme Court grants HOA police powers to arrest and detain � HOA Constitutional Government

Corporatism in America: IL Supreme Court grants HOA police powers to arrest and detain � HOA Constitutional Government
George Staropoli's reaction to the horrendous Poris v. Lake Holiday POA case from the Illinois Supreme Court that I reported on below.  He highlights a number of quotations from the opinion and adds his comments.


"In Poris we have another instance of a state supreme court holding private contracts superior to the Constitution (See NJ supreme court opinion in Twin Rivers[iii]).  Apparently, the only thing that the Constitution has to say is an absolute “no contract interference.”  Note how the court adopted a narrow reading of the laws as it parsed and examined the precise wording of the laws, not stepping back in its alleged legal wisdom seeing only the trees and not the ugly forest. The court cleverly ignored the question of detaining non-members, and the question of public streets."


His conclusion:

"I can summarize the Illinois opinion with the simple statement by William Pitt, part of which appears on the fa├žade of the Arizona Supreme Court building:  Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it: and this I know, my lords, that where law ends, tyranny begins!'"

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Death threats for woman feeding feral cats in Mesa | azfamily.com Phoenix

Death threats for woman feeding feral cats in Mesa | azfamily.com Phoenix
So this story says that a lady who lives in an HOA is feeding the feral cats. Her HOA fines her. But then a board member, who happens to be a cat lover, forwards to her an email that was sent from another member of the HOA Board of Directors to the entire board, laying out the options for dealing with the situation:

"This lady is another looney tune character. Why would we be blessed with another one ????
How about if we informed her that we will take action in regards to her activities of feeding the feral cats on the property.
A. We will trap the cats and dispose of.
B. We could set out a poison control substance ounce for ounce of what she feeds the cats.
C. Just shoot her and put her out her misery....
Best I can think of that may or may not be legal....."
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 This is the sort of irresponsible nonsense that has come to be associated with HOAs in the public mind.  We have untrained, unsupervised volunteer directors making decisions on all sorts of important matters, with virtually no oversight. Many of these directors act as though they can say and do whatever they want, because nobody is watching. Thanks to Fred Fisher for the link.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Radio host charged in $10 million mortgage fraud

Radio host charged in $10 million mortgage fraud


"A south suburban attorney and national radio host who bills himself as the  "people's attorney" has been charged in a $10 million mortgage fraud scheme, federal officials announced today. Warren Ballentine was indicted last week by a federal grand jury for defrauding lenders by scheming with others to obtain nearly 30 bogus mortgage loans, according to the U.S. Attorney's office in Chicago."
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This sort of thing was rampant in Chicago during the housing boom years. The US Attorney claims he did this between 2004 and 2006.  These days, the scams involve many of the same old mortgage fraudsters (the ones who didn't get caught) doing "mortgage foreclosure rescue" scams. They get an up-front payment from somebody facing foreclosure and then do nothing.  

Socialist Willy Wonka - place chicago il date jan 28th temp 60 f snow none t

Socialist Willy Wonka - place chicago il date jan 28th temp 60 f snow none t
One of my students took my comments and created a new take on an internet meme.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

PTO, HOA embezzler given prison time, restitution - Local News

PTO, HOA embezzler given prison time, restitution - Local News: Under the restitution portion of the sentence, she will pay $19,376.97 to the Aylor PTO, $32,315.29 to the Bass-Hoover PTO and $67,620.14 to the Georgetowne Court Homeowners Association.
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Isolated incident No. 685,689.

Illinois Supreme Court sides with homeowner association police over resident - Chicago Tribune

High court sides with homeowner association police over resident - Chicago Tribune:
Last year, an appeals court found that the association could not stop and detain drivers for violating homeowners association rules. The court found that Lake Holiday could be found liable for Poris' false imprisonment claim and that the association's use of amber-colored flashing lights on its squad cars was unlawful.

But the Illinois Supreme Court on Friday reversed each of those findings, ruling that Lake Holiday was allowed to enforce its bylaws against residents and that courts "generally do not interfere with the internal affairs of a voluntary association."

"We can discern no logic in allowing a private homeowners association to construct and maintain roadways but not allowing the association to implement and enforce traffic laws on those roadways," Judge Robert Thomas wrote.
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If you needed another reason to avoid homeowners' association, here you have it. Now in Illinois HOA employees dressed  like cops can pull you over with flashing lights and give you a ticket.  The line that courts "generally do not interfere with the internal affairs of a voluntary association" is horrifying in this context. I will have more on this, including a link to the opinion, later.
UPDATE:  1/27/13:  Here is the link to the opinion at the Illinois Supreme Court website.
Second Update:  1/28/13: You can watch the oral argument at this link. Just scroll down to the case of Poris v. Lake Holiday POA.