Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Homeowners Association Comics and Cartoons

The Homeowners Association Comics and Cartoons
Robert Racansky forwarded this link to some old Mother Goose and Grimm cartoons that take on the HOA.

HOA Horror Stories: NASCAR driver, Raleigh mom call for more oversight

A tale of trouble out of the South that follows the usual story line elements:

1. We didn't realize there was an HOA.
2. We didn't know HOAs have the power to foreclose for pennies on the dollar.
3. Legislative reform: there needs to be better consumer disclosure, more controls on HOA powers.
4. Rinse, repeat, every 5 years in every state.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Calif. Governor Brown vetoes bill allowing HOA inmates to plant artificial turf

Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed legislation that would have required homeowners associations to let people replace their lawns with artificial turf, the governor's office announced today.

Senate Bill 759, by Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, was supported by water conservationists and passed by the Legislature with some bipartisan support. It would have prohibited associations, which often govern the aesthetics of a neighborhood, from banning artificial turf.

"A decision to choose synthetic turf over natural vegetation is best left to individual homeowners associations, not mandated by state law," the Democratic governor said in his veto message.

That grass better be real grass...or your ass is grass.

Herrity: Fairfax County is spending unneccessary resources on luxury condo fees

Board of Supervisors votes unanimously to review payment of condo and homeowners association fees

advertisement The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors plans to review the county’s payments of condo and homeowners association fees for county-owned subsidized housing units.

On a unanimous vote Tuesday, the board agreed to refer the matter to the board’s Housing Committee for future discussion.

Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield) argues the county is throwing money away on condo fees for communities that offer luxury amenities, such as pools and workout rooms.


According to the county’s second quarter audit report, the county pays about $1.5 million a year in condo fees, ranging from $490 per year to $6,800 per year. The average payment per unit is $2,500 per year, according to the report.

Fairfax County, one of the wealthiest counties in the country, owns many units in reidential condos that they rent out to qualifying residents as "low income housing". The problem is that "low income" seems to be one of those rather fluid definitions. At least one family on the program enjoyed an income of well OVER $100K per year.

If Fairfax County is cash strapped, as it alleges it is, all one has to do is look at some of these programs and wonder how long the tax payers are willing to subsidize the abuses.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bank Delays May Push 1 Million U.S. Foreclosure Filings to 2012 - Bloomberg

Bank Delays May Push 1 Million U.S. Foreclosure Filings to 2012 - Bloomberg
Lender delays in processing home- loan defaults will push as many as 1 million U.S. foreclosure filings from this year to 2012 or beyond, casting an “ominous shadow” on the housing market, according to RealtyTrac Inc.
Just in time for the election. How conveeeenient...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Request for info on current LA area or California foreclosure cases for financial talk show

Can anybody help by supplying info on specific LA or California current foreclosure cases in response to this inquiry? Reply directly to:

Whit Arnold at

My name is Whit Arnold and I'm working on a financial talk show that primarily focuses on helping people with financial questions.

I came across the article, Neighbor vs. neighbor as homeowner fights get ugly, and I saw you mentioned. The article is really fascinating to me. I've always thought of people being foreclosed on by their banks; not their homeowners' association. I'm assuming that the situation that happened at the Inlet House condo also happens elsewhere.

Do you know of this type of thing happening in any condominiums in Los Angeles or California?

20% Drop in Housing to Cause Recession in 2012, Says Gary Shilling

Today's guest, Gary Shilling, President of A. Gary Shilling & Co. and author of the Age of Deleveraging says another recession is brewing -- no matter what action the Fed takes. "Economic growth here and abroad is slipping, making a 2012 recession a distinct possibility," he writes in his July newsletter. And, "when you have slow growth it doesn't take much of a shock to throw you in negative territory."

Shilling says the shock to trigger the next recess is "another big leg-down in housing." (An asset class the Fed has not been able to reflate.) As those familiar with Shilling know, his forecasts are generally bearish. However, in his defense, Shilling was one of the few economists who correctly predicted the dangers of the subprime mortgage market and its impact on the broader economy.

The problem with the real estate market remains excess inventory. Based on Shilling's research, there are 2 million to 2.5 million excess homes in the country -- a supply that will take 4-5 years to work-off. The result: Housing prices will fall another 20% and underwater mortgages will balloon from 23% to 40%, he says.

This will certainly depress property tax revenues -- both for the county assessor and for HOAs that collect those privatized property levies called HOA assessments. I surmise the good perfessor who owns this blog will predict this will push a lot more already hammered HOAs to a financial and operational tipping point.

Calif. oddity's creator ordered jailed by judge

LANCASTER, Calif. (AP) -- The eccentric creator of a Mojave Desert compound of whimsical buildings known as Phonehenge West was jailed Friday for failing to obey an order to cut electricity and keep guests out of the illegal structures.

* * *

Fahey began building the village 25 years ago on his 1.7-acre property in the arid scrublands of northern Los Angeles County when he needed more room for his 10 children.

Among the 13 structures is a replica of a 16th century Viking house that he built for one of his daughters and a mobile home remodeled to look like an antique railroad car.

The centerpiece is a 70-foot tower with stained-glass windows and stunning views of the San Gabriel Mountains.


Perhaps Mr. Fahey should form the Phonehenge West HOA and assert private local government sovereign immunity. Hey, we all live here under a handshake contract.