Saturday, September 14, 2013

Family beats HOA in suit over pet pig - San Antonio Express-News

Family beats HOA in suit over pet pig - San Antonio Express-News: District Judge Mike Engelhart ruled that evidence is clear that this pig breed is considered a household pet and that they are not used for commercial purposes. He also said the dispute puts a spotlight on homeowners associations' restrictions and residents' property rights.

“I think we need to forget about this being about a pig for a moment and look at the broader issue of homeowners associations and residents,” Engelhart said. “Homeowners associations are there, on one hand, to maintain a neighborhood in a particular way, but they also have responsibilities not to infringe too much on homeowner's use of their land the way they see fit.
Thus spake hizzoner.

HOA Horrors and How Not to Fall Victim to Them | AOL Real Estate

HOA Horrors and How Not to Fall Victim to Them | AOL Real Estate
"When purchasing real estate, you might be one of the 25 percent of people who purchase a property in a common interest development, which is more commonly known as a homeowners association, or HOA. And while all properties have issues, HOAs have a unique set of additional operational, legal and financial issues that buyers must consider, analyze and review in conjunction with their purchase.
Because many horror stories are associated with HOAs, some people won't even consider buying into one, which is understandable. It's ultimately a personal choice for a buyer to consider. These are few of those HOA horror stories."
Wow. The press has really sunk its teeth into this "horror story" angle. No wonder the industry keeps paying for polls showing how happy everybody is.

Friday, September 13, 2013

HOA, Celina homeowner battle over fines for roof color | Dallas - Fort Worth

HOA, Celina homeowner battle over fines for roof color | Dallas - Fort Worth: The shingles had to be a color called "weathered wood," and had to be approved by the HOA architectural committee. They thought they'd jumped through those hoops, hired a contractor, and work began.

Then, there was a knock on the door. It was the roof police.

David Hawkes said the president of the homeowners association and the HOA's management company actually told them to stop construction.

"'The roof you're putting on is not going to match,'" Hawkes recalled the pair saying. "'It's not going to match the code. It's not going to be accepted here.'"

Privatopia's roof police will undoubtedly be using satellite imagery and spectrum analysis to ensure all rooftops are a uniform color lest property values be destroyed by a slightly off color roof.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

California city backs plan to seize negative equity mortgages - Yahoo! News Canada

California city backs plan to seize negative equity mortgages - Yahoo! News Canada
RICHMOND, Calif (Reuters) - Richmond, California's leaders approved on Wednesday morning a plan for the city to become the first in the nation to acquire mortgages with negative equity in a bid to keep local residents in their homes...Richmond can now invoke eminent domain if trusts for more than 620 delinquent and performing "underwater" mortgages reject offers made by the city to buy the loans at deep discount pegged to their properties' current appraised prices to refinance them and reduce their principal.
This should set off a firestorm. 

Monday, September 09, 2013

Owner, CFO of homeowner association management company accused of embezzlement Ventura County Star

Owner, CFO of homeowner association management company accused of embezzlement  Ventura County Star: She and her boss, Kristin Davis, 44, the owner and CEO of Paradigm Management Group, were arrested last weekend after a years-long investigation. Hoff-Solomon-Ramsey was the company’s chief financial officer, authorities said.
Isolated incident No. 547,851.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Left with nothing | The Washington Post

Left with nothing | The Washington Post
The retired Marine sergeant lost his house on that summer day two years ago through a tax lien sale — an obscure program run by D.C. government that enlists private investors to help the city recover unpaid taxes. For decades, the District placed liens on properties when homeowners failed to pay their bills, then sold those liens at public auctions to mom-and-pop investors who drew a profit by charging owners interest on top of the tax debt until the money was repaid. But under the watch of local leaders, the program has morphed into a predatory system of debt collection for well-financed, out-of-town companies that turned $500 delinquencies into $5,000 debts — then foreclosed on homes when families couldn’t pay, a Washington Post investigation found.
Thanks to Mystery Reader for the link to this infuriating story. These "tax farmers" are all over the country, but it appears that at least in DC it has "morphed" into something much more dangerous. To own a home today is to be exposed to a terrifying range of predatory business practices.  And look at what's coming up in parts 2 and 3 of this story:

"Part 2 — As federal agents investigated a sweeping bid-rigging scheme at Maryland’s tax auctions, some of those same suspects were in the District, engaging in dozens of rounds of unusual bidding. Coming Monday.  Part 3 — District tax officials have made hundreds of mistakes in recent years by declaring property owners delinquent even after they paid their taxes, forcing them to fight for their homes. Coming Tuesday."

AG’s Office: Verdict kills new HOA laws

AG’s Office: Verdict kills new HOA laws: PHOENIX — Concluding state legislators likely violated the Arizona Constitution, the Attorney General’s Office has agreed not to enforce some new laws governing homeowner associations.

In an agreement filed Friday, the state agreed to accept a court order that eight separate provisions of SB1454 were enacted illegally and are void. These include language that was designed to prohibit cities and counties from requiring developers to established planned communities as a condition of getting the necessary zoning or permits.

It also knocks out another section that would have limited the ability of associations from demanding that homeowners furnish them with certain information about those to whom they rent their units. Also gone are various changes in things like casting absentee ballots in HOA issues