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Latest News
Behind HOA Iron Gates
Saturday, 20 February 2016

            Texas Monthly Report – Conflicts-and-Interests: “HOAs have become a big business. They generate $40 billion in annual assessment revenue (the dues collected from individual homeowners) and $35 billion in reserves, representing a huge government-like contracting opportunity — only without all the procurement safeguards and transparency guarantees expected of taxpayer-supported entities.”  A year ago the gated community of Bluffview Greens elected an unopposed board of directors.  Two months later, the Board had AMS / First Service Association’s management attorney to file a ‘Resolution’ at the County Courthouse that nullified previous board decisions.  Two months after that, the Board - under pressure - finally notified the members.   In an attempt to explain the boards’ justification, the President wrote:  “I think that you would agree that, if a political party is voted into an office, it does not need to follow the previous party’s decisions, regulations, policies, and laws.  In fact, I would hope you agree that the voters voted for the new party to have the rules changed.”…   Paris Constantzos, President of the Board of Directors Bluffview Greens Homeowners Association.

Read more...
 
Big Corporate Business of HOA Non-Judicial Foreclosures
Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Texas Consumers Call for Investigation of Property Management Industry
and Attorney Misconduct

See Home Owners for Better Building Press Release
Read WFAA Report Featuring Senator Carona Walk Out

See Associa Priority of Payment Attorney Fee First Contract:
#1 Attorney Fees - #6 Homeowners Dues
Big Corporate Business of HOA Foreclosures
1,425% Profits for the Non-Profits HOA Empire - The Hammer of HOA Foreclosures

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The Quorum Report: Senator West - may be best possible in this political environment
Tuesday, 26 January 2016

HOA REFORMERS SAY WEST'S BILL STILL NEEDS TWEAKING
The latest iteration of what has become a perennial effort to reform homeowners’ associations (HOAs) has hit a bit of a speed bump – the would-be reformers themselves... “If it passes the way it is, it’s not good for us,” said Janet Ahmad of the Texas HOA Reform Coalition. “It legitimizes a private government. We don’t need another government in our lives. It’s a funded mandate.” See March 23, 2011 hearing on SB142 Part II

Read more...
 
Consumer Affairs: BBB Favors Big Business - Not Consumer Friendly
Saturday, 31 October 2015

Do dues-paying members get higher grades than non-members? Many people think of the Better Business Bureau as a consumer watchdog, but a report by CNN Money finds the organization has given top ratings to companies that have faced action by government regulators and lawsuits by angry consumers... BBB also notes that it does not identify itself as a consumer watchdog, but rather as a mediator between businesses and consumers.

Read more...
 
HUD Scandal Deep in the Heart of Texas
Thursday, 01 October 2015

High-Income Texans Find Homes in Public Housing
Deep in the heart of rural, southeast Texas, a family living in public housing meant for low-income families has a total household income of $285,971 a year.  In Olney, Texas — near Wichita Falls — a family receiving taxpayer subsidies to pay rent makes $227,709, while another family residing in public housing in Pineland on the eastern edge of the state makes $184,499.

Read more...
 
HUD Sec. Castro - HUD Scandals in San Antonio
Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Obama Nominates Castro In Spite of Texas HUD Scandal
President Barrack Obama nominated San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development on May 23rd in spite of his city’s alleged misuse of funds from that same federal department. The Post piled a lot of praise on the back of San Antonio’s youngest ever elected mayor, but completely failed to mention the brewing scandal in San Antonio’s financial relationship with the very department Castro is now nominated to head.

Read more...
 
HUD Sec. Castro Gives Lip Service to San Antonio HUD Scandals
Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Castro dealing with scandal-laden HUD
When the inspector general for the Department of Housing and Urban Development scolded the federal agency this summer for letting 25,000 “over income” families reside in public housing — more than 1,000 of them in Texas — HUD initially fought back. Castro has challenges ahead, illustrated by a tally presented by Montoya in June: 106 arrests; 133 indictments or charges; and 179 convictions, plea bargains or diversions related to agency programs — in a six-month period.

Read more...
 
HUD FEATURE: 1981 Ė 2015 HUDís Hallmark of Federal Policy Ė 35-Years of Housing Scandal
Wednesday, 30 September 2015

HUD FEATURE: 1981 – 2015 HUD’s Hallmark of Federal Policy – 35-Years of Housing Scandal and Billions in Taxpayer Waste
CATO INSTITUTE - DOWNSIZING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

Cisneros planted another seed for the housing bubble and its subsequent burst by putting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under constant pressure to facilitate more lending to "underserved" markets. While Cisneros's own HUD administration acknowledged that mortgages financed by Fannie and Freddie in "underserved" areas have a higher risk of default, it did not see that "there need be any safety and soundness impediment" to the policy. It was under Cisneros's direction that HUD agreed to allow Fannie and Freddie credit toward its "affordable housing" targets by buying subprime mortgages. The recent meltdown in the U.S. housing and financial markets makes it crucially important to understand the distortions created by HUD's programs and the political drivers of its decision-making. HUD policies played an important role in the meltdown, and this essay sheds light on why some of HUD's bad policies were put in place.

Read more...
 
First Coast News Special Investigative Report
Monday, 28 September 2015

New Home Nightmares: First Coast News Investigates
A First Coast News investigation has found that some new homes — including those in very prestigious communities, with half-million dollar price tags — are plagued with construction defect allegations, leading to massive costs to homeowners, and years of legal wrangling. All this week, First Coast News looks at why the problems exist, why they are hidden behind a veil of secrecy, and what you need to know to protect yourself — before you buy.

Read more...
 
Builders Cut Corners
Monday, 28 September 2015

Don’t give homebuilders a pass to cut corners on construction
We are the unlucky ones who bought homes with expensive and dangerous construction defects — crumbling foundations, structurally deficient walls, leaky roofs and more. We needed to have legal options to hold our builders responsible for making us whole again.

Read more...
 
CFPB Report Blasts Consumer Chances in Arbitration
Wednesday, 09 September 2015

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Breaking news: CFPB study finds that mandatory pre-dispute arbitration clauses undermine consumers' rights by limiting class actions... The Bureau’s report also found that more than 75 percent of consumers surveyed did not know whether they were subject to an arbitration clause in their agreements with their financial service providers, and fewer than 7 percent of those covered by arbitration clauses realized that the clauses restricted their ability to sue in court.

Read more...
 
Closing Small Claims Doors of Consumer Justice
Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Tyranny of the Arbitrators - And the End of Small Claims Court
After a minor banking dispute in 2010 forced me to file a small claim, Citibank removed my small claim to private arbitration against my objections and in violation of my agreements and the arbitrator’s rules.I am sharing my story to help others... Citibank removed my small claim to arbitration to avoid an undesirable but public outcome in small claims court — knowing full well the depth of the hole it was putting me in.

Read more...
 
Foreclosure - No Mortgage Payments
Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Foreclosure to Home Free, as 5-Year Clock Expires
In September, Susan Rodolfi celebrated an unusual anniversary: five years of missed mortgage payments. She is like a ghost of the housing market’s painful past, one of thousands of Americans who have skipped years of mortgage payments and are still living in their homes.

Read more...
 
Uninhabitable House Getting Old
Thursday, 26 March 2015

New Jersey Man Sues Builders Over $1.6 Million 'Uninhabitable'  
When the house in Florham Park, New Jersey, was completed in 2007, Humayun Akhtar, 66, discovered the home’s interior and exterior had cracks and that the house was “sliding down the hill it was built on,” he told ABC News today. The house is “unrepaired and uninhabitable,” according to court findings, which added the soil the home was built on was “of insufficient load-bearing capacity to hold the building.”

Read more...
 
Tweets by Public Citizen
Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Tweets by Public Citizen

Read more...
 
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