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Latest News
Texas HOA Reform Bills Nearing End
Saturday, 21 May 2011

Chairman Solomons Confident SB 142 Will Come to the Texas House Floor
As time runs out in the legislative session, lawmakers’ promises to dampen the influence of homeowners associations may be fading.  The only HOA bill that has passed both chambers did so Thursday, leaving many dead in committees and several awaiting a spot on the agenda in the final 10 days of the session...Both West and Solomons say they’re confident they can reach a compromise on their bills, if the House can act in time.  “Obviously the clock is ticking and the House is focused on more weighty issues,” West said. “But, yes, we can still get this through.”  Solomons says he has the necessary support in the House. All he needs is time. “It’s got a better chance to pass than the budget,” he said.

Read more...
 
HOA Payment Plan Rip-Offs
Friday, 20 May 2011

Beware of HOA Payment Plan
When an expensive payment plan deal becomes a foreclosure

Current industry payment plan practices:

1.     Payment plans have become a prerequisite to foreclosure.  See HOBB Report:

    1,425%  Markup - Big Corporate Business for HOA Non-Judicial Foreclosures


2.     An elite group of HOA industry attorneys/debt collectors have captured the

   market of no-win homeowner’s payment plans as the option for HOA foreclosure
   on homesteads.


3.     The HOAs attorney business plan objectives for payment plans:

a)    Is to derive a steady stream of income for themselves as the debt collector;

while the debt continues to mount under the payment plan


b)    When a payment is missed under the plan (anticipated), the HOA attorney

posts notice for a “Non–Judicial” foreclosure again, adding more fees and  

offers another payment plan or face foreclosure.  Additionally, homeowners

may be required to sign an Agreed Judgment


c)     With 2 to-as-many-as 5 times of payment plan extensions and notice

postings, the attorney submits the Agreed Judgment for a default before

the judge under a Judicial Foreclosure 


d)    Foreclosed – THE END

Under payment plans many have paid thousands of dollars only to see their homes
taken in foreclosure over the original $150 assessment debt.



 

 
Bill Would Remedy Supreme Court Ruling, Restore Consumers’ Rights to Justice Through Courts
Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Rep. Hank Johnson, Sens. Franken and Blumenthal Introduce Legislation to Protect Legal Rights of Consumers
"Consumers fighting for fundamental rights against giant corporations deserve their day in court," said Sen. Blumenthal. "This new law would protect countless consumers in Connecticut and around the country from powerful companies that take advantage of them. When individuals have legitimate claims against big corporate interests, they have the right to a level playing field. "

Read more...
 
Arbitration Fairness Act 2011 Filed
Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Stand Up For Your Rights
Sens. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) will hold a press conference to announce the introduction of legislation that would remedy a recent Supreme Court ruling and restore consumers’ rights to seek justice in the courts. Their bill, called the Arbitration Fairness Act, would eliminate forced arbitration clauses in employment, consumer, and civil rights cases, and would allow consumers and workers to choose arbitration after a dispute occurred.

Read more...
 
New York Times: The billions of dollars in credit extended by Wall Street
Wednesday, 18 May 2011

New York Investigates Banks’ Role in Financial Crisis
The New York attorney general has requested information and documents in recent weeks from three major Wall Street banks about their mortgage securities operations during the credit boom, indicating the existence of a new investigation into practices that contributed to billions in mortgage losses. The possibility has also been raised that the banks did not disclose to mortgage insurers the risks in the instruments they were agreeing to insure against default. Another potential area of inquiry — the billions of dollars in credit extended by Wall Street to aggressive mortgage lenders that allowed them to continue making questionable loans far longer than they otherwise could have done.

Read more...
 
Texas HOA Reform Nears Passage
Wednesday, 18 May 2011

HOA Reform Coalition Supports CSSB 142
Priority of Payments Provision would apply payments in this order: 1) any delinquent assessments; 2) any current assessment; 3) any attorney fees or third party collection costs. Homeowners have been trying to get meaningful legislation for more than a decade. The present laws have allowed HOA abuse and tens of thousands of foreclosures across the state - devastating to both  homeowners and to property values.

Read more...
 
Million-Dollar Wasteland: A Washington Post Investigation
Sunday, 15 May 2011

A trail of stalled or abandoned HUD projects
The federal government’s largest housing construction program for the poor has squandered hundreds of millions of dollars on stalled or abandoned projects and routinely failed to crack down on derelict developers or the local housing agencies that funded them.  Nationwide, nearly 700 projects awarded $400 million have been idling for years, a Washington Post investigation found. Some have languished for a decade or longer even as much of the country struggles with record-high foreclosures and a dramatic loss of affordable housing.

Read more...
 
The Marine Corps Times:
Sunday, 15 May 2011

Homeowners group fights Marine family’s banner
In January, following Corey Burr’s deployment to Afghanistan, Burr and her husband, Timothy, put up a large multi-colored banner with their 20-year-old son’s Marine Corps portrait and the phrase “Our son defends our freedom” in front of their south Bossier home.  The couple received a letter a month later from the Gardens of Southgate Association stating the banner was in violation of the neighborhood’s covenants. The covenants specify only real estate signs are permitted...the association’s attorney, Geoffrey Westmoreland, informed her she had 10 days to remove the sign or litigation could ensue.

Read more...
 
Homebuilder Association Official and Friends Life of Crime
Saturday, 14 May 2011

Bogus lawmen
Four men have been charged with committing armed robberies at homes in Wilkes and two other area counties after displaying bogus search warrants, falsely portraying themselves as law enforcement officers and binding many of their victims with zip ties... Collins was state director of the Wilkes County Home Builders Association in 2009, president of the association in 2010 and is currently a regional vice president of the N.C. Homebuilders Association. He was identified as owner of CNC Construction Co., which was dissolved by the N.C. Secretary of State’s office in 2004.

Read more...
 
Arbitration Fairness Act filed
Friday, 13 May 2011

Senators Al Franken, Richard Blumenthal and Cong.Hank Johnson file the Arbitration Fairness Act 2011

Pre-dispute Binding Mandatory Arbitration (BMA), also called Forced Arbitration, is an insidious way for employers and companies to evade accountability to clients, employees, and consumers.  It's a practice, which traps people into waiving their rights to sue, participate in a class-action lawsuit, or to appeal an unfair ruling.

Read more...
 
Good intentions Could Make Texas HOA Bad Business Legal
Wednesday, 11 May 2011

HOA Reform or a Lucrative Funded Mandate 
In response to a multitude of major news reports depicting abusive actions by Home Owners Associations (HOA), boards and vendors, Texas lawmakers have seen some sixty (60)) plus reform bills filed.  Although the intent may be good, some of these bills may well enable an unrestrained funded mandate to siphon more money from homeowner for the benefit of builders, developers and management companies.

Read more...
 
Can Communities Afford Lucrative HOA Business?
Thursday, 28 April 2011

Texas Bexar County  Interactive HOA Foreclosure Postings 

Click on Texas map to view courthouse foreclosures posted by HOA management companies. 
Home Owners for Better Building Calls for AG Investigation. One attorney gets 83% of all HOA foreclosures.   “Obviously there are many communities that can not afford or tolerte an HOA; certainly not at the expense of losing their homes for the enrichment by an aggressive industry,” said Janet Ahmad. 1,425% Profits for the Non-Profits HOA Empire
Read more...

 
Texas HOA Managemnt Charges $300.00-$500.00 for Resale Certificate
Friday, 22 April 2011

Ripoff Report: WHY IN THE HECK ARE RESALE CERTIFICATES AND TRANSFER FEES SO EXPENSIVE WHEN YOU SELL A HOME IN THE STATE OF TEXAS?
The truth of the matter is that the information in a Resale Certificate takes minutes to issue and deliver by an AGENT. Normally the Resale Certificate is sent to the title company in a form of a PDF file. There is NO copying, there is NO assembling and delivery is a mere click of a mouse. Keep in mind many AGENTS are charging $300.00-$500.00 for this service. How much is your AGENT charging?  In a nutshell, agents are doing everything wrong. Agents think that once they are hired to manage a HOA that they have inherent authority to: 1) Charge homeowners directly for fees related to resale-certificate and transfer, 2) Set the fee amount (whatever they want to charge) for the resale certificate and transfer 3) Collect the fees for their own account. 4) As a result, the respective fees have been increasing to unreasonable amounts. All of which are absolutely wrong on several levels!

Read more...
 
HOA Treasurer Has Lien Placed on HIS House
Friday, 22 April 2011

Former HOA treasurer arrested
The former treasurer of a Brookhaven homeowners association has been arrested and charged with stealing $123,000 from the group’s reserve account. William Blake, 68, lived at the Bluffs of Nancy Creek, a development of about 80 homes. He was arrested April 12 on a charge of theft by taking and released the same day on $100,000 bond, according to information on the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office website.

Read more...
 
HOA: What a Racket
Thursday, 21 April 2011

HOA Attorney Fees: An Unconscionable Racket
 HOAs have a close relationship with private attorneys that result in homeowners getting fleeced.  HOA management companies sign up attorneys eager to sue, and charge homeowners thousands when the amount in dispute is a few hundred dollars.  HOAs love the money the attorneys collect and turn a blind eye to the fact that the attorney fees dwarf the amount the homeowner is behind.  HOA boards may not even realize their management companies and attorneys intentionally design a system to make more money with installment agreements with extra fees and charges added each month.  To make matters worse some HOA attorneys pad their bills by charging attorney time when a legal secretary or paralegal merely changes a few names on form lawsuits these HOA attorneys file regularly in court.

Read more...
 
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BY: GRETCHEN MORGENSON
and JOSHUA ROSNER

Outsized Ambition, Greed and
Corruption Led to
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Rise and Fall of Predatory Lending and Housing

NY Times: Building Flawed American Dreams 
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Gretchen Morgenson : How 'Reckless' Greed Contributed
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People Magazine - Jordan Fogal fights back
Because of construction defects Jordan’s Tremont Home is uninhabitable
http://www.tremonthomehorrors.com/
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Interview with Award Winning Author Jordan Fogal

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