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Latest News
Nice End: Couple Forecloses on Bank of America
Sunday, 05 June 2011

Bank of America Gets Pad Locked After Homeowner Forecloses On It
Instead of Bank of America foreclosing on some Florida homeowner, the homeowners had sheriff's deputies foreclose on the bank. It started five months ago when Bank of America filed foreclosure papers on the home of a couple, who didn't owe a dime on their home. The couple said they paid cash for the house. The case went to court and the homeowners were able to prove they didn't owe Bank of America anything on the house. The case went to court and the homeowners were able to prove they didn't owe Bank of America anything on the house. In fact, it was proven that the couple never even had a mortgage bill to pay.

Read more...
 
LOBBY †WATCH: Wisdom of Solomons
Wednesday, 01 June 2011

Bob the Builder’s DNA Soils House Floor Where HOA Reform Was DOA
Opponents of Homeowners Association Reform Got 5X More Money From Bob Perry and Two Related PACs Than Did Reformers 
 Bob Perry's DNA was all over the House floor last week when Rep. Burt Solomons pronounced dead his bill to reform anti-consumer homeowners associations (HOAs)... One Senate signatory of the coalition pledge was Dallas Republican John Carona, whose Associa Co. manages controversial homeowners associations. Since 2008, Carona and his wife have given $25,000 to the campaign of Dallas Democratic Senator Royce West—author of the Senate‟s spineless HOA bill. HOA reform did not die of natural causes. It was murder. "Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other." --King Solomon, 1 Kings 3:25.
Read Full Report...

 
Homebuilder Bob Perry's Legislation Gets Top Priority
Wednesday, 01 June 2011

Lucrative HOA “Resale Certificate”’ and “Payment Plans” are some of the worst business practices out there
With the passage of the latest HOA laws the ever resourceful industry still maintains control of communities, the ability to impose HOA onerous fines, legal fees, and entry fees, handling fees, resale certificate fees, transfer fees, special assessments, community enhancement fees, covenant compliance inspection fee, expedited fees, delivery fees, and convenience fees that will continue to drive homeowners out of community association they can no longer afford.  HB1228 – Rep. Harold Dutton, D–Houston whose stand-alone bill originally contained only an expedited judicial foreclosure provision became the newly amended omnibus industry bill of the day with seven major changes.  With the passage of HB 1228 the flawed Senate versions of “Priority of Payment” and lucrative “Alternative Payment Plan” provisions allows HOA vendors unethical business practices to continue business as usual.

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WFAA Reports Outrage: HOA Rules No Home, No Trailer
Tuesday, 31 May 2011

HOA threatens to sue Possum Kingdom wildfire survivor
When raging wildfires destroyed 54 homes in the Possum Kingdom Lake residential area known as Sportsman's World last month, one of those houses belonged to Jim Brumbelow. Now, more than a month later — as he surveys what's left of his world — the 77-year-old cancer survivor faces new challenges in his life... The recreational vehicle and camper he is living and working out of until his home can be rebuilt is violating Article 8, Section 3(e) of the Sportsman's World Property Owners Association covenant, according to a letter Brumbelow received from a Dallas law firm. Related Report: Sen. John Carona defends controversial HOA rule

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Dallas Morning News Editorial: Bad legislation passing or reform stalling
Tuesday, 31 May 2011

HOA Reform: stalemate means checkmate
The death of the HOA bill is a prime example of how special interests work in Austin. Particularly telling is that Solomons and homeowner reform groups lay the blame at the feet of homebuilder and powerbroker Bob Perry. It reflects a lot of frustration with the influence of special interests in Austin; all one has to do is suggest that pending legislation would hurt business and that the odds immediately favor bad legislation passing or reform stalling.

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HOA LAWMAKER SENATOR CARONA WALKS OUT OF INTERVIEW
Friday, 27 May 2011

WFAA News Report: Senator John Carona Featured                             Full Report Here
When asked what the "priority of payment" should be, Carona said it should be like it is with most associations...
schedule they highlighted that the last item to be paid was "Sixth - Regular Assessments," but the first item to be paid was, "First - Cost of Collection, including Attorneys fees." After this insert was shown, Shipp asked Carona, "So attorneys should be paid first?" Carona replied, "No I'm not saying that." To which Shipp responded, "You're not saying that?" Carona said, "No." Shipp persisted, "Isn't that the policy of your property management association?" To which, Carona held his hand up, turned sharply, and said, "end of interview."  See Associa Priority of Payment Contract

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WFAA's Britt Shipp Reports: HOA Big Business, Big Controversy
Friday, 27 May 2011

Sen. John Carona defends controversial HOA rule
While state lawmakers debate proposed reforms in the law, one local state senator with HOA-industry ties says he thinks some laws should stay just as they are...Among the defenders of the current system is Sen. John Carona, of Dallas. Carona is not only the author of many of the current HOA laws in Texas, some say he benefits most...A Principal Management collection schedule obtained by News 8 spells out Carona's policies of fines, fees, the filing of a lien...according to Carona's company's payment policy, the last priority of payment, number six on the list, is to be a homeowner's "regular assessments." First on the list to be paid, attorney's fees...When WFAA asked, Carona denied that was his policy. He then abruptly ended the interview as WFAA attempted to show him a copy of his own policy. Carona then bolted out of the interview room and back onto the Senate floor. When WFAA tried to follow him, Carona ordered the sergeant of arms to have us removed from the chamber...  Related: Big Business of HOA Non-Judicial Foreclosure

Read more...
 
Payment Plans - "All they want is the Money"
Thursday, 26 May 2011

I-TEAM: HOA foreclosures draw attention of state lawmakers
“It’s a scary situation,” said Kimberlee Benes, whose dream of home ownership had become a nightmare.  Benes was placed on a payment plan that took months to settle-up: A plan where the HOA’s attorneys act as the debt collector, too, charging fees. Fees were issued for verifying addresses, sending demand letters, and researching owners. Benes wonders how the research went, given that she left a forwarding address, verified by the Postal Service, but still received no notices until the threats of foreclosure. “They’re just not willing to budge. You can tell them anything. You can provide them proof of everything that you’re saying is legitimate, and all they want is their money,” said Benes.

Read more...
 
NPR Interview with Gretchen Mortgage
Wednesday, 25 May 2011

How 'Reckless' Greed Contributed To Financial Crisis
Gretchen Morgenson, who covers world financial markets for The New York Times, has been untangling the complex foreclosure mess and efforts to reform government regulations on Wall Street for several years. Now Morgenson and co-author Joshua Rosner have written a book about the origins of the financial meltdown. In Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon, Morgenson and Rosner describe how regulators failed to control greed and recklessness on Wall Street. Read more...

Litsen to NPR interview with Gretchen Mortgenson 

 
Work of the Texas Rich and Politically Powerful?
Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Lawmaker: Builder hurt HOA bill
Dewhurst, Bob Perry aides deny interference
With a midnight deadline approaching, the Texas House author of a bill designed to make homeowners' associations more accountable said he would rather let the measure die than accept a weakened version promoted by Houston homebuilder and mega-political-donor Bob Perry. A frustrated state Rep. Burt Solomons, R-Carrollton, pulled his bill down after the House accepted an amendment he said would put into law "some of the worst business practices out there."...Perry spokesman Anthony Holm called Solomons' account of last session "far-fetched." Dewhurst spokesman Mike Walz said the lieutenant governor does not have any recollection of a conversation with Perry about homeowners' associations.

Read more...
 
Solomons laid blame for debacle on Bob Perry
Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The Quorum Report: SOLOMONS PULLS DOWN HOA BILL AFTER KING PREVAILS WITH FLOOR SUBSTITUTE
Solomons replaced West bill with new language that brought incoming from Buddy Jones and Bob Perry.
Yet another attempt at comprehensive homeowners’ association (HOA) reform hit the mat this afternoon when the latest iteration was body-slammed on the House floor by a rival member and its sponsor threw in the towel, likely putting the omnibus legislation down for the count this session.  Rep. Burt Solomons (R-Carrollton) succumbed to a challenge to his version of the bill by Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford) and capitulated rather than advance the Senate version King was pushing. Solomons laid the blame for the debacle squarely at the feet of lobbyist Buddy Jones, homebuilder and major GOP donor Bob Perry, Dick Weekley of Texans for Lawsuit Reform (TLR), and the Texas Conservative Coalition (TCC). According to Solomons, Perry and representatives of the HOA industry helped write the bill authored by Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas). King touted it as an agreed-to bill by all parties, although reform groups never fully embraced it. Solomons said Perry, TLR and TCC all opposed his committee substitute.

The rest of the story, subscribers only

 
WOAI Report: HOA Reform a Big Problem for HOA Industry
Tuesday, 24 May 2011
HOA Reform Bill drawing criticism
Advocates say SB 142 will protect homeowners by requiring HOAs to notify property owners before foreclosing on their home and changing the way HOAs accept payments for delinquent bills.
Read more...
 
NEW BOOK: Reckless Endangerment by Gretchen Morgenson and Hoshua Rosner
Sunday, 22 May 2011

It Teetered, It Tottered, It Was Bound to Fall Down
By GRETCHEN MORGENSON and JOSHUA ROSNER This article was adapted from “Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon,” by Gretchen Morgenson, a business reporter and columnist for The New York Times, and Joshua Rosner, a managing director at the independent research consultant Graham Fisher. The book is to be published on Tuesday by Times Books.

Read more...

 
Beware of HOA Payment Plan Texas Industry Style
Sunday, 22 May 2011

When an expensive payment plan deal becomes a foreclosure
Senator West’s HOA Reform SB 142 contains a flawed “Priority of Payments” section that will dictate how homeowner HOA payments must be applied.  SB 142 has a “Payment Plan” section as well that will officially dictate that HOAs must offer a payment plan under state law, to homeowners who are delinquent on their dues. Senator West has added both requirements to Rep. Dutton’s HB 1228.  The problem is that the Priority of Payment as it is currently written has the (b) exception that would allow current abusive practices of applying all payments to attorney fees under a payment plan, so that business will continue as usual.

Read more...
 
HOA Syndrome Is Real, Nevada Professor Claims
Sunday, 22 May 2011

Symptoms Include Headaches, Anger, Depression
A psychology professor from the College of Southern Nevada said that he has discovered a new anxiety disorder called HOA Syndrome. If you live in a community with a homeowner's association, you will likely experience some symptoms of anxiety, according to Dr. Gary Solomon. "You might experience anger, sleeplessness, headaches and emotional problems," said Solomon. "You can even experience a fear of going to the mailbox or living in your own home." ...What is the treatment for HOA Syndrome? It's pretty simple, said Solomon. Just do what Lantry and his family did, move out and never move into an HOA neighborhood again. "Why would I want another incompetent level of government standing in judgment of me?" said Lantry.

Read more...
 
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