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Capitol Report on SLAPP Suits
Tuesday, 05 April 2011

Citizen Participation Act Takes Aim at Frivolous Lawsuits: Citizens, Journalists and Homeowners Testify in Support
On Monday the Texas House Committee on Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence held a hearing on The Citizsen Participation Act, a law designed to protect Texans from frivolous lawsuits that target their First Amendment rights. The Citizen Participation Act is a bi-partisan effort at aimed at supporting the rights of all Texans affected by frivolous SLAPP suits....Also testifying was Janet Ahmad, of San Antonio, and the president of Home Owners for Better Building. Ahmad shared details of how she was sued for racketeering by KB homes because she organized protests of the builder. Hearing:Senate Committee on State Affairs Apr 04 advance to 1:07

60 Minutes
Tuesday, 05 April 2011

Mortgage paperwork mess: Next housing shock?
As more and more Americans face mortgage foreclosure, banks' crucial ownership documents for the properties are often unclear and are sometimes even bogus, a condition that's causing lawsuits and hampering an already weak housing market. Scott Pelley reports. View 60 Minutes Report

HOA Board Business as Usual
Sunday, 03 April 2011

How Your Board Talks To Its Members
Last year a significant number of our members sent their payments to the address we’ve had for years.  The result was we had a significant amount of money piling up at the Scroggins post office.  One member volunteered to get them.  The board’s response was: Don’t worry they will get a late notice with a $30 bill in May if they can’t get the payment in without using an address that is 12 months old.   Ignorance is only excusable for so long.  We can just let the USPS follow their own regulations and return the mail to the sender and make the sender responsible for getting their payments to Pine Valley like every other business in the developed world.   Are you kidding me – Where the hell is Nurse Ratchet.

The Injustice of The Egert Case
Saturday, 02 April 2011

Justice Run Amuck in Fannin County: The Egert Case
In 2005 the Egerts were victims of two Fannin County homebuilders who had a history of taking money upfront and then walking off the job. The builders also had a history of retaliation. One victim canceled an interview with this reporter because they "feared revenge" if their story went public.  In over half a dozen interviews, people were either scared or embarrassed about their monetary loss to these homebuilders. In spite of this, the Egerts' plea for help from Fannin County District Attorney Richard Glaser fell on deaf ears.  Instead, he brought false charges against them while supporting the homebuilders in every way.   But how does a DA charge and prosecute innocent people without evidence?  Here are the ten steps that resulted in the Egerts' conviction.

Homeowner Protection One Step Closer to Approval in the Indiana Senate
Thursday, 31 March 2011
HOA Bill Passes Senate Committee
Legislation authored by State Rep. David Cheatham (D-North Vernon) that would protect the rights of families against illegal activities committed by homeowner’s associations has moved one step closer to approval in the Indiana Senate... “Through this bill, the attorney general will be able to respond to complaints about alleged criminal activity committed by a homeowner’s association or any member of the group’s board of directors,” Cheatham said. “These complaints could include misappropriation of funds, some type of fraud or other criminal activity.”
HOA Reform Hot Issue At Capitol
Saturday, 26 March 2011

HOAs could be crubed by Legislature
Some Texas legislators seem to think so, given that legislators have filed numerous bills this session to curb homeowner associations, including legislation that would, for example, limit associations’ ability to prohibit solar panels and to foreclose on homes, and require associations abide by the Texas Open Meetings law...  On Feb. 15, hundreds of people attended a rally at the state Capitol organized by a nonprofit group, Texas Homeowners for HOA Reform, to ask lawmakers to stop HOAs from foreclosing on homes even if homeowners don’t pay maintenance fees. The group’s website, www.texashoareform.org, has links to dozens of stories about HOA disputes between HOAs and homeowners: such as homeowners flying the American flag on a flagpole, installing burglar bars, placing solar panels on rooftops and keeping their homes despite unpaid HOA dues.

Lowes Bad Settlement brings Bigger Better Settlement
Saturday, 26 March 2011

Lowe’s Settlement in Drywall Cases Moves Closer to Finalization
Last year, Lowe’s negotiated a settlement that offered far less money to victims: a maximum of $4,500 in cash and gift cards. The handful of attorneys who negotiated that deal carved out a separate payment of $2.1 million. But following a ProPublica and Sarasota Herald-Tribune story [1] on the settlement, Lowe’s returned to the negotiating table and offer its customers [2] $100,000. A fairness hearing will be held on the new settlement on October 12. Superior Court Judge Bobby Peters will hear arguments for and against the amended settlement and decide whether the attorneys who negotiated the first deal are still entitled to their fee.

HOA Reform Like An Elephant
Saturday, 26 March 2011

House committee passes first batch of HOA bills
A House committee passed a host of homeowners association bills this morning, as members showed an increasing readiness to tackle HOA concerns... "As someone who has sat on this committee the longest, this is one of the most difficult for us," said Rep. Giddings, D-Desoto, referring to fees affecting HOAs. "It's sort of like an elephant. Our approach this time around is eat it like you eat an elephant and that is one bite at a time."  Plan for equally fiery testimony this afternoon as members take up a bill that would restrict HOAs from regulating homeowners' American flag displays.

Corporate America Instigate Frivolous SLAPP Suits to Exploit Courts and Constitutional Rights
Saturday, 26 March 2011

Coercive lawsuits shouldn't keep people from exercising their constitutional rights
They're called SLAPP suits. The punchy acronym stands for strategic lawsuits against public participation. They are legal pre-emptive strikes designed to put terror in the hearts of those with nosy questions, suspicions of wrongdoing or the urge to stir their fellow citizens to action. Their targets range from journalists to whistle-blowers to ordinary citizens engaged in the routine workings of our democracy — whether this is researching news stories, speaking out against abuses in public agencies or merely organizing petition drives.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Home Wreckers: How Wall Street Foreclosures Are Devastating Communities
As the foreclosure crisis continues, the costs to homeowners, the property tax base, and local governments adds up to $650 billion to as much as $1 trillion. Wall Street banks shattered our economy and left our communities to clean up the pieces. The housing market is where the economic crisis began and without immediate action, we are facing a multi-billion dollar hit to homeowners and communities across California that would undermine the economic recovery our state desperately needs. Without a remedy, the damage to our communities will be staggering and long-lasting. 


HOA Reform Coalition Press Release Freehold and HOA Private Transfer Fees
Sunday, 13 March 2011
Home Owner Associations Face Increasing OppositionFrom Homeowners to End “Transfer Fees”

Homeowners and Realtors have fought for years to end the controversial Home Owners Associations (HOA) and Freehold Capital Partners private transfer fees charged each time a home sells. Business & Industry Committee will hear House Bill 8.   The bill is an enabling act that opens the door to mandatory transfer fees and substantially increases the number of gratuitous administrative fees and fines the HOA management industry can charge.  If passed, HOA governments can impose not only transfer fees but unlimited others: entry fee, resale certificate fees, certificates of compliance fees, capital Improvement fees, special assessment fees, covenant compliance inspection fees and even contribution fees.

HOA Bites the Hand that Feeds Them – HOA Attorneys Scam Homebuilders
Friday, 11 March 2011

Federal probe into valley HOAs broadens
Federal prosecutors have identified 75 to 100 co-conspirators, including judges, attorneys and former police officers, at various levels of a massive fraud scheme involving Las Vegas Valley home­owners associations, the Las Vegas Review-Journal has learned. Some 25 to 30 targets of the investigation are taking plea deals that will ensure their cooperation in the prosecution of as many as two dozen high-level players in the scheme.

California Court of Appeal in Sacramento Rules Against CC&Rs Brinding Arbitration Clause
Sunday, 06 March 2011

CC&R Provisions Mandating Binding Arbitration of Construction Defect Claims Ruled Unenforceable
"CC&Rs are not an effective means of obtaining an agreement to arbitrate a homeowners association's construction defect claims against a developer." "Treating CC&Rs as a contract such that they are sufficient to waive the right to trial by jury does not comport with the importance of the right waived." 
The Villa Vicenza Declaration of CC&Rs was recorded unilaterally by Nobel Court Development, the developer, and was, thus, imposed on the Association and its members. The Association was never given the opportunity to accept or reject the terms of the CC&Rs and did not sign them.

check immigration status on prospective buyers
Tuesday, 01 March 2011

Immigration Ignites Grand Prairie Mobile Home Park
Some residents angry over policy to check immigration status on prospective buyers. The property owners’ association board is demanding proof of legal residency from buyers who want to live at the park on Shady Grove Road near Belt Line. "It’s just not right," said property owner Ramona Bledsoe.  "They didn’t ask it from white people.  But they’re asking it from Latino people." Board Vice President Nola Wolfe denied the policy is enforced only for Latinos.

Fascinating how quickly these things get resolved...
Sunday, 27 February 2011

Waiting Seven Years for Two Answers
WHEN Zella Mae Green of Georgia filed for bankruptcy to save her home from foreclosure in 2004, she and her lawyer wanted to know two things: Did she actually owe any back payments on her mortgage? And, if so, to whom?  It didn’t seem like a lot to ask. But until last week, those questions had been unanswered for seven years...  Fascinating how quickly these things get resolved when some daylight shines in.

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