HOA – lobby state legislature – property management firms and attorneys

… Another key organization was the Community Association Institute (CAI) which was established in 1973 to bring together all groups that had an interest in promoting HOAs and provide guidance for them. Over time, however, the CAI became dominated by the property management industry. In the 1990s it was reorganized as a 501(c)(6) tax-exempt non-profit business trade organization whose primary mission was to lobby state legislatures. Its major members were property management firms and attorneys….

… Today, there are roughly 300,000 homeowner associations which heavily regulate the lives of nearly 60 million Americans….

…  Homeowners pay regular dues as well as “special assessments” and, in return, the HOA is required to maintain the common grounds…

… Foreclosure filings by HOAs have skyrocketed in the past two years. Florida law does not impose any minimum dollar thresholds which must be met before an HOA can foreclose. Most homeowners have no clue that the HOA can foreclose for delinquent assessments. When late fees, interest and attorney fees are added to the delinquent assessments, the total amount owed the HOA can run to several thousand dollars…..

…. The HOAs have become so desperate that their powerful lobby in the legislature just pushed through a law which obligates tenants in homes where the owner is delinquent on the HOA assessment to pay the assessment directly to the HOA and then deduct that amount from the rent due the landlord. Incredibly, if the tenant fails to pay these assessments, the HOA can sue for eviction just as the landlord has the right to do. Renters in Florida had better take notice of this…..

… Within days, the HOA’s attorney had the check returned to her. He explained that the HOA had no right to collect the money and that she actually owed even more. Mobbs requested that she be allowed to bring the matter directly to the HOA board at its next meeting. The attorney refused the request and sent her emails indicating that she could speak only to him….

…. In an unusual action, the judge also included an entry in which he called the case “an example of the risk to the public of abusive litigation practices gone amok…

…  One of the justices remarked that “I rarely saw these kinds of cases two years ago; now I’m seeing two or three a day.”…

… This website also has detailed statistics on which attorneys are filing the most HOA foreclosures. …

… Notice the incredible number of filings for the top two attorneys. It is not an exaggeration to suggest that they have been running HOA foreclosure mills in the Houston area….

… Although the HOA foreclosure crisis is clearly concentrated in the states of Texas, Florida, Arizona and California, the problem is not limited to these states. Some 33 states permit a nonjudicial HOA foreclosure…

…. The fact that HOAs are able to file the foreclosure as a threat and then collect several thousand dollars in late fees, interest, fines and attorney fees for a delinquency that may total only $300-$600 has led critics to describe the situation as nothing more than a “shakedown racket.”…

… “This foreclosure racket is slowly creeping across the country.”  Has the HOA foreclosure option led to the creation of an extortion racket? Judge for yourself….

read the complete article at http://www.businessinsider.com/are-hoa-foreclosures-a-necessary-tool-or-an-extortion-racket-2010-7

 

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