HOAs Refuse to Even Fill Out a Form When Foreclosing
The Texas Legislature is considering a host of legislation to curb clear abuses by HOAs. Of course, HOAs are known to foreclose or threaten foreclosure whenever they like, even for amounts in dispute as little as $150. When homeowners seek to resolve the matter, often the HOAs want thousands because of alleged attorney fees which have been trumped up by their local attorney with a word processor that spills out form lawsuits (story here). The debate on the wisdom of such collection practices continues in Austin while lobbyists are paid with the huge profits that are generated by HOA management companies and their attorneys.
So it should be no surprise that HOAs oppose even filing out a form then they are in the process of foreclosing on Texas homeowners. (Many HOA reform advocates oppose letting HOAs foreclose at all.)
Texas is one of the few states that does not have official statistics on foreclosure activities at all; there are only estimates provided by companies. Of course the process to foreclose already requires papers to be filled out and filed with the county clerk’s office where the property is located. Legislation such as House Bill 3363 merely requires a one page form be given to the clerk at the same time as the foreclosure papers, and the county clerk then forwards the forms to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. All the major lender associations in Texas support the bill because it is not burdensome and is simply good government. Homeowner advocacy groups support the legislation because it will make sure Texas has official statistics that show when and where residential foreclosures are occurring. The state agency responsible for collecting and compiling the data feels the task of the legislation is appropriate to do as a part of its ongoing functions (and did not claim it would cost any additional resources to complete).
It is appears the only group opposed to the legislation is — you guessed it Homeowners Associations. They do less than one percent of the foreclosures in the state, or so they claim, yet unlike the lenders who do the lion-share of the activity, HOAs are against the bill. The stats the bill intends to collect will not even identify who is doing the foreclosure. What’s the problem? Are HOAs opposed to filling out a form, or are they just afraid of the stats? Or, do they just want to claim they stopped another piece of legislation and send out emails bragging to their members?
Regardless, HOAs are against even reasonable attempts at transparency. While some praise how much HOAs claim to protect property values and provide wonderful services, they hire lobbyists to kill legislation that by all reasonable accounts if helpful to this state. HOAs time and again prove they, and their management companies, attorneys and lobbyists have run amok.