Author Archives: Beanie

FLORIDA – Residents of a South Florida condo building have a pool problem, and it could take 50 years — yes, 50 years — to fix. Karen Hensel explains in tonight’s 7 Investigates.

The pool at the Maison Grande Condominium on Miami Beach is currently closed for repairs.

It may even have to be replaced, but once the pool is fixed and filled, the money being sunk into it will not stop because the pool problems here go much deeper.

Alan DelForn, unit owner: “We’re looking at three generations that are paying for this pool.”

Three generations, or 99 years to be exact.

Part of the monthly maintenance fees for the 502 condo owners here goes to lease their own pool because it’s not actually theirs to begin with and hasn’t been since the building opened in 1971.

Kim Alessi has lived here since 2011.
Kim Alessi, unit owner: “What he did was he sectioned off and kept a portion of the property where the pool was going to be built.”

In what’s called a recreational lease, the building’s developer retained ownership of the pool and a portion of the deck.

The condo owners are charged to use it, even when they can’t swim in it.

Kim Alessi: “The pool has been closed since June of 2019, and we still had to pay $75,000 a month for a closed pool that no one can use.”  Read more:

PENNSYLVANIA – Civic association head is charged in land theft that rattled South Philly’s Grays Ferry community

Civic association head is charged in land theft that rattled South Philly’s Grays Ferry community

by Jacob Adelman

 Posted: August 3, 2020

A South Philadelphia man has been arrested on charges that he stole land owned by a neighborhood organization that he helped start decades ago, long before the city’s economic revival made the properties valuable.

Mark Meighan, 60, of Grays Ferry, was charged last week with theft by deception, records tampering, forgery, and other offenses, court filings show.

The Inquirer reported in October that Meighan was said to be under investigation over his handling of seven rowhouse-size parcels on South Dover Street, which he is accused of taking from the Guenther Street Civic Association neighborhood group.

Records show that he had deeded the properties — together worth upward of $300,000, based on other sales in the area — to himself for $1 each in September 2017.

After taking ownership of the parcels, Meighan allegedly continued to collect payments from people who parked at the properties, keeping the cash for himself, according to the warrant for his arrest.

Neighbors told The Inquirer last year that he had also openly discussed selling the properties to a developer or building houses on them himself. Soaring property values in some Philadelphia neighborhoods have made the city an attractive hunting ground for real estate scammers, who in some cases forge deeds to seize ownership of homes and vacant lots they can flip. Read more:

MICHIGAN – Woman says her homeowener’s association is making her take down BLM flag, they say it’s against bylaws

WNEM.COM:  Woman says her homeowner’s association is making her take down BLM flag, they say it’s against bylaws

July, 30, 2020

Jonathan JacksonMarkie Heideman

“I’ve lived here for three and a half years, said homeowner Kaila Genovesi. “It’s not my first garden flag. It’s not my only garden flag. Now, all of a sudden, it’s an issue.”Genovesi says she’s being singled out by her homeowner’s association for the Black Lives Matter flag in her front yard.

She says she put it up there to show her support for the movement, but this week she received an email from the homeowner’s association asking her to take it down as it violated their bylaws.

Under the bylaws, signs or flags displayed outside the home are not allowed unless authorized by the association.“It was very discouraging, extremely disheartening that with everything going on in our community right now, that’s the focus of my homeowner’s association,” said Genovesi.  Read more:

FLORIDA – Panama City Beach woman allegedly defrauds $230,000 from several condominium associations

Panama City Beach woman allegedly defrauds $230,000 from several condominium associations
Article Courtesy of  My Panhandle
By  Risdon Bonnell
  Published July 20, 2020
PANAMA CITY BEACH — A Panama City Beach woman has been arrested after allegedly being involved in theft from numerous condominiums.The Bay County Sheriff’s Office says they were alerted to the alleged theft back in May, when $230,000 dollars was removed from one local condominium association’s bank account, and deposited into a second association’s account.

The second association began reviewing their bank records and found that money had been removed from their account since at least 2017 by their association manager, Lynn Price, 52.

Deputies say as the investigation progressed, it was discovered this fraud began in 2016 when Price was employed by another condominium management firm and had removed money belonging to that company to at least one other condominium association.

Price was taken to the Bay County Jail on one count of an ongoing scheme to defraud in excess of $50,000, a first-degree felony. Read:

FLORIDA – 4th Cir. Holds Each FDCPA Violation Subject to New Statute of Limitations

CCFJ.NET: 4th Cir. Holds Each FDCPA Violation Subject to New Statute of Limitations
Article Courtesy of The Consumer Financial Services Blog
By Maurice Wutscher
Published July 17, 2020

 Joining similar rulings by the Eighth and Tenth Circuits, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently held that each violation of the FDCPA gives rise to a separate claim governed by its own statute of limitations period.

On April 16, 2016, the homeowner plaintiffs received a notice from a law firm retained by their homeowners association (HOA) stating the homeowners failed to pay $77.09 in HOA assessments and a demand for $1,000 to satisfy both the HOA assessments and the costs and attorneys’ fees.

The homeowners disputed the debt and mailed a letter to the law firm with copies of cancelled checks. The law firm acknowledged that the disputed payments had been received, but asserted that the homeowners still owed the costs and attorneys’ fees.

The homeowners and law firm exchanged several letters with the homeowners denying making any late payments and the law firm insisting that late fees, costs, interest, and attorneys’ fees were owed.

On May 18, 2016, following another demand for payment, the homeowners delivered a letter to the law firm “requesting that [it] stop contacting us about this claim” and stating that the [homeowners] would consider “any further attempt to collect a debt against us or record a lien on our property [as] harassment[.]”

In January 2017, the homeowner hand-delivered a payment at the annual HOA meeting and was told to leave. The homeowner later received a notice that he had been banned from the HOA’s premises for one year.

In February 2017, the homeowners received another letter from the law firm acknowledging receipt of the January 2017 payment, but noted as outstanding the accumulated fees and costs associated with the original disputed payment from 2016.

On March 10, 2017, the homeowners responded to the February letter, writing that “in our correspondence to you on this matter, we had requested that you stop contacting us about that claim . . . As both my wife and I dispute the debt referenced in your most recent letter, I am now requesting once again that you stop all communications with my wife and myself concerning this debt.” The homeowners received additional correspondence from the law firm on March 14, 2017, including an updated ledger of the homeowners’ account showing that a fee had been added for preparation of the February letter.

In January 2018, the homeowners requested to attend the annual meeting and was told by the law firm that the homeowner would not be allowed to attend, and that “this whole thing would not have happened if you would just pay your bills.”

On Feb. 6, 2018, the homeowners received an updated ledger from the law firm and although this correspondence purported to provide the homeowners with “verification of your account as you requested,” the homeowners deny having made any such request for verification.

On April 5, 2018, the homeowners filed a complaint against the law firm brought under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq. In their complaint, the homeowners alleged that the law firm violated various provisions of the FDCPA by engaging in unfair debt collection practices and by improperly communicating with the homeowners after they had disputed the debt and had made a written request that the law firm cease further communications. The law firm responded by seeking dismissal of the complaint as untimely or, in the alternative, for summary judgment.

The trial court granted the law firm’s motion to dismiss the complaint based on the statute of limitations holding that the entire complaint was time-barred because the more recent violations that the homeowners alleged were of the “same type” as other violations that occurred outside the one-year limitations period.

The homeowners appealed.

The sole question on appeal was whether the trial court erred in concluding that all the homeowners’ claims were barred by the FDCPA’s statute of limitations.

The homeowners argued that the trial court erred in dismissing all their claims as time-barred because two of the alleged violations occurred less than one year from the date they filed suit. According to the homeowners, under the language of 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(d), a new statute of limitations arose with each “violation” of the FDCPA.  Read more:

MICHIGAN – Claims of unfair treatment made by homeowners disputed by Dearborn Hills Civic Association

WXYZ.COM: Claims of unfair treatment made by homeowners disputed by Dearborn Hills Civic Association

By: Simon Shaykhet

Posted at 6:02 PM, Jul 15, 2020

DEARBON (WXYZ) — Three Dearborn homeowners on Wednesday said they’re being unfairly targeted because of their Arab American decent when it comes to fixing up their homes.

They say the Dearborn Hills Civic Association is preventing them from doing so, but an attorney for the association says it’s completely untrue. “When they find out what their name is, their whole tone changes. Also, their treatment of them,” says homeowner Mariam Sleiman.

Another homeowner, Lindsey Mahanna, says, “I see so many houses in the area with double doors, but they want me to take down my double doors. So many don’t have windows upstairs, but they want me to cut open brick and add windows.

”Homeowner Nasser Beydoun says improvements on the back of his home don’t violate any rules and he’s also got permits from the city to do the work. Referencing the civic association, he says, “There’s one or two individuals who look at your plans and decide if they like them or not. There’s not a set of guidelines or building specifications.”

Others say the color of their brick or style of front entrance have been reason for stopping construction. But attorney Margot Cleveland representing the association disputes claims of unfair treatment. Read more:

TEXAS – Behind in association dues? Your neighbors may foreclose. Behind in association dues? Your neighbors may foreclose.

By R.A, Schuetz

June 19, 2020

The family that rented a condominium from Dana Peterson for nine years was among those who lost work to the novel coronavirus. When they began missing rent payments in March, Peterson said she understood.

They had never missed a payment before, and she had heard that, during a period of historic unemployment, government policies protected renters from eviction and homeowners from foreclosure.

So she couldn’t believe it when the family called at the end of April, saying they had received notice at the condo that their home was being foreclosed on and felt forced to move out. Read:

FLORIDA – HOA says Graduation sign in violation of HOA rules must come down

Article and Video Courtesy of Channel 2 NBC News
By Joseph Ojo
Published June 2, 2020

 COLLIER COUNTY – A mother said a sign honoring her daughter’s accomplishment for graduating high school must come down because it’s in violation of her HOA rules. They received a detailed letter from their HOA after they put up the graduation sign saying they are in violation of the rules: the Barron Collier High School class of 2020 sign on their front yard, is not allowed.When Meadow Phillips’ graduation was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Collier County schools came up with a different way to honor their seniors —the district provided front yard signs, which spread the good news for graduates.

Meadow and her mother Amber Phillips received a detailed letter from their HOA after they put up the graduation sign saying they are in violation of the rules: the Barron Collier High School class of 2020 sign on their front yard, is not allowed.

The letter from the HOA also states that for each day the sign is up, the family will be fined $100 and up to $1,000 if the sign isn’t removed.

Mom and daughter said the sign isn’t offending anyone, so they plan to keep it up.We reached out by phone and email to the HOA for comment, and we have not yet heard back.  Read:

TEXAS – Houston’s most outrageous HOA rules, according to KPRC readers  Houston’s most outrageous HOA rules, according to KPRC 2 readers

We asked KPRC 2 readers to share their most outrageous dust-ups with local homeowners associations and what we got back were hundreds of grievances.

Some of the tales are humorous up until the moment when you think on what it would be like to face a fine, receive a citation or get a warning for hanging an American flag on your porch, laying down brown mulch in your flower bed, leaving Christmas lights up until New Year’s Eve, drawing on your driveway with chalk, mowing your lawn sans a shirt or placing a pinwheel in your yard.Here are 60 of the grievances against homeowner associations we received from KPRC 2 readers:

“Our HOA sent my neighbor a warning regarding too many birds on her roof. Birds. Wild freakin birds. Seems they were a nuisance and an eyesore. She was ordered to rid them or be fined. People are crazy.” – Aimee Casas

 “We had a bad storm a couple of years ago and lightening struck a tree next door. That tree fell and landed across our driveway luckily barely missing our vehicles. So the next day our neighbors and us spent the day cutting up the tree and moving it from our driveways. We got a letter from HOA that we were being fined because we did not ask them permission to cut down the tree. After a call from us and our neighbor, they decided to waive the fine.” – Adrienne Morales Rodriguez

“I bought a new house and 3 years later got a letter stating I didn’t get approval to install screens over all my windows. I wrote a letter back kindly telling them that the house had screens already installed when we bought it 3 years ago. I didn’t receive another letter after that.” – Ron Wills   Read more:

CALIFORNIA – California HOA removes yard sign congratulating 2020 graduates California HOA removes yard signs congratulating 2020 graduates

By: Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
Updated: May 20, 2020 – 2:02 PM

MISSION VIEJO, Calif. — Rules are rules, according to a homeowner’s association in California. That means signs heralding a high school senior’s graduation in a common area is not allowed.

Mirasol, a townhome community in Mission Viejo, apparently removed several signs of graduating students, KCAL reported.

Sofia Muratella, a senior at Santa Margarita High School, said this should be an exciting time, even though this year’s school term has been held under unusual circumstances due to the coronavirus pandemic. Signs were a way to end the school year with a flourish.

“We put it up and we’re so excited. You walk around your neighborhood and get excited to see which school each of the seniors are from.” Muratella told KCAL. “There’s fifth graders graduating from elementary school and the eighth graders.”

One parent, who wished to remain anonymous, told the television station his son’s school sign is missing from their front yard. During a virtual HOA meeting Monday night, the man’s wife asked about the signs. A board member admitted that the signs were taken down because their placement in a common area violated HOA rules, the homeowner told KCAL.

“They either walked around and took them down or had the security company do it,” the man said.

According to Mirasol’s Community Association rules, which were last revised in 2018, U.S. flags are allowed on common ground. But according to Rule 14A, “No other flags or banners of any kind are permitted in the common area.”  Read more: