Author Archives: Beanie

FLORIDA – Attorney General Bondi sues HOA foreclosure companies she says prey on poor

CCFJ.NET:  Attorney General Bondi sues HOA foreclosure companies she says prey on poor
Businesses allegedly bilk owners, renters, HOAs

Article Courtesy of ABC Action News

By Adam Walser

Published October 14, 2017

Tampa – Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is taking action against a

Tampa company she says is taking advantage of financially distressed

Floridians. It involves a company that profited from home owners association foreclosure auctions and some of the same players ABC Action News exposed in an I-Team investigation.

The lawsuit alleges that HOA Problem Solutions, Inc. and a number of related companies have victimized homeowners, renters and homeowner associations for more than three years.

Michael Chancey is one of the principals named in the lawsuit, which says he and his business partners operate multiple HOA foreclosure businesses out of a Tampa strip mall storefront, which bears a sign indicating it is a sports marketing business.  Read more:

FLORIDA – AG Pam Bondi: Time to shut down Tampa duo preying on troubled homeowners

TAMPA BAY TIMES:  AG Pam Bondi: Time to shut down Tampa duo preying on troubled homeowners
By Susan Taylor Martin, Times Senior Correspondent
October 12, 2017
TAMPA — During the foreclosure crisis, a lot of investors made a lot of money off the misfortune of others. But few were as prolific as Jimmy Dean Chancey and his nephew, Michael Chancey.

Through a myriad of companies, the duo has acquired scores of houses in the Tampa Bay and Jacksonville areas for as little as $10 apiece. They got some at foreclosure auctions, others directly from desperate homeowners like Tarsha Santiago of Gibsonton.

“She said they knocked on her door more than once, and she was facing a number of things that were weighing on her mind plus facing foreclosure,” said lawyer Pamela Jo Hatley, who later represented Santiago. “They kept coming by and telling her they could help her with an attorney, they would help her avoid foreclosure, she could stay in her home and they talked her into doing this deal with them.”

In exchange for a few hundred dollars, Santiago deeded her four-bedroom, two-bath house to a company connected to the Chanceys. Read more:

FLORIDA – HOA fight over World War II tank in River Oaks

CCFJ.NET:  HOA fight over World War II tank in River Oaks

 

 

Article Courtesy of Channel 10 News WTSP — Tampa Bay
By Marcelino Benito

Published October 4, 2017

In the heart of River Oaks, neighbors are coming face to face with history without ever leaving the neighborhood.

“It’s great for America,” said homeowner Ken Douglas.

 

Attorney Tony Buzbee bought a fully functional World War II tank overseas last year for $600,000. Now he’s temporarily parked it outside his multi-million dollar home in River Oaks.

“Took a year to get here but now it’s on River Oaks Boulevard,” said Buzbee. “This particular tank landed at Normandy. It liberated Paris and ultimately went all the way to Berlin. There’s a lot of history here.”

But now the River Oaks Property Owners group isn’t happy about it.

“It’s not violating any ordinance, but for some people it makes the homeowners association uncomfortable,” said Buzbee.

They sent Buzbee a letter saying the tank “impedes traffic”, causes a “safety issue” and is causing “serious concerns for neighbors”.

“If you’re offended just lighten up, my goodness it isn’t hurting anyone,” said Buzbee.

Read more:

 

http://www.ccfj.net/HOAFLTankDisp.html

FLORIDA – CONDO ASSOCIATION SUES FIRST RESIDENTIAL FKA CONTINENTAL

CCFJ.NET:  CONDO ASSOCIATION SUES FIRST RESIDENTIAL FKA CONTINENTAL

An Opinion By Jan Bergemann
President, Cyber Citizens For Justice, Inc.

Published October 7, 2017

 

The Jade Winds Association Inc, a condo minium in Miami-Dade County has filed a very interesting lawsuit in Bankruptcy Court against First Service Residential, the management company formerly known as the Continental Group.

As a homeowner or condo owner I hope you are aware that this company is actively lobbying in Tallahassee against owner-friendly community association legislation since many years.

 

In the lawsuit the condo association blames First Residential Service — and especially the assigned manager, for all kinds of wrongdoings leading to the bankruptcy filing of the corporation. The list of alleged wrongdoings is very long, starting with bills not being paid in a timely manner leading to late charges to kickbacks for throwing the elections. The actual lawsuit (please click on link below) provides very interesting reading and — in my opinion — it will be very difficult for First Residential Services to get out of this lawsuit unharmed if Jade Winds can prove even only part of the allegations levied in the filed lawsuit.

 Read more:

http://www.ccfj.net/condoFSRLawsuit.html

CALIFORNIA – Robert Bumgarner: Restoring free speech rights to homeowner association members

THE UNION:  Robert Bumgarner: Restoring free speech rights to homeowner association members
Other Voices
Robert Bumgarner
October 1, 2017

If you live in a community that’s managed by a homeowner association, you know that they often stifle the free speech rights of individual owners.

That’s because First Amendment constitutional speech protections apply to governmental restrictions on free speech, not to private corporations like those that control common interest developments.

This year, the legislature addressed that issue by unanimously passing Senate Bill 407, a law that’s aimed at restoring constitutional free speech rights to 12 million Californians who live in common interest developments. Gov. Brown signed SB 407 into law on Sept. 11, 2017.

Here are some of the issues that prompted that action by the legislature:

Homeowner’s Associations often incorporate provisions in their governing documents that restrict door-to-door solicitation. Those provisions can be so broadly written as to prohibit non-commercial free and political speech. For example, a common interest development resident in Alameda County was cited for going door-to-door with information about an elections bill that would have impacted homeowner voting rights; she was summoned to a disciplinary committee, fined, and ordered not to approach her neighbors again.

A Solano County common interest development issued a homeowner a cease and desist order for inviting neighbors to an event he was hosting for a mayoral candidate in an impending city election.  Read more:

ARIZONA – HOAs have a purpose, foreclosing is not one of them

The Daily Courier:  HOAs have a purpose, foreclosing is not one of them
By The Daily Courier
September 30, 2017

There is no doubt that Homeowner Associations do a lot of good for communities, especially in protecting everyone’s investment in their properties.

No one wants to fight with their neighbors because one or two people refuse to maintain their yards or are engaging in something that will drive down property values.

But no one enjoys having a group of power-hungry folks bossing them around, either.

It’s a fine line that people who serve on HOAs must walk, protecting everyone’s investment while trying not to appear too heavy-handed.

The Arizona Republic reported this month that HOAs are foreclosing on a record number of homeowners because of missed maintenance payments. Some people are losing their homes for as little as $1,200.

The state of Arizona allows HOAs to foreclose on a property if they miss payments for a year and the debt is $1,200 or more. What’s worse, is that homeowners desperately fighting to save their homes are finding it nearly impossible to determine how much they owe so they can pay it and keep the house, because HOAs are adding legal fees and interest on the late payments.

Lawyers are getting rich as HOAs take the homes of people who are struggling.  Read more:

OREGON – Portland Condo Owners Toss Out Homeowners Association Board That Imposed High Fees

WILLAMETTE WEEK: Portland Condo Owners Toss Out Homeowners Association Board That Imposed High Fees
Westlake Village condo owners feared a $6.4 million new construction project would force them out of their homes
By Rachel Monahan
September 27, 2017

Condo owners in the Cedar Mill neighborhood have won a reprieve from the new fees that many feared would drive them from their homes.

On Sept. 21, at the annual meeting of the Westlake Village Condominium Homeowners Association, the group calling itself Save Westlake Village took over all five positions on the HOA board.

They intend to rescind the fees the previous board imposed to pay for a $6.4 million renovation project for the 200-unit complex.

The burden of those fees feel unequally on the poorest condo owners, some

of whom spent their life savings on units and feared the new costs would amount to an economic eviction.  Read more:

FLORIDA – Poinciana homeowner contests association election again

CCFJ.NET:  Poinciana homeowner contests association election again

 

 

Article Courtesy of The Orlando Sentinel

By Ryan Gillespie 

Published September 19, 2017

A homeowner is again trying to tip the balance of power within one of the state’s largest homeowner’s associations away from developers.
An election challenge filed by homeowner Martin Negron calls for a recount of votes in the Association of Poinciana Villages, but only after the state agency that regulates HOAs tosses out scores of votes he thinks are illegal.

That agency, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, already sided with Negron in a challenge in June and nullified the results of a February vote. In that ruling, an arbitrator ordered the Aug. 1 election.

If the votes are tossed out, Negron and his attorneys think it would pave the way for homeowners to be seated on the board.

“How are we ever going to win?” he said. “Hopefully the [state] will put some teeth into this.”  Read more:

 

 

http://www.ccfj.net/HOAFLContElect.html

 

CALIFORNIA – Parents Fuming Over HOA Letter Discouraging Kids Playing Outside Home

CBSSacramento:  Parents Fuming Over HOA Letter Discouraging Kids Playing Outside Home 

GRANITE BAY (CBS13) — Some homeowners in a Granite Bay neighborhood are fuming over a letter sent out by the homeowners association that they say goes too far.

The letter discourages children playing outdoors on neighborhood streets and even suggests parents take their kids to a nearby park.

After just two months in their new home the Peters family received a letter from the homeowners association saying children playing in streets and neighboring yards is a violation.

“Honestly we were a little put out, real upset to the fact we didn’t feel welcome in our neighborhood,” says Jed Peters, while keeping a close eye on his three-year-old riding a bike across the street in the quiet neighborhood.

“We also got a handwritten note from our association manager that states, perhaps we should have the children play in the backyard or at the park.”

Peters says he’s not against association rules keeping the neighborhood looking sharp, but he thinks this goes too far and he posted the letter on social media.

“We had over 75 positive responses from our neighbors. They said we want kids out front, not playing video games.  Read more:

MISSOURI – ‘It’s my world’: HOA says sick little girl’s playhouse violates a ‘no shed’ policy

Miami Herald:   ‘It’s my world’: HOA says sick little girl’s playhouse violates a ‘no shed’ policy
By Donovan Harrell
September 17, 2017

The Rock Hill Home Owners Association has its sights set on a tiny pink playhouse in a Blue Springs, Missouri neighborhood.

Bobbie Goolsby bought the playhouse for her six-year-old granddaughter, Emma, who nearly died from an autoimmune disorder, according to the KSHB.

Emma told the TV station the playhouse was her “safe space” where she goes to play everyday and take her breathing treatments. “It’s my world,” Emma said.

Goolsby tried to find a loophole in HOA bylaws that prohibit sheds, but HOA President Dee Ann Myers told KSHB that the playhouse still violates its policy.

 “We have kindly requested them to remove this unapproved structure numerous times to no avail,” Myers wrote in an email. “We know both the Goolsby’s and their Real Estate Agent had copies of these rules prior to purchasing this home and have simply ignored them. At a recent HOA annual meeting the Board opened the floor to the Goolsby’s to appeal their case and the HOA decided to hold firm in its original decision.”  Read more: