Category Archives: Uncategorized

NEVADA – Residents poke fun at Somersett Owners Association for demanding Christmas decor come down

RENO GAZETTE JOURNAL:  Residents poke fun at Somersett Owners Association for demanding Christmas decor come down

By Siobhan McAndrew
December 4, 2018

Dan Rowan’s suspects Elf on the Shelf may be to blame for the holiday decorations that violate his homeowner’s association.

Rowan, a local optometrist who lives on Deerbrook Court in Somersett,  received a letter informing him that his holiday decorations had to come down. Rowan and neighbor Tierra Bonaldi, added the 6 foot by 10 foot inflated JOY sign near their homes and an inflatable Santa and mailbox, where kids can send letters to St. Nick, in the roundabout in front of their homes.

The HOA violation says people can’t landscape or add improvements (including Christmas decorations) to a common area in the upscale community in Northwest Reno unless they have written permission from the association.

“Please remove the decorations,” the note from the HOA said.  Read more:


FLORIDA – Neighbors claim cars being towed from driveways in Greenacres

Neighbors claim cars being towed from driveways in Greenacres

Article Courtesy of WPTV Channel 5
By Alanna Quillen
Alanna QuillenPublished November 24, 2018
GREENACRES — Neighbors in one Greenacres neighborhood claim they are having a very hard time to simply park their car around their own homes.

They say the problem lies with HOA parking rules that they believe are just too strict. Now, those neighbors have had enough.

Over the weekend, a petition was started at Joggers Run Townhomes off Jog Road.

Homeowner Sara Watts said the rules are so impractical that people’s cars started getting towed from their own driveways.

“This started about three or four months ago,” she said. “We’re not happy with it.”

Watts started the petition for change when it comes parking.

“It’s putting us under us under stress,” she said. “They don’t ticket or violate during the day. It’s only at night.”  “It’s ridiculous that you’re afraid to even park in your own community when you don’t have parking,” said Watts. “I have a neighbor that’s having visitors coming in for the Thanksgiving holiday and he’s really nervous about where his family is going to park.”

People are allowed two spots per home — garage and driveway. They aren’t allowed to park in the street. If you have a visitor, you have to get a parking permit from the HOA. If it’s after office hours, you have to request one from one of the HOA board member’s homes.

“You can’t just knock on someone’s door at 12 midnight and ask them for a sticker,” said one neighbor who wanted to remain anonymous.

But if it’s nighttime, you have to write your home number on scrap paper and put it in the dash. Neighbors said they tried moving their cars into the garage and allowed their visitor to park in the driveway. But because they did not put the scrap of paper in the dash, some neighbors have reported cars being towed straight from their driveway.

“It’s your driveway, it’s supposed to be yours,” said one anonymous neighbor. “You have to pay $150 to get it back, it’s really become ridiculous around here.”  Read more:


FLORIDA – Disabled Veteran Wants A Porch

CCFJ.NET: Disabled Veteran Wants A Porch

Article Courtesy of Channel 7 News — Miami

By Patrick Fraser

Published November 10, 2018

He is a wheelchair-bound veteran, suffering from multiple sclerosis. One joy in his life would be to sit on a porch to watch the birds in a pond behind his house, but his association is blocking him from building the porch. That’s why he called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

When Ruben was young, he wanted to serve his country. He spent 10 years in the Navy. Ruben Sepulveda

loved the Navy, and then one day he was at a department store where he spotted a young lady and really fell in love.

“So I kinda angled over to her and said, ‘You like this shirt?’ and that’s what began our relationship.”

Ruben and Lois would get married and begin their life together. Then the difficult times came.  Read more:

FLORIDA – ‘Parkland Strong’ signs must come down, community association says

CCFJ.NET: ‘Parkland Strong’ signs must come down, community association says

‘Parkland Strong’ signs must come down, community association says
Stoneman Douglas parent decries decision to remove them by November
Article Courtesy of Local 10 News — ABC

By Roy Ramos

Published November 1, 2018

PARKLAND – It is a community that experienced one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history, but Parkland’s strength rose above, with its residents coming together after 17 people were killed in February at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
In the weeks and months that followed, memorials grew outside of the high school and throughout nearby neighborhoods, with residents posting signs with messages like “Parkland Strong” and “#MSDStrong.”

“It makes them feel positive. It makes them feel supported. Why should something like that be taken down?” said Donna Ali, whose daughter is a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas.

However, Ali said that is exactly what her homeowners’ association at Parkland Golf & Country Club wants her to do.

Ali’s neighborhood has about a dozen Parkland Strong signs dotting the front lawns of houses. “In keeping with the memorial plans, the community relations committee is asking residents that have shown solidarity with the MSD family by placing memorials in their yard to take them down by Nov. 15,” board members wrote in an email.

For Ali’s family — especially her daughter, Ariana — the signs stand for much more.

“She did lose one of her friends, and a couple of other friends were injured,” Ali said.

After Ariana took to Twitter with outrage for being told to take down the sign, her mother received another email, which referred her to someone else.

“He said that is just one of the bylaws, that we need to take down lawn signs,” Ali said.   Read more:

KANSAS – Olathe HOA landscaping dispute heads to appeals court as legal costs near $1 million

Kansas City Star: Olathe HOA landscaping dispute heads to appeals court as legal costs near $1 million


October 26, 2018 12:23 PM

Updated October 26, 2018 04:45 PM

As legal costs soar toward $1 million, a years-long court battle over a landscaping project in an Olathe HOA is headed to the Kansas Court of Appeals.

The board of the Avignon Villa Homes Community Association has filed notice in Johnson County District Court that it is appealing a ruling issued in January by Johnson County District Judge Rhonda K. Mason.

Many assumed the ruling would settle once and for all the lawsuit that homeowner Jim Hildenbrand filed against the Avignon Villa Homes Community Association in 2013.

Mason found that the HOA treated Hildenbrand unfairly when it denied his application for the landscaping project. But she also found that Hildenbrand violated the HOA’s rules by failing to fill out the proper application before installing the project, which features a long, low accent wall running the length of his house. So the judge ordered Hildenbrand to pay $25,000 in damages to the HOA.

“The board believes it is important to maintain the viability of our governing documents and to protect our association from future unauthorized construction,” said HOA president Jesse Hernandez. “Therefore the board has decided that the association will appeal Judge Mason’s ruling.”  Read more:

SOUTH CAROLINA – Property Manager Admits to Defrauding Charleston Communities of $700K

The Post and Courier:  Property Manager Admits to Defrauding Charleston Communities of  $700K

By Andrew Knapp
October 19, 2018

A Charleston-area property manager accused by dozens of homeowner associations of pocketing more than $700,000 of their money now faces prison time on a federal criminal charge.

Karen Colie, who owned Marshland Communities on Johns Island, was charged Wednesday with wire fraud. She promptly pleaded guilty to the felony that carries up to 20 years behind bars and a $250,000 fine. She was not immediately sentenced.

Filed in U.S. District Court in Charleston, Colie’s plea agreement called for her to pay back every “identifiable victim” that fell under her scheme.

Colie had already been the target of a lawsuit in which 47 homeowner groups accused her of overbilling or charging for services that her company never performed. All told, she had boasted being hired by nearly 60 neighborhoods, including Shadowmoss Plantation in West Ashley and Liberty Hall Plantation in Goose Creek.

The criminal charge came through an “information,” which in federal court allows for a quick guilty plea without a grand jury indictment.

Her attorney, Cameron Blazer of Mount Pleasant, said the housing crisis that contributed to the recession a decade ago had created many difficult years for property managers.  Read more:

FLORIDA – Villages couple appalled at classification of American flag as non-compliant “lawn ornament”

CCFJ.NET:  Villages couple appalled at classification of American flag as 

non-compliant  “lawn ornament”

Article Courtesy of The Villages News
By Meta Minton
Published October 13 , 2018


A Village of Hemingway couple is fighting to keep an American flag on display at their home.

Joseph and Margaret Ganci, of 1172 Jebber Loop, pleaded their case Thursday morning before the 

Community Development District 7 Board of Supervisors.

The couple moved to The Villages eight and a half years ago and found it to be “a wonderful place.”

Until Sept. 13, when they got the dreaded knock on the door, informing them their home was not in compliance.

An anonymous complaint was received Sept. 12 about three flags planted in the ground at the Gancis’ home.

They were a flower flag, a Blue Lives Matter flag and an American flag. There were also statues on display.

Two of the flags have been removed, the statues are down, but the American flag is still on display.

Technically, the flag – in this type of display – is classified as a “lawn ornament” in The Villages.

“How incredulous to call the American flag a ‘lawn ornament,’” said Margaret Ganci.

The American flag on display is changed every two months and a light shines on it at night, she said.

She also took a swipe at the anonymous complaint process.

“Who is ‘anonymous’ and where is that person hiding?” Ganci asked.  Read more:

ARIZONA – Phoenix man accused of $1.3 million theft from HOAs to take plea deal

AZCENTRAL.COM:  Phoenix man accused of $1.3 million theft from HOAs to take plea deal

Associated Press
Sept. 18, 2018

The former head of a Phoenix-area property management company accused of stealing nearly $1.3 million from homeowners associations has agreed to a plea deal to spare his wife prosecution.

According to court documents made available Monday, Harlow White has agreed to plead guilty to one felony charge of transactional money laundering.

He and his wife were indicted last year on other charges including conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Under the proposed agreement, the indictment against Nancy White would be dismissed. Other charges against Harlow White would also be dropped.  Read more:

CALIFORNIA – Elderly Seal Beach Woman Accused of Embezzling Over $100K

Patch.Com:  Elderly Seal Beach Woman Accused of Embezzling Over $100K
This 71-year-old Seal Beach woman was arrested Saturday on charges embezzling from her homeowners’ association
By Ashley Ludwig, Patch Staff
Sep. 24, 2018

SEAL BEACH, CA — A 71-year-old Seal Beach woman was accused of embezzling over $115,000 from the Costa Mesa homeowner’s association, of which she was treasurer, court documents said.

Bonnie Diane Harris, 71, of Seal Beach, served as the former treasurer for the Cedar Glen Homeowner’s Association, and was scheduled Monday to make her initial court appearance on charges of embezzling more than $115,000.

Harris was arrested Saturday on charges filed Sept. 12. She faces 36 felony counts of embezzlement by fiduciary of trust, with sentencing enhancement allegations of property damage exceeding $65,000.  Read more:


FLORIDA – Foreclosure lawyer Mark Stopa made nearly $5 million off clients’ homes  Foreclosure lawyer Mark Stopa made nearly $5 million off clients’ homes
Article Courtesy of The Tampa Bay Times
By Susan Taylor Martin
Published October 2, 2018
During the foreclosure crisis, thousands of Floridians turned to Mark Stopa for help in saving their homes.

The 41-year-old St. Petersburg lawyer became one of the state’s best-known foreclosure defense experts, quoted in national publications and portraying himself as a bulwark against heartless and conniving lenders. 

But even as Stopa helped many people hold on to their homes, he acquired millions of dollars worth of property from other clients through what authorities say was a years-long pattern of fraud and deception. The alleged scheme to defraud clients and mortgage lenders has had a ripple effect throughout Florida, leaving thousands of foreclosure cases in limbo and Stopa’s former firm about to file for bankruptcy.

“It’s like the Titanic going down,” said Richard Mockler, a Tampa attorney who has tried unsuccessfully to salvage Stopa’s law practice.

On Aug. 21, agents of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement raided Stopa’s offices in downtown St. Petersburg. According to the search warrant, Stopa obtained title to distressed homes throughout Florida using shell corporations, many of them registered in New Mexico. The properties were then rented out while Stopa, under the guise of representing the original owners, continued to fight the foreclosure cases.

Agents subpoenaed Stopa’s PayPal account and discovered deposits from individuals at approximately 20 properties controlled by his companies.

Between Jan. 1, 2011 and April 1, 2018 records showed, Stopa received a total of more than $4.8 million.  Read more: