Category Archives: Uncategorized

MISSOURI – Battle between homeowner and HOA over truck could lead to foreclosure

KMOV.COM:  Battle between homeowner and HOA over truck could lead to foreclosure

By Chris Nagus

May 6, 2019 

 CHESTERFIELD, Mo. – Andy Lipka loves classic cars. One of his latest obsessions is his 1965 Ford F250 pickup truck.It still runs well and in Lipka’s opinion, it’s pretty close to perfect.As he explained, “It reminds me of the truck I grew up in with my dad.”Not only does Lipka love the way it drives, he likes the paint job. As he describes, “It’s not damaged, it’s the way the finish has evolved over the years.”His homeowners association (HOA) hates it. So much so, they are suing him. The bylaws of the HOA in his Chesterfield neighborhood state vehicles with moderately severe body damage can’t be parked in the driveway. But Lipka says his classic truck does not have body damage.Lipka told News 4, “Its original Ford paint from 1965, it’s sought after now.”In the car world, it’s known as a patina finish and car experts say it’s a rising trend.Noah Alexander owns a classic car studio in St. Louis and is also the face of a nationwide show shot from his shop called ‘Speed is the New Black.’ Alexander says some clients specifically request the patina finish.He says, “I think it’s very popular now and becoming more popular.”But in Lipka’s case, beauty is in the eye of the beholder when it comes to the Woodfield Homes Association in Chesterfield.He parks his truck in his driveway because his garage houses two other vehicles. He’s been assessed nearly $3,000 in penalties and fines, and is facing a very serious threat.Lipka says the lawsuit, “Also implicates my house. They want to foreclose on my house.”If the fines aren’t paid, the HOA will seek foreclosure. Lipka has filed a countersuit.He understands the benefits of an HOA and rules that prohibit parking cars with flat tires or ones that are inoperable outside, but he feels this has gone too far.Missouri State Representative Bryan Spencer represents rapidly growing Wentzville where new neighborhoods and new HOAs are sprouting up. Spencer says he goes to “60 to 80 HOA meetings a year, they are my number one district concern.”He says he’s tried to introduce legislation that would curb HOA power in Missouri but the plan fell apart in Jefferson City.  Read more:

IDAHO – Religious law firm files appeal after judge overrules verdict on Hayden Christmas display – Religious law firm files appeal after judge overrules verdict on Hayden Christmas display

May 6, 2019A religious law firm is appealing to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on behalf of a Hayden family after a judge overruled a jury verdict finding a Homeowner’s Association discriminated against them based on religion in regards to a Christmas light display.First Liberty Institute is asking the Ninth Circuit to reinstate the jury’s verdict.“The jury found that the Homeowners’ Association discriminated against the Morris family by repeatedly attempting to shut down the family’s Christmas display and childrens’ charity fundraiser,” Jeremy Dys, Deputy General Counsel for First Liberty Institute said. “The jury in this case recognized clear religious hostility by the HOA—there was no good reason for a judge to overrule them.”Jeremy Morris had been battling his HOA for years over the light display, suing them in 2015 claiming religious discrimination and to have his property de-annexed from the West Hayden Homeowner’s Association and at least $250,000 in damages.Jeremy and Kristy Morris hosted a Christmas display at their home in Hayden, asking visitors for donations to charities to assist children who were victims of cancer, abuse or neglect. In 2014, when planning to move, the Morris’ let the HOA know about the display.In response, the HOA wrote, “I am somewhat hesitant in bringing up the fact that some of our residents are non-Christians or of another faith and I don’t even want to think of the problems that could bring up” and “we do not wish to . . . fill our neighborhood with the hundreds of people and possible undesirables.”  Read


9th Circuit Holds Nevada Superior Lien Statute Is Constitutional and Not Preempted by FHA Mortgage Insurance Program

JDSUPRA.COM:  9th Circuit Holds Nevada Superior Lien Statute Is Constitutional and Not Preempted by FHA Mortgage Insurance Program

Written by: Weiner Brodsky Kider PC

May 1, 2019

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently held that Nevada’s homeowner’s association (HOA) super lien statute is constitutional, overruling its previous decision given new Nevada Supreme Court precedent rejecting the Ninth Circuit’s interpretation of the statute.  Further, the Ninth Circuit held that this statue was not preempted by FHA Mortgage Insurance Program.

The Nevada statute provides a homeowners association a lien with superpriority status on property governed by the association for the last nine months of unpaid HOA dues and any unpaid maintenance and nuisance-abatement charges.  With a few exceptions, the superpriorty portion of the lien is superior to all other liens on the property, including the first deed of trust held by the mortgage lender.

In this case, the relevant home was in a neighborhood governed by the defendant HOA.  The original owners of the home purchased the property using a mortgage insured by FHA.  The deed of trust securing the loan was later assigned to the plaintiff, a national bank.  The owners fell behind on their monthly HOA dues and the HOA initiated foreclosure proceedings and recorded a notice of delinquent assessment lien and a notice of default and election to sell.  The bank received the notice of default and asked the HOA to identify the superpriorty portion of the lien so that it could pay the amount and protect its lien fist deed of trust.  The HOA provided the bank with a ledger showing the total amount due to the HOA, but this ledger did not specify the superpriority amount.  After reviewing the ledger, the bank determined the superpriority amount and tendered it to the HOA.  However, the HOA rejected the payment as insufficient and went forward with the foreclosure sale.  The bank sued the HOA asserting claims, among others, for quiet title and declaratory judgment and wrongful foreclosure.  Read more:

INDIANA – State limited in enforcement involving homeowner’s association

RTV6: State limited in enforcement involving homeowner’s associations
By: Kara KenneyMay 1, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS — A Call 6 Investigation into homeowner’s associations suing thousands of homeowners is prompting a lot of reaction.Attorneys for HOAs say lawsuits are a last resort to get homeowners to pay unpaid dues or comply with the neighborhood’s covenants. But some homeowners say the state needs to do more about HOAs that overreach or who aren’t following the rules.
Call 6 Investigates found more than 530 complaints filed with the Indiana Attorney General’s office since 2009 against community associations alleging fraud, unprofessional conduct, billing disputes, and professional incompetence.“We get a variety of complaints from homeowners,” said Betsy DeNardi, director of consumer protection for the Indiana Attorney General’s office.Records show the Attorney General’s office closes most complaints because of insufficient evidence, no violation was found, or because the Attorney General’s office does not have jurisdiction.”The Attorney General’s authority over homeowner’s associations is limited in some ways, so some of those complaints we just have to provide them with a letter saying there’s nothing we can do,” said DeNardi.Indiana law allows the Attorney General’s Office to take action involving an HOA only on five specific things such as if an HOA intentionally or knowingly misappropriates funds, if the HOA violates its requirements related to budgets, or fails to properly use proxies.“If a board member does something that is a fraudulent or criminal act that involves the homeowners association or the board, it’s essentially misconduct by a board member,” said DeNardi. “We can file a lawsuit and get a judgment.”  Read more:

NEVADA – Veteran battles HOA in Las Vegas over flag pole violation

KTNV13:  Veteran battles HOA in Las Vegas over flag pole violation

By: Sean DeLanceyApril 30, 2019

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A Vietnam War veteran says he is resisting his community homeowners association about a flag pole being in violation in his front yard. Ted Deyoung’s said the flag in his front yard has been there for nearly two decades, so instead of taking the pole down, he decided to fight back.”It really hurt me,” DeYoung said, “I want to see them try to take it down.

“DeYoung told 13 Action News that his HOA sent him a courtesy letter that his flag pole in the front yard was in violation of the community rules and regulations.However, Deyoung said he flies the flag for everyone who has pledged to protect it and those who couldn’t come home as he demanded to go to Vietnam while in the military and was awarded a bronze star for his actions.”It means a lot to me,” he said. “I mean, choking up a bit now thinking about the flag.”Deyoung said he believes the courtesy letter was sent in retaliation for several complaints he filed with the HOA in the last month and a half about their dirty-tattered flag flying at the entrance to the housing complex.  Read more:

FLORIDA – Fort Lauderdale man says condo association cited him for flying American flag

Article and Video Courtesy of LOCAL 10 NEWS
By Terrell Forney
Published April 22, 2019

 FORT LAUDERDALE – Old Glory flies high around the Bay Colony Club Condos in Fort Lauderdale. But for residents who display a flag on their own property, the move could cause a big problem.    

Louis Lauer, a longtime condo owner there, has been hit with at least four citations and warnings just within the past month. 

“I’ve had this flag up for the last three and a half years,” he said.

Lauer’s American flag flies right over his enclosed patio. But the condo association has since tweaked its rules on where the personal U.S. flags should be placed.

“It’s very unfair, especially (because) there’s a lot of military and ex-military and disabled veterans that live in this complex, and they should be able to fly their flag when they want to and be proud of it,” Lauer said. Read more:

FLORIDA – Homeowners’ Associations – Super Scam

Homeowners’ Associations – Super Scam

A Documentary by Christine Marfut

An Opinion By Jan Bergemann 
President, Cyber Citizens For Justice, Inc.
Published April 20, 2019

In a well-researched documentary Christine Marfut tells her story and the sad stories of homeowners who fell for the lie of “EASY LIVING” and bought property in a mandatory homeowners’ association — a scam a Texas lawyer calls a crime syndicate.In her documentary she interviewed Bill Colianni, the author of the book “Democracy or Dictatorship” and Jan Bergemann, President of CCFJ, Inc., Florida’s largest advocy group for homeowners’ rights.

Many video clips show the abuse of power of these unregulated associations. Families are losing their homes due to outrageous fines and assessments that make very little sense but are difficult to fight because many homeowners just don’t have the money to hire expensive lawyers while the HOA is paying their lawyers from the homeowners’ maintenance fees. In all reality: Homeowners are paying for their own demise.

The documentary tells as well the story of Deep Creek Section 23 HOA in Charlotte County, a HOA that made headlines because of the many lawsuits filed. The Charlotte Sun even published a political cartoon, showing a drop box in front of the Charlotte County Courthouse just to drop all these lawsuits. Funny — but in reality very sad!

It’s a long documentary — but definitely worthwhile watching!  Read:

Florida – When condo boards and residents clash, legal bills mount

Article Courtesy of  The Herald-Tribune

By Paul Sullivan

Published April 7, 2019

Florida has a long history of condo craziness, amplified by Del Boca Vista episodes of “Seinfeld,” but no state with condos is immune to it.  

My mother-in-law recently regaled me with a tale of intrigue, money and power in her South Florida homeowners association.

Seeking to raise about $6 million to refurbish the 20-year-old community, the association’s board had voted to assess each homeowner $7,000. But a group of vocal residents fought back, setting up a power struggle.

This conflict is nothing new to anyone who has dealt with a condominium board or homeowners association, which has well-defined obligations to the residents. As the overseer, it hires workers to cut the lawn, take out the trash, clean lobbies and common areas and maintain pools, tennis courts, golf courses and other amenities. If the elevator breaks or the roof leaks, the board gets it fixed.

But if it wants to do something cosmetic — renovate the lobby, add pickle ball courts or install a fitness center — the board needs to put its idea to a vote of the residents.

And for good reason. These expenses can add up quickly. Redoing a lobby can cost each owner $30,000 or more. In luxury developments, which typically have fewer owners, special assessments for a big project can top $100,000 per home. And that’s on top of common fees, which can outpace even a wealthy person’s retirement income.  Read more:

FLORIDA – She used a fake name to bilk $50,000 from condo association, cops say. Then she vanished

Article Courtesy of  The Miami Herald

By Carli Teproff

Published April 9, 2019

 She said her name was Tracy Pierson and she lived in apartment 11A.

Pierson became the treasurer of Crystal Court Manor’s Home Owners Association in February 2018 and was given use of the condo’s bank card.

But police say there were two problems. First, Pierson used the card to bilk the association out of more than $50,000 from March to December 2018. Second, that’s not her name.

“An investigation into Pierson revealed she gave false identifying information to the HOA,” police said in a news release. “Detectives are looking to find Pierson’s true identity.”

The issue came to light in January when a former board member called police to report that Pierson stole from the association. 
She told police that she had gotten a call from the city’s water department in November telling her that the water would be turned off to the community if the $1,088 bill was not paid, according to an incident report.

The former board member then called Pierson to ask her why the community was behind on the water bill. She told police that Pierson said she had used the money for cancer treatments, according to the report. Read more:

NEVADA – Nevada Supreme Court Rules Bank Tender Defeats HOA Superpriority Lien

April 4, 2019

By Bradley Arant Boult

As lenders and servicers continue to litigate in Nevada’s state and federal courts about the effect of homeowner associations’ (HOAs) foreclosure sales, some questions have proven particularly sticky. What happens when a lender mails in a check to an HOA for its superpriority lien, but the check is refused? How about when the lender offers to pay the superpriority lien, but the HOA indicates that a payment will not be accepted? In our last post touching on Nevada’s HOA superpriority lien litigation, we noted that the Nevada Supreme Court had not yet given the final word on these topics. Over the last few months, the court announced its final word—or, more accurately, two final words. In a pair of published opinions, the court held that lenders had preserved the priority of their deeds of trust when attempting to pay off the superpriority portion of an HOA’s lien.The decision in Bank of America v. SFR Investments Pool 1 dealt with one typical fact pattern. After the HOA’s lien was recorded, a lender sent a check to the HOA’s foreclosure agent for the correct superpriority amount. However, the HOA’s agent rejected the check and (incorrectly) asserted that the lender was required to pay collection costs and fees to satisfy the superpriority portion. In an opinion issued on September 13, 2018, the Nevada Supreme Court confirmed what lenders had long argued: that this offer of payment with a check, regardless of the rejection, was a valid tender that discharged the superpriority portion of the lien. Although the HOA was free to foreclose on the remaining portion of its lien, the foreclosure would not wipe out the senior deed of trust.  Read more: