Friday, April 29, 2005

Community Associations Institute Propaganda

Excerpt from article by Amy McCorkle entitled "Testimony on 4/26/05" concerning her testimony before the Texas House Business and Industry committee on 4/26/05

The CAI - Community Associations Institute propaganda would have you believe we are all deadbeats who would allow our property to fall apart and go to ruin if they weren't there to strong-arm and threaten us. I've never needed to be threatened to take care of my property before and I don't appreciate being threatened now. I pay a lot of money for my property, I'm sure not going to tear it up or let it run down. I don't need them to tell me when I need to mow the lawn, paint the house, repair the fence, etc... via threatening letter.

According to the CAI, all of our properties would have cars on blocks if they weren't there to tell us when we needed to mow our lawn, paint our house, repair the fence, etc... I don't know about you, but I have yet to see a car on blocks and I've lived in some pretty run down neighborhoods. Neighborhoods tend to run down because of low-income, people don't have the money to make the repairs. You'll notice the CAI is not in those neighborhoods. Nor do I see them pounding down the doors to get into the new low-income housing projects. They are entrenched in the new middle income communities where they can prey on people who are scared to lose their homes and pay up everytime they are told they have a 'violation'. Easy money. Extortion. The CAI's 'teeth', as Connie Heyer says. (Editor's Note: Connie Heyer is a paid lobbyist for the CAI)

I've been listening to the CAI during the legislative hearings. They keep claiming that 95% of people in HOA's are happy with the HOA's. If HOA's are so wonderful and people are so happy, then wouldn't you think they would be heavily advertised as wonderful places to live. Wouldn't you think they would be proud to disclose the fact you were moving into a HOA and all the wonderful benefits you get living there.

Then why is it I can't find any mention of HOA's in the real estate section of the newspaper? It's not advertised on TV. Why is it they slip the CCR's in at closing as part of the packet you didn't sign? If HOA's are so wonderful, why the deception? Why hide the information? If everyone truly wants to continue living in the HOA, then it should come up for a vote as soon as the developer turns the HOA over to the homeowners.

I can't find anyone in my HOA that is happy with it, in fact most people can't wait until it is dissolved. I don't hold out much hope of getting anything done with bills to help homeowners, so I will be concentrating most of my time and energy into getting rid of the HOA we were suckered into buying into.

Immediate compliance is expected, every violation received, regardless of the nature is allowed only 7 days for compliance. Perfection is expected at all times. Long vacations, illness, hospitalization, disability are not allowed.

APPEARANCE is EVERYTHING and most important.

The people approving the changes have no training or architectural background and yet these are the people making the decisions. Let's turn the 'management' of single family HOA's with no amenities or common areas back over to the cities and hire more people if needed.

Our property management company stands there watching the grass grow so they can fire off a violation letter the moment a weed pops up. The CCR's as written are so ambiguous, it's easy to make anything a violation.

The very least that should happen is that the full CCR's, every single page, should be disclosed BEFORE the contract is even signed. I would have run for the hills had I been presented with it before the contract was signed, instead of having the CCR's snuck into the paperwork handed to me at the title company as I was walking out the door, after all the paper work had been signed. How low and unethical.

Source: Texas Homeowner Association News

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The HOA can easily FORECLOSE on your home

Excerpt from article by Amy McCorkle entitled "My First Annual HOA Meeting: What a Fiasco"

If the HOA becomes involved in a lawsuit EVERYONE in the HOA pays for that lawsuit. Lawsuits can build up to tens of thousands of dollars quickly. Do you really want to spend YOUR money on lawyers to sue someone over something as petty as a weed, or fence stain color, etc… Good luck trying to sell your house if the HOA is involved in a lawsuit.

Having a HOA is NO GUARANTEE that people will keep up their properties or not do anything outrageous. There are many HOA’s now that look worse than non-HOA communities. The city ordinances are there to keep the ‘cars off blocks and yards from becoming jungles’. The CITY will enforce those rules. Once again, do you really want to spend YOUR life savings to pay the HOA to sue someone to enforce the deed restrictions, when you can call the city and have them enforce the ordinances?

You have given up your property rights and have agreed to be governed by your neighbor in the form of a HOA. Do you really want your neighbors telling you what to do? What if you and your neighbors don’t agree on what color to stain a fence? Is it worth losing your home over, or your life savings?

Do you really want to spend the rest of your life paying $300 a year to landscape the front entrance and to force your neighbors to ‘comply’ through expensive lawsuits that YOU have to pay for?

Do you really want to have to ask permission of the HOA board when you want to do ANYTHING with your property? There is already selective enforcement going on and forcing someone to comply through expensive lawsuits will cause EVERYONE in the HOA to pay for that lawsuit. And who does the ‘board’ or ARC ask permission from when they want something done – no one! They can do what they want! And they get to dictate their personal tastes and opinions on you.

Do you want to continually live with the threat of having to pay for a lawsuit or face foreclosure? As long as we have the HOA, especially with an over-zealous board, this is a very real possibility.

Do you really want to pay extra for ‘deed restriction compliance’ when the city will do it for FREE? Your tax dollars are already paying for this service. We can turn over the ‘common areas’ for the city to maintain.

I don’t want to be micro-managed on my own property by my neighbors, do you?

Source: Texas Homeowner Association News

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