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Showing posts from January, 2016

The case for construction defect trials

Colorado construction defect statutes and affordability – Independent American Communities — Mike Foxworth (@ALTALOMAN) January 30, 2016

HOMEOWNERS in common interest developments (aka HOAs) are not alone in their concern about construction defects found long after their purchase of real estate. This, of course, is a matter of the law where homeowners need expert legal advice and representation. Because the fact that lawyers for the other side in these complaints are hired to defend builders and developers with deep pockets, the counsel representing the homeowners or HOA must be experienced and successful in representing plaintiffs in such cases.  VIDEO is not an endorsement for any law firm, but an educational presentation to help homeowners caught in this dilemma.


Five points HOA boards may rank

Top 5 Qualities of a Successful Community Association Board RT @ALTALOMAN — John Tarley (@TarleyRobinson) January 28, 2016

Generally recognized, there are 7 leadership qualities that all great leaders possess. The positive thing is, leadership characteristics can be learned and practiced making it possible for everyone to become a great leader.  While the focus of this video is upon executive leadership, the qualities listed still apply to groups, like HOA boards, as well.


Mortgage crisis redux

#ALTACITIES story:"Victims rec'd foreclosure notices B4 NV joined a 2012 USA settlement when 49 states sued banks" | — Mike Foxworth (@ALTALOMAN) January 27, 2016

FLASHBACK VIDEO (circa 2012 : the un-viral version) In the second-highest multi-state settlement in history, federal officials, attorneys general from 49 states, and the nation's five largest mortgage financiers have reached a settlement worth more than $25 billion for the American foreclosure crisis.  What follows is more of the from the source of our lead tweet for this post, referencing news from the  NevadaReview-Journal with more #SocialCurrentSee from that source below.  ▶ Bingo, bango, bongo or justBING

has some 3,200 common interest developments (aka HOAs) with more than 530,000 residents in these communities, according to CAIFR.


Basics of accounting for nonprofit HOAs

#ALTACITIES goes to school on #HOA nonprofit accounting terms per courtesy of this Davis-Stirling site | — Mike Foxworth (@ALTALOMAN) January 28, 2016

Even though this YouTube video is dated from October 2011, the content is relevant and provided Easy Office CEO, Jeff Russell, describing the pillars for successful nonprofit accounting. Includes discussions on the appropriate people, processes, and systems required. Around the typical common interest development (aka HOA) in the USA, a negligible percentage of homeowners understand accounting or spend time researching or self-educating about the subject.


Who's covered (not) with attorney-client privilege?

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change Attorney-Client rights: Communications received by or copied to an association manager privileged? Court says no! | — Mike Foxworth (@ALTALOMAN) January 26, 2016 Attorney-Client Privilege: Are Attorney Communications Received By or Copied To An Association's Manager Privileged? — Community Assns Net (@canetwork) January 19, 2016

Notable YouTube source QUIMBEE provides a brief excerpt in this tutorial video on the purpose of the attorney-client privilege, its three elements, and how the privilege may be destroyed or "broken."



No lawyers in heaven

#CharlieSizemore sings and #ALTACITIES listens to 'No Lawyers in Heaven' | — Mike Foxworth (@ALTALOMAN) January 26, 2016

The 'social current see' archives of #HOAlaw are profound and extensive. It would take a lifetime to wade through, much less read all of the content on topic. That may be why we are most attracted to those like Charlie Sizemore who can put our thoughts to song.



[View the story "No lawyers in heaven" on Storify]

Monopoly telecomm deals unhook HOAs

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change
TN #HOA class action lawsuit against developers, telecomm company via @goonan_deborah#YourMoney — Deborah Goonan (@goonan_deborah) January 21, 2016

The 'social current see' complaint linked here harks to a similar and related situation in our Southern California common interest development (aka HOA) that has become a long-running, if not endless legal conflict between our association and the developer and the cable TV company that serves our community of 1317 homes.

[View the story "#Listory: The Ombudsperson roll?" on Storify]

When the right people show up at the right time

Find out more about how you can join the fight against the new #HOA movement! — Ward Lucas (@Ward_Lucas) January 18, 2016
Musician turned social media personal branding expert Dave Carroll is a singer-songwriter from Halifax Nova ScotiaHis inspiring 'United Breaks Guitars' YouTube Video became one of social media's early viral hits impacting social media itself, as well as customer service and branding circles the world over.  His message is not about common interest developments (aka HOAs), per se, but it is about communication and the power of story telling to influence the world.

Unrelated but so connected

TN #HOA class action lawsuit against developers, telecomm company via @goonan_deborah#YourMoney — Deborah Goonan (@goonan_deborah) January 21, 2016


At first look, the introductory tweet and the video above seem unconnected.  Upon closer examination, one may realize that the public issues with HOAs and cable TV companies is a near-universal certainty.  That is, both have serious PR issues.

Cable companies in the USA rank as perhaps the least customer-friendly business model in enterprise, likely running neck-to-neck for that dubious honor with common interest developments (aka HOAs).

The 'social current see' tweet that kicks off this post and the video that follows are intentionly linked to draw attention to a common problem. When you combine the backroom, undisclosed deals that property developers can effect with telecommunication companies long before buyers purchase their residences with the general low level of customer satisfaction with…

Florida family home foreclosed for $2K debt

#HOA sells Port Orange family's home over $2K debt — Ward Lucas (@Ward_Lucas) January 21, 2016

#Foreclosure | Defined
According to reports found in the 'social current see' of our times, the foreclosure process for common interest developments (aka HOAs) is rare but devastating for homeowners caught in that vice.  Often, it seems, that the nightmare is over some trivial sum in relation to the real property value.  The case detailed above clearly suggests that when any homeowner is caught in this type of legal quagmire, the first rule is to find and hire a good property rights attorney to help make the appeal for alternative resolution.

NEV bust for largest HOA scam in history

And now a judge won’t let the public see what kind of information the FBI uncovered? #HOA — Ward Lucas (@Ward_Lucas) January 12, 2016
STORY/RELATED:The WILD, WILD WEST rises again with this account of what HOA watchdog Ward Lucas is reporting to be the largest HOA scam in US history.

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change

An SCS 'EDU' about HOAs*

#HOA#Factbook source is a nationally-known watchdog of matters followed in the #SocialCurrentSee#CIDs#ALTACITIES — Mike Foxworth (@ALTALOMAN) January 18, 2016
* Of course, the terms (acronyms) of our headline are easily defined: SCS = social current see; EDU = education; HOAs = homeowner associations. This site is focused on those topics, constantly looking for sources and content that help homeowners (titleholders) in common interest developments (aka HOAs) to better understand the challenge of living and operating in these locations.

Since April 2000, George K. Staropoli has testified before legislative committees in Arizona, Florida and Nevada and his opinions and views have appeared in the national and local media. He has been quoted in Private Neighborhoods and the Transformation of Local Government (2005), AARP Policy Institute Homeowners Bill of Rights proposal (2006), and acknowledged as a leading advocate in the Thomson – West legal treatise, Califor…

HOA reform: Optimism clipped

A slight variation on this one: "The wise learn from the mistakes of others." ~ Otto von Bismarck — Mike Foxworth (@ALTALOMAN) January 15, 2016
#HOA reform can’t happen until state politics is reformed. Read more here: — Ward Lucas (@Ward_Lucas) January 15, 2016
Keyword: Reform
Reform means the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt, unsatisfactory, etc

The Optimist : Animated Short Film from John Mervin on Vimeo.

If you spend any time with social media, rather the 'social current see' of our time, you know that a growing lineup of contributors deposit their 142-characters (sometimes more beyond Twitter) about matters HOA. In any given comment stream (see one below), you may catch a few thoughts about HOA governance control and reform, the latter a proposition that is elusive, at best, thanks to the stronghold lobby of attorneys and management companies.

What about FEMA?

#ALTACITIES link for HOA attention for relief, emergency assist : H.R.2887 | + — Mike Foxworth (@ALTALOMAN) January 14, 2016

FEMA "Show You Care" HEADLESS CUT from Headless Productions on Vimeo.

Keyword : FEMA
The Federal Emergency Management Agency@fema is the one government department that most comes to mind when disaster strikes.  Even though the agency is well represented in today's 'social current see', as in 442K followers, there is much to learn about how, when, and how often FEMA responds when citizens call.  The tweet at the top of this post helps send us in that direction.

Slowly making its way through Congress is H.R. 3700, called the “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2015,” introduced in October 2015.  Ostensibly, the bill is an effort to help eliminate FEMA discrimination on how condos and condominium units are treated by FEMA.  You can read more at the links provided in the tweet and here …

What your #HOA fees cover

What your #HOA fees cover — (@realtordotcom) January 11, 2016

SOURCE explains: "This is the 1st Blab that I did for Valley of the Sun Real Estate Show. You can join me on a blab by following the link." |

KeyTerm: #HOA fees cover
8 stages we all go through when buying a home — (@realtordotcom) January 12, 2016

CC&R changes require titleholder notice

Amendments to CC&Rs require notices to owners, the HOA title holders; What's that mean? — Mike Foxworth (@ALTALOMAN) January 11, 2016 Keyword : TITLEHOLDERS
Video is archived from a posting on June 5, 2013, but somewhere it surely has some basis in reality today. While the complaint is not related to CC&R changes, per se, the clip does relate to how HOA board members might treat title holders.

HOA optional rules? Watch for liability

HOA not enforcing rules causing fears of liability — (@condoassoc) January 9, 2016 Keyword : LIABILITY

Clips and links in this 'social current see' largely come from the Cobblestone HOA community near Atlanta, GA, indicating what can go wrong when HOA rules are not followed by leadership. | MORE CLIPS
Next installment of Self Management Guide: What Defines Well Constructed Rules — Vanguard Mgmt Group (@vanguardmgmt) January 11, 2016

HOA Hero of the Week Award in Florida

FL: Getting Results Award: HOA treasurer saves his neighbors thousands — Community Assns Net (@canetwork) January 8, 2016
The intro tweet of this post links to a Florida HOA story about a homeowner sleuth who found an accounting error that saved the HOA more than $70,000. Not the typical story we often read about common interest developments (aka HOAs), but a refreshing reprieve from the usual HOA headlines from near and far.  MORE ▶ On topic in the 'social current see' of TWITTER:

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Free Speech in HOAs After All

Important #HOA Free Speech Decision! Print it out, and SAVE! — Ward Lucas (@Ward_Lucas) January 7, 2016
The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting ...

In the above tweet ('social current see') from Ward Lucas, we learn about a landmark HOA case for free speech in Minnesota.  Here, a court overturned the illegal muzzle placed on an HOA member, Mel Pittel. The court quoted a landmark 1931 free press decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that few people even know about. A newspaper article is linked.

Interpretations of "freedom of speech" rights within privatopia, as in the private governments of common interest developments (aka HOAs) has been and remains a dicey and complicated…

Today's Tweets are Tomorrow's Posts

#ALTACITIES next : HOA manager tells directors what to say and how to vote during board meetings - LATimes — Mike Foxworth (@ALTALOMAN) January 3, 2016 Disabled Woman Sues #Aventura#Condo Over #ServiceDog Access #COA#HOA — AriasBosinger (@AriasBosinger) January 7, 2016
This one is MUST-READ! It’s written by a Florida lawyer who talks about how corrupt lawyers in the #HOA system are. — Ward Lucas (@Ward_Lucas) January 6, 2016
WARD LUCAS is a Colorado broadcast journalist who has developed a significant reputation reporting on matters HOA from the homeowner perspective. Lucas has spent 40 years in investigative journalism and has won more than 70 journalism and civic awards for his reporting and writing. He was the first reporter on the DB Cooper hijacking and the Ted Bundy murders. He has interviewed US Presidents and nursing home residents, Secretaries of State to street people. | BIO

#ALTACITIES term▶ 'omission'

#ALTACITIES observes: HOA governing transparency not guaranteed but is qualified, not absent by law! — Mike Foxworth (@ALTALOMAN) January 6, 2016

#ALTACITIES term▶ 'omission' rarely used, admitted in HOA world; in fact, found but once on p. 60 § 1365.7 of California Davis-Stirling Law (DSL). 'OMISSION': Regarding the topic, the lack of multiple definitions in the DSL* (as noted above) doesn't preclude or eliminate such reference elsewhere in the California Civil Code, as in Civil Code §5800 - §5810where you will find the word 'omission' mentioned nine (9) times. In fact, to better understand the application of ''omission' as that term relates to board duties, you probably need to do a thorough SEARCH of the term on multiple state law and HOA sites.

The ALTACITIES SEARCH LINK may assist this task. Legal case law also needs to be reviewed and that, again, must be done on a case-by-case basis. That's why volunteer HOA boa…


(CORONAin sync withALTACITIES ®) ~ Now available for download at this LINK is the BETA Test version of the ALTACITIES ®App, designed for iPhone, iPod, and iPad.  Instructions provided.

© ALTACITIES ® 2015 2016
A 'moniker' for the 'social current see' about common interest developments, aka HOAs, or homeowner associations, also property owner associations (POAs). These communities, while private governments, function much like cities with more than 9 million residents in these localities in California. As such, ALTACITIES, are larger than the combined populations of the four largest cities in the state, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Jose and San Francisco. See CIA DATA

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change


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HOA amok? What now?

Graphic simply tells all when HOAs run amok! — Mike Foxworth (@ALTALOMAN) January 2, 2016
(CORONAin sync withALTACITIES) ~ The embedded tweet above prompted a temporary exchange with one of my 796 TWITTERfollowers, a frequent contributor who often expresses angst about the way that his HOA is run, rather is run amok.  His comment prompted my brief aside to find definition for the following:

sociopathpsychopathnarcissistic Certainly, if you are cursed with a "HELLISH" HOA, then you must find these characteristics in your board of directors composition.  At least, that would be my first guess.

While the conditions and terms can be defined, the key question is:  What can you do about it?

As organizational relationships go, perhaps the most complicated ones exist between those who govern (even private government, aka "privatopia") and the governed, in this case, homeowners. The complexity of this deal is exacerbated because there is no official …