If you have an opinion that you would like to be published, scroll to the bottom of this page or click here and submit it as a comment. If it is brief and written using a reasonable tone and family-friendly language then it will likely be approved so others can see it on the site. The editors reserve the right to deny approval or edit the submission for taste, brevity, or any other reason.
This trial continues to be a travesty because 37 of the criminals involved were allowed to plead guilty in order to get lighter sentences. The sentences won’t be announced until after the current trial is over. But I’ll take a reporter’s wild guess that the average sentence for these mobsters won’t be greater than 18 months, with much of that time off for good behavior. Read more:
“The HOAX” is an independent examination of the abuse of power and lack of regulation in the homeowners’ association (HOA) industry; a business whose key selling point is the protection of property values.
The film follows an investigative reporter, homeowners, and HOA reform activists as they illustrate shocking evidence of financial and psychological hardships throughout Texas and Nevada. A few of these people, including the filmmaker, are the subject of adverse actions from the very Homeowners Associations created to help them.
The HOAX has just been submitted to its first film festival with more festival submissions to follow. Click here for the movie trailer: http://thehoaxfilm.com/trailer-gallery/
North Carolina is certainly a state where the HOA system has gotten way out of control. Fortunately, outspoken advocates like Ole Madsen (HEAR4NC.org) are articulating the insanity that’s disrupting the lives of so many homeowners around the country.
When you buy into an HOA, you’re essentially pledging all your personal assets to a group of partners, most of whom you’ve never met. Your assets become the de facto assets of a non-profit corporation which is potentially subject to liability lawsuits, damage from natural disasters, poor workmanship by developers, frivolous legal actions by overreaching board members, embezzlement by board officers and management companies. That’s a crazy kind of partnership, but it’s one that tens of millions of Americans have blindly accepted. And it’s one where HOA law firms are bathing in the mythical pot-of-gold. Read more:
Both DeBat, a former real estate editor for the Chicago Daily News and the Chicago Sun-Times, and Benson, a real estate agent, have personal experience owning condos. In fact, DeBat emailed me that some of the experiences related in the chapters on “Bully Boards” and thefts by association board members were inspired by Benson’s personal experiences with one of her condos.
In the subtitle, “carefree” is in quotes. What was billed when the modern form of condominium ownership was born about 50 years ago as carefree, chic and glamorous isn’t really carefree at all. Steep maintenance fees, restrictions on day-to-day living and limited personal freedoms are three very real costs prospective condominium owners might not have considered. This applies to the many community developments, often gated, that feature single-family houses or town houses. The technical name for such developments is Planned Unit Developments or PUDs. The authors provide a very useful glossary of terms at the end of the book. Read more: