J. Patrick Sutton Cases & Issues Blog

HOA's Are Just 2d Mortgages By Another Name

I've been getting more calls from media lately about HOA problems, and it occurred to me that there are strong parallels between the mortgage industry and the HOA-Industrial-Complex:

1. When you get a purchase-money mortgage to buy a house, the bank takes your house if you don't pay. When you buy into an HOA, the HOA takes your house if you don't pay assessments. In essence, buy agreeing to be a "member" of an HOA, you are buying a club membership to use the pool, amenities center, roads, and common areas, but unlike a normal club membership, if you don't pay, you lose your house. My colleagues on the HOA side of the Bar will be happy to foreclose on you and then charge you many thousands of dollars to extricate yourself from their clutches.

2. The mortgage and HOA industries have consolidated into giant collection entities. Banks and HOA's both hire large, third-party corporations whose job is to collect your money, hit you with late fees and fines if you don't, and then take your home at foreclosure. Rumor has it that investors are ready and willing to learn about these foreclosures and pounce on purchasing such homes at foreclosure. In both cases, too, the would-be party in charge (Bank, HOA) is really just the tail wagging the dog. Banks don't hold mortgages any more; they're sold off and securitized, then held by trusts. Big HOA's can't be run by ordinary people, as a rule, so HOA's have to hire the big association managers, which are rapidly consolidating into big, faceless companies.

So when you think you're buying into a "community," think again. When you think you're getting a mortgage from a "bank," think again. The communities and banks are screens for wealthy, powerful entities whose sole aim is to capture a huge revenue stream from . . . ordinary people. Content may continue . . .

Foreclosures for HOA dues and fines are an immoral scourge

Many years of practicing law relating to homeowners associations teaches me that no one should ever have their primary home (homestead) foreclosed on because of HOA dues, fines, or assessments. While it is, unfortunately, the law, the law in this instance is unfair, immoral, and unconscionable. Lawyers in this state who enable HOA's in taking away people's homesteads and tacking on thousands in attorney foreclosure fees to the bill — dwarfing the actual bill from the HOA — have abandoned conscience, in my opinion. They take part in a monstrous system. I have observed the means, methods, and motives of those who participate in the HOA-Industrial-Complex, and I believe the law has in essence sanctioned oppression and overreach of ordinary people by those with great means. No one should become homeless because of HOA dues, period. No one should be forced to pay lawyers thousands of dollars for the process of collecting HOA dues by any means. There should be strict limits on the interest, penalties, and fees that can be charged by an HOA, just as there are in all sorts of other contexts, and there should never, ever be a foreclosure against a homestead for such sums. Content may continue . . .

Foreclosure Defense

Home mortgage borrowers have emergency court injunction relief available where the big mortgage lenders and mortgage loan servicers refuse to engage meaningfully in the loan modification or short-sale process.Content may continue . . .
J. Patrick Sutton Cases & Issues Blog