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Spring homeowner battles HOA over pool safety fence

Click2Houston:  Spring homeowner battles HOA over pool safety fence
By Amy Davis, Reporter/Consumer Expert
July 5, 2017

SPRING, Texas – A family in Montgomery County is at a standstill with their neighborhood homeowner’s association. The Bender’s Landing HOA Board doesn’t like the very thing Susan Durgapersad says is keeping her family safe.
She called consumer expert Amy Davis for help when her HOA told her she needed to remove the safety fence around her swimming pool.

The fence was installed the same year the home and pool were built in 2014. Their homeowner’s insurance company told Durgapersad they are required to have a fence around their pool. But in 2016, the HOA told the family to take it down, claiming the fence is “not compliant with association guidelines.”

“It provides safety for the entire community and our family,” Durgapersad told Davis. She lives on a corner lot in the subdivision with no perimeter fence around her big yard. Without the safety gate around her pool, anyone could wander into her yard and fall in.

“The pool fence is not an eyesore. It blends into the home. It matches the home.. and there’s probably 50 fences of this same type installed in this neighborhood,” Durgapersad explained.

We sent Channel 2’s chopper Sky 2 over the subdivision to confirm that. In a matter of minutes, we spotted 7 pool fences just like Durgapersad’s.

By email, Bender’s Landing HOA president Bruce Johnson contends that corner lots like Durgapersad’s can only have a non-privacy fence constructed of iron no more than 4 feet tall.

“A privacy fence goes around the perimeter of your yard. A pool fence is totally different,” argued attorney David Kahne. Davis asked him to read Bender’s Landing’s deed restrictions and weigh in.  Kahne pointed out that the subdivision’s deed restrictions make no mention at all of pool fences. Read more:

NVAR Report Shows HOA Foreclosures Reduced Property Values by over $1 Billion

July 5, 2017 By Press Release Wire —Comments
A report from the Nevada Association of REALTORS (NVAR) found that foreclosures by local homeowner associations have reduced property values in the state’s two most populated counties by more than $1 billion.  This was just one of the findings in a report released this week by NVAR about issues surrounding foreclosures by homeowner associations and so-called super priority lien laws that allow HOAs to foreclose on homes in a way that places a higher priority on repaying late HOA fees than repaying the mortgage when these homes are sold following a foreclosure.
As part of its report, NVAR worked with the Lied Institute for Real Estate Studies at UNLV and with a research firm called SGS that surveyed more than 500 registered voters throughout Nevada to measure their views on HOAs, super priority liens and related issues. The report concluded that “HOA foreclosures in Nevada cause an enormous impact on home values.”
According to the report, HOA foreclosures in Washoe County sold for “a remarkable 90 percent discount” compared to comparable home sales in the area, accounting for a loss of nearly $254 million in property sales value. In Clark County, the hundreds of homes sold through an HOA foreclosure in recent years sold for an average discount of 42 percent, leading to a loss of about $840 million in property sales value.
“So, in our two most populated counties, these HOA foreclosures had a negative impact of more than $1 billion on local property values,” NVAR President Greg Martin said. “That’s a real eye-opener.”  Martin, a longtime REALTOR based in Elko, said NVAR spent months preparing “a comprehensive and revealing report on a fairly complex issue” that has had a significant impact on local homeowners and communities, as well as on Nevada’s economy.
The report explains that a super priority lien is a category of lien that, under Nevada law, is given a higher priority than all other types of liens. When it comes to HOA assessment liens, a super priority lien refers to that portion of a homeowner association lien that is given higher priority than even the holder of the first mortgage, placing the interest of the HOA in front of the first mortgage. When an HOA forecloses via a super priority lien, it may, in some cases, eliminate the first mortgage on the home.
For example, in Nevada, the state Supreme Court has ruled that an HOA super priority lien can extinguish a first deed of trust in a foreclosure. An example of this would be a scenario involving a homeowner who defaults on HOA dues, and instead of the lender initiating foreclosure proceedings, the HOA does so, and typically sells the property at auction as a bank would. Because the HOA has super priority status, the winning bidder for the home pays the HOA its back dues. Then, under Nevada law, all the remaining debts are extinguished. The lender who financed the mortgage on the home gets nothing, the report explains. Losses endured by the lender usually far exceed those of the HOA.
NVAR’s report found that 77 percent of all Nevadans surveyed oppose HOAs having the power to foreclose on homes over unpaid association dues. In addition, 82 percent of all respondents think that the mortgage lender should be paid first, not the HOA.
According to the survey, 44 percent of all Nevadans had an unfavorable view of HOAs, compared to 29 percent who had a favorable opinion.
The report examined 611 HOA foreclosures recorded in Clark County between Jan. 1, 2013 and June 30, 2016, plus another 71 HOA foreclosures recorded in Washoe County during this same time. It found that HOA foreclosures spiked following a landmark 2014 lawsuit between U.S. Bank and SFR Investments before starting to decline in December of 2014. Since then, the report said HOA foreclosures in Nevada “have settled at around 10 per month.”
Unlike past NVAR reports on issues important to the state and its homeowners – such as NVAR’s award-winning “Face of Foreclosure” series released to coincide with past sessions of the Nevada Legislature – Martin said this NVAR report is not recommending specific changes to state law. Instead, he said NVAR leaders hope this year’s report educates and informs state lawmakers, government leaders and others about this complex issue.
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TEXAS – Memorial residents allegedly uncover HOA holding secret elections after ‘willfully deceiving’ notification practices

Chron.com:  Memorial residents allegedly uncover HOA holding secret elections after ‘willfully deceiving’ notification practices

 

By Jaimy Jones

November 7, 2016

The Clayton Woods Homeowners Association was supposed to hold its annual meeting and board member elections Wednesday evening, but at noon that day an email was sent notifying a handful of parties that the election and meeting was cancelled.
Only it wasn’t.
The email from property management company, Elite Association Management said, “Please be advised that the meeting for Clayton Woods will not be held for an election this evening. Once the Board of Directors has informed me of a date a notice will be sent accordingly. I ask that you please inform your client.”

The email was addressed to Cweren Law Firm, the attorneys representing Sally S. Solomon, resident and member of the Clayton Woods Homeowners Association.

Solomon and her husband, Tedros Teame, would have interpreted that message to mean what most would: That no meeting would take place, nor an election.

But having been involved with this HOA for more than a decade, they knew it was possible that the board was going to conduct some type of business in which they did not want to include the members, or at the very least Solomon and Teame, as that cancellation notice was the only one sent to anyone in the neighborhood.

http://m.chron.com/neighborhood/memorial/news/article/Memorial-residents-allegedly-uncover-HOA-holding-10598902.php

TEXAS – McKinney Homeowner Fights Back When HOA Cracks Down On Political Signs

CBSDFW:  McKinney Homeowner Fights Back When HOA Cracks Down On Political Signs
By Gabriel Roxas
August 25, 2016

McKINNEY (CBS11) – A McKinney homeowner says his freedom of speech is under attack after his HOA cracked down on political signs in his front yard.

The first time you see the sign outside the home on Palo Duro Canyon Drive with tape covering the name, “Clinton,” you might think the guy who lives there doesn’t like Clinton, but a few feet away he’s got the same sign with Kaine’s name covered. If you ask him, he’ll tell you this was the best way he could support them both without breaking any rules.

People who live in McKinney’s Stonebridge community like to keep their front lawns neat. But yard signs are to be expected during an election year. That’s why Steven Spainhouer was surprised when he got a violation notice from his HOA. Read more:

TEXAS – Hohmann, Brophy & Shelton Announces HOA Lawsuit and Investigation

AUSTIN, Texas, July 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Hohmann, Brophy & Shelton, PLLC, announces that it has filed a putative class action lawsuit and is investigating further claims of wrongdoing by Niemann & Heyer, L.L.P., and other Texas Homeowner Association (HOA) debt collection firms and HOA management companies. The investigation focuses on whether Niemann & Heyer and other firms and HOA management companies sent misleading collections letters to Texas HOA residents, and whether they overcharged for payment plan administrative fees.

If you are a Texas HOA resident who has received collections letters from Niemann & Heyer, or another Texas HOA debt collection firm or HOA management company, and would like more information on our investigation or the class action lawsuit, please contact Jesse Z. Weiss or Ryan Shelton of Hohmann, Brophy & Shelton, PLLC, in Austin, Texas. No charge for initial consultation to discuss potential claims.

You can also reach us through the firm’s website at http://www.hbslawyers.com, or by email at info@hbslawyers.com. A communication by phone, email or through our website does not, by itself, create an attorney-client relationship with our lawyers or law firm (only a signed contract creates an attorney-client relationship with our law firm).

The investigation concerns, among other things, whether Niemann & Heyer and other Texas HOA debt collection firms and HOA management companies have violated federal and Texas debt collection laws, Texas deceptive trade practice laws, and Texasusury laws.  Read more: