telephone Contact-your-legislator


Hearings have been set for the following legislative bills affecting homeowners in the state of Texas. If you are interested in supporting these bills, call each committee member listed as well as your legislator to register your support for the bills. Phone calls are more efficient and preferred by the legislators over emails and letters if you are unable to testify at the hearings. Give them the number of the bill you support, say you are FOR the bill and give them your zip code. The legislators want to hear from their constituents and all homeowners supporting these bills.
HB 2864 and 2865 - Rep. Stefani Carter – District 102 Dallas – 512-463-0454

HB 2864 – Relating to requirements for mortgage servicers in connection with loans for the purchase of residential property.

HB 2865 – Relating to certain notifications to borrowers required for home equity loans.

(Both bills are supported by the industries affected by this bill—banking . insurance)

Hearing is set for Monday, April 22, 2013, Location Austin Capitol Extension at E2.030.

Committee information below – Investments and Financial Services Committee:

Chair: Rep. Mike Villarreal – phone # 512-463-0532 –District 123, Bexar – San Antonio
Vice Chair: Rep. Dan Flynn – phone # 512-463-0880 – District 2, Hopkins, Hunt, Van Zandt
Rep. Charles “Doc” Anderson – 512-463-0135 – Dist. 56, McLennan – Waco
Rep. Cindy Burkett - -0464 - Dist. 113 – Dallas
Rep. Jodie Laubenberg - -0186 - Dist. 89, Collin – Parker
Rep. Oscar Longoria - -0645 - Dist. 35, Cameron, Hidalgo – Mission
Rep. Larry Phillips - -0297 - Dist. 62, Delta, Fannin, Grayson - Sherman

HB 1933 - Rep. Alma Allen – District 131 Harris – Houston – 512-463-0744

HB 1933 – Relating to condominium association records and meetings. Please note: Priority of Payments should also be made a part of this bill.

(Condominium homeowners were eliminated from the new 2012 HOA laws last legislative session pertaining to meetings, books and records and priority of payments need to be added as well.)

Hearing is set for Tuesday, April 23, 2013, Location Austin Capitol Extension at E2.014.

Committee information below – Business and Industry Committee:

Chair: Rep. Rene Oliveira – phone # 512-463-0640 –District 37, Cameron - Brownsville
Vice Chair: Rep. Dwayne Bohac – phone # 512-463-0727 – District 138, Harris - Houston
Rep. Rob Orr – 512-463-0538 – Dist. 58, Bosque, Johnson - Burleson
Rep. Eddie Rodriguez - 512-463-0674 - Dist. 51 – Travis and Austin
Rep. Jason Villalba - -0576 - Dist. 114, Dallas
Rep. Armando Walle - -0924- Dist. 140, Harris - Houston
Rep. Paul Workman - -0652 - Dist. 47 , Travis - Austin

Please click on the link below to find out who your legislator is if you do not know who it is to call:


Please share this Community Service Alert Announcement with your social media lists, family, friends and business associates.

On behalf of Rep. Stefani Carter and Rep. Alma Allen, thank you for your support of HB 2864, HB 2865 and HB 1933.

The National Homeowners Advocate Group, LLC © 2013. All Rights Reserved.

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Arizona HOA/Condominium Community Communication: The do’s and don’ts of Selling a Special Assessment.



Lisa Wilcox

Today the market is very competitive and any real estate agent or business organization will tell you that you have to "sell" your request to those living in an HOA or Condominium Community. Homeowners like to be advised of all major decisions, especially a special assessment. You need to help them understand why a special assessment is needed and how it will affect them as a homeowner. Such a debate falls into that "buying" and "selling" model.

If your board members are convinced your community needs a special assessment, they must take a course of action help homeowners understand their goals for the community. Here's how to "sell" a special assessment by being crystal clear, having several community meetings to facilitate understanding of all the issues, enable a forum to ask questions, and give board members an opportunity to rise above objections.

Watch Your Language: Be careful not to make false or exaggerated statements that may come back to haunt you. For example, phrase statement such that you could stand on them if you had to prove your statements in a court of law. Some board members feel they don’t have to explain anything; in other words just trust us. In order for intelligent decisions to be made, facts must be clear and accurate. A detailed checklist showing your plan needs to reflect the honest and true motives and goals of the project.

Provide Evidence for a Special Assessment: Show where the homeowners association is financially, the reasons why your community requires a special assessment and what the end result benefit will be for all homeowners. Taking all this into account will help your Community address how the project will affect owners' property values. In a lot of cases, the board members fall short to get enough information to adequately present their case. Homeowners are realistic and they’ll understand how the problems you’re trying to solve will affect their Community including how it impacts lenders desire to lend on properties in your Association. Keep in mind financial institutions watch how many special assessments are requested by Common Interest Communities as part of their yardstick for lending into a neighborhood. Your facts must be accurate.

Provide as much information as possible. Give owners lots of complete and well-written information including statistics, graphs and show how every penny will be spent and send it to them before the meeting, so they have time to digest it. Show all the steps you plan to include in all bids, why each bid was chosen, and prove to the homeowners every dollar will be spent wisely. Charts and detailed expense reports are a positive way to win support.

And include any information about well-thought out financing options. Consider how you're going to implement the assessment, how big will it be, and what kind of payment arrangements are you going to offer neighbors? On a large Special Assessment small monthly payments need to be available to all homeowners who likely haven’t planned an assessment in their household budget.

Several Arizona HOA/Condominium communities are thriving and have taken steps to prevent having more renters then homeowners living in their communities to keep FHA loans available, improving property values, and increase revenue without going into the red and requesting special assessments. However, today’s board of directors must not rely on getting information from one source. Researching, listening and open meetings to share ideas will help a community grow with constructive ideas and results.

Here are a few examples of valid reasons to request a special assessment; balcony repairs, gutter repairs and replacements, hot water heater replacements, second floor walk way repairs, structural maintenance, and cosmetic repairs such as painting. Some special assessments can qualify for assistance with grants eliminating the need for the assessment at all. Do your research. Think outside of the box, there are a lot of organizations today working with Common Interest Communities in need of assistance.

Above all, have the who, what, when, where, why, and how’s all answered before proposing an assessment. It can make all the difference between being a burden or a benefit in the eyes of your Community neighbors.

Committee Angels. © 2013. All Rights Reserved,

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Texas Rep. Ruth Jones-McClendon’s HB 3803 HOA Oversight Bill – please call and email the following Business and Industry Committee Members on Monday, April 15, 2013 to support this bill and get it out of committee by April 16, 2013 (Tuesday) to get through the legislative pipeline:

Rep. Rene Oliveira 512-463-0640 http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/member-page/email/?district=37&session=83

Rep Dwayne Bohac 512-463-0727 http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/member-page/email/?district=138&session=83

Rep. Rob Orr 512-463-0538 http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/member-page/email/?district=58&session=83

Rep. Eddie Rodriguez 512-463-0674 http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/member-page/email/?district=51&session=83

Rep. Jason Villalba 512-463-0576 http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/member-page/email/?district=114&session=83

Rep. Armando Walle 512-463-0924 http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/member-page/email/?district=140&session=83

Rep. Paul Workman 512-463-0652 http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/member-page/email/?district=47&session=83

Complaints will go to the Attorney General's office and the bill will allow the Attorney General to seek injunctive and declaratory relief, restraining orders and civil penalties and the discretion to pursue DTPA violations of the Business & Commerce Code. Associations will be required to provide quarterly accounting information (general ledger, balance sheet and income statement) to all members. The bill covers all homeowners (condos, patio homes, town homes and single-family homes).

The National Homeowners Advocate Group, LLC. (c) 2013 All rights reserved.

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Rep Alma Allen Condo Bill

During Texas 2011 Legislative session, homeowner advocates testified on behalf of “all” Texas homeowners in regard to the various homeowner association bills introduced by various legislators. However, when the Legislative session was over, unknown to the testifying homeowner advocates, the bills pertaining to books and records, meetings, priority payments, etc. did not include “condo” owners. Bills pertaining to roofing material, solar panels and harvesting of water were the only bills that covered Condo owners which, from the perspective of a condo owner, are useless bills for condo owners.

After the 2011 Legislative session was over, many complaints poured into the National Homeowner Advocate Group’s office from condo owners complaining they were being told by board members and Community Association Institute (CAI) attorneys that they were not covered under the new Books and Records, Meetings, Priority of Payments, etc., laws. Basically, none of the new laws pertaining to the aforementioned items covered “condo” owners.

When the various officers of The National Homeowners Advocate Group checked with Senator Royce West (D) (District 23 Dallas County) and other writers of the various HOA (Homeowner Association) bills that had passed into law, they were initially assured by these legislators that “condo” owners were covered. However, after looking into the matter further, it turned out that “condo” owners were not and are not covered under these new 2012 property laws.

While “condo” owners are covered under a different residential code than single-family homeowners, the common thread between “condo” owners and other property owners is that they are owners of property, they pay assessment fees to their homeowner association to maintain common and shared property, they have board members they elect, they attend meetings, they need to see books and records to see how their money is being spent, they need to be assured their monthly assessment fees are being applied to their account properly. In other words, “condo” owners are owners of real estate too and their property rights “must” be protected the same as any other homeowner and the fact current laws are not protecting a “condo” owner’s homestead investment in the same manner as other homeowners can lead to discriminatory lawsuits across the state.

Representative Alma Allen (D) Dist. 131 Harris County has stepped forward and authored a bill (HB 1933) this 83rd Texas Legislative Session to resolve the books and records and meeting “condo” omissions. Condo owners should also be part of the priority payment property code as well. Here is the link to the bill (HB 1933) so that you can read it for yourself: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/Text.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=HB1933

Rep. Allen filed HB 1933 on February 27, 2013 and it was referred to the Business & Industry Committee on March 5, 2013. As yet, the bill has not been set for a hearing. As you may or may not know, not getting a bill out of the committee to be voted on by the House and then the Senate, essentially kills the bill before it has an opportunity to become a property code. Just because a bill is filed does not necessarily mean it will become law if it is not supported, a hearing set and it moves out of the committee. More details on the legislative process of creating law can be found on the legislative website:

Condo owners interested in protecting their property rights by being able to get their association books and records without a long, expensive and time consuming event and who want the right to attend their meetings without a hassle should contact the Business & Industry Committee’s Chair and each member directly to let them know you support Rep. Allen’s HB 1933 “condo” bill. Below are the links to assist you with doing just that:



Following is the form you can use to send a support letter/email for HB 1933 directly to Rep. Alma Allen:


A special thank you to Wesley Summers with http://makehoasaccountable.org/levels/level-1/

The National Homeowners Advocate Group, LLC. © 2013 All rights reserved.

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HOA Accountable

First of all, thank you to Wesley Summers with Make HOAs Accountable who has setup an easy and quick way to send a support letter to Rep. Ruth Jones-McClendon regarding her HOA Oversight Bill HB 3803 in time for her office to prepare the letters for the voting on her bill in the month of April. The National Homeowners Advocate Group ask that every homeowner that wants the Texas Attorney General to have the authority to take action on our homeowner association complaints pertaining to our fees and have the authority to issue a penalty if a violation is found and to have better protection for our senior citizens in these HOA communities to send their support by following each step that Mr. Wesley Summers created for supporters of Rep. Ruth Jones-McClendon’s bill HB 3803. Please take a few minutes to perform this very important property rights preservation activity immediately upon reading this article …. Thank you:

Step 1: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/member-page/email/?district=120&session=83
On the subject line put “Letter of Support – HB 3803” then write your message and send.

You can also send to Rep. McClendon’s Staffer assigned to work on this HOA Reform:

Step 2: Email Committee Chair of Business & Industry Committee:
Rep. Rene Oliveira: rene.oliveira@house.state.tx.us and
her Chief of Staff Bradley Pepper: bradley.pepper@house.state.tx.us

Step 3: Email the rest of the Business & Industry Committee Members:
State Rep. Rob Orr: Rob.Orr@house.state.tx.us and Legislative Aide
Landon Young landon.young@house.state.tx.us

State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez: eddie.rodriguez@house.state.tx.us
Legislative Director Carlos Calle: carlos.calle@house.state.tx.us

Rep. Jason Villalba: jason.villalba@house.state.tx.us

Rep. Armando Walle: armando.walle@house.state.tx.us
Legislative Director Laura Martin: laura.martin@house.state.tx.us

Referenced from http://makehoasaccountable.org/levels/level-1/

The National Homeowners Advocate Group, LLC © 2013. All rights reserved.

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Rep Ruth Jones McClendonHB 3803

On March 8, 2013, Texas Rep. Ruth Jones-McClendon filed her proposed HOA oversight HB 3803 bill, which relates “to the municipal and county regulation of and the oversight by the Attorney General of Property Owners Associations and Unit owners’ associations, providing penalties.”

If this proposed bill passes, this will be the first time non-profit HOA corporations will be monitored by the attorney general’s office. This is exactly where the oversight should take place as this is who homeowners first contact when they have a homeowner association complaint. Currently, however, the Texas Attorney General’s Office has no authority to intervene in homeowner association issues and homeowners end up seeking a solution in the court system which is costly. This will change January 1, 2014, if this proposed HB 3803 bill passes.

This proposed bill will also protect senior citizens still living in their homesteads, regardless of whether or not they live in single-family dwellings or condo facilities. Not only will the attorney general be empowered to “institute an action for injunctive or declaratory relief,” “the attorney general may institute an action for civil penalties against a property owners’ association and its agents.” A civil penalty assessment may not exceed “$20,000 per violation; and if the act or practice that is the subject of the proceeding was calculated to acquire or deprive money or other property from an owner who was 65 years of age or older when the act or practice occurred, an additional amount of not more than $250,000” can be assessed.

The National Homeowners Advocate Group, LLC is asking all homeowners living in the state of Texas to contact your legislator and ask them to support this proposed HB 3803 bill when it comes up for a vote. Legislators want to know how they can better serve their constituents and are here to serve us better. It would also be advisable to ask other legislators to support this proposed bill as well.

Additionally, the national group is asking each reader of this article to share this article with your family members, business associates, friends and your mail list and social media friends to spread the word on this new proposed HB 3803 bill to ensure its successful passage into a new 2014 law.

Following is the link to the bill so that you can read it for yourself—go to the Text tab next to history once on the legislative webpage—all the information pertaining to this bill is located at the link below:

If you do not know who your legislators are, please go to the link below and insert your address into the “Who Represents Me?” section of the webpage–third column, toward the bottom:

Bringing a proposed bill into law takes some action on homeowners’ part. We, as homeowners, must not only let our legislators know that we want them to vote on the proposed bills we prefer, we also must show up at hearings as witnesses to testify before a committee to give our reasons for the support. Just like we vote to ensure the legislators we want in office get into office, we also must physically become a part of the hearing process for the proposed bills we want to become law.
If we are unable to attend the hearings in Austin at the Capitol, you can write the committee holding the hearing or fax a letter of support to the chairperson of the committee.

The National Homeowners Advocate Group, LLC will do its best to keep the public aware of future hearing times for the proposed HB 3803 bill. However, the public can set up their personal alerts from the following link by setting up a “login” account on the legislative website so that they can be added to the alert list and bill list of the proposed HB 3803:

Together we can make a big difference in what laws governed our homesteads in the state of Texas. This is another legislative session in which we can put forth a little effort for a big outcome.

We look forward to seeing you at the future hearing for Rep. Ruth Jones-McClendon’s proposed HB 3803 bill. Let us continue to protect our homesteads. Homeowners Unitedtm!!
The National Homeowners Advocate Group, LLC © 2011 All rights reserved.

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The ‘Ounce of Prevention’ is More Neighborly Than the ‘Pound of Cure’


By Richard Slater

It’s amazing how fast legal fees and collection costs pile up for homeowners delinquent on their HOA dues. I saw court documents the other day where a homeowner is suing a collection agency for potentially violating the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Those documents reflect that the homeowner owed $80 to their HOA. The collection agency sent one letter stating that the cost to cure the delinquency was now an additional $300. In addition, the letter stated that if the homeowner didn’t pay the now $380 within ten days, the collection agency would file a lien that would increase the balance due by another $325 plus sundry clerical costs. If this isn’t the ‘pound of cure’, I don’t know what is. Only two questions could possibly enter a reasonable person’s mind; how on earth is this collection agency making any money, and what kind of stationary are they using that it costs $300 to send one letter?

The unfortunate thing is that this case isn’t even close to exemplifying how bad it gets for some families. I sat with an attorney from one state’s free legal aid service who told me of a case where over one hundred thousand dollars in legal fees had accrued in proceedings over a single family dwelling. Granted, that’s the extreme – but grievances abound between those two examples. The truth is, there are people in the HOA industry who are absolutely making merchandise of homeowner’s lives.

So here we are… teaching people that the ‘ounce of prevention’ is more neighborly than the ‘pound of cure’. Let’s face it – collections aren’t fun, but upholding the rules in a fair and equitable fashion is the fabric of any society – even a micro-society, like an HOA. And when some homeowner is paying their dues and keeping the common interests safe, clean, and functioning – and someone isn’t paying their dues (who is able to), well fair is fair. Something has to be done.

But isn’t it time we realize that when a family goes from paying their obligations to not paying them that something has changed; and perhaps we should not bury them with legal and collection costs that double and even triple the burden they’re under? How much easier would it be for the family mentioned above to pay the $80 they owe, plus $20 – instead of paying an additional $300, or even $625? Sometimes it’s time to stop doing things the good old fashioned way… because sometimes, there’s nothing good about it.

Richard Slater is Director of HOA Operations for NCSPlus (RecoverHoaDues.com) and can be reached at  rslater@recoverhoadues.com
The National Homeowners Advocate Group, LLC © 2013. All rights reserved.

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A new national HOA (homeowner and property owner association) service for board members has started in North Carolina by Shelton Lee, who is currently serving on his board in Charlotte. He has put together a free forum exclusively for Homeowners and Condominium Association Board Members to privately compare notes on service providers, or to share solutions to problems they face, without influence from outside vendors.

“So many service providers advising us today are only interested in selling their services, even if it’s not what’s in our Community’s best interest”, says Mr. Lee. “HOABoard.org lets Association Board Members get together online and share unbiased information, without interference from management firms or attorneys, or anyone else just trying to sell us their services.”

“We, as board members have a fiduciary duty to our owners and with that in mind,” says Mr. Lee, “I have put together an organization strictly for board members across the country.” To find out more about this organization, please go to http://www.hoaboard.org/

The National Homeowners Advocate Group, LLC © 2013. All rights reserved.

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Committee Angels Arizona Pic for Story

Harvella Jones

Look out Arizona, there is a new homeowner advocate group in town called Committee Angels and they are exposing condominium homeowner association (HOA) abuse. Seems like there is plenty to expose at their starting point of Langley Gardens Condominiums, Tucson, Arizona.

The President, Lisa Wilcox, formed her Committee Angels group, a nonprofit group, “to help seniors, veterans, the disabled, single parent families, low-income families or anyone in need of help in an HOA/Condominium Association community who have been adversely affected by the economy; fallen behind with association dues and at risk of foreclosure.” Her group is committed “to help as many people as possible”. The group’s first project was Christmas baskets for the seniors in her Langley Gardens Condominiums community. In the future they plan to have events open to the Langley community and other communities as well in the spirit of the group’s motto “Neighbors Helping Neighbors Brings Communities Together”. As Ms. Wilcox has stated “it’s important that our neighbors who are struggling or going through difficult times know that they are not alone, the Committee Angels really want to help”.

There are a number of concerns Ms Wilcox has generating from Langley Gardens Condominiums which include her board recall effort being influenced by the association’s attorney, Ms. Goldschmidt, a CAI (Community Associations Institute) attorney who contacted homeowners and asked them to vote against the removal of the board; removal of trees and shrubbery despite the protests of owners; HOA dues and assessments not timely recorded resulting in discrepancies in account statements; substantial increase in insurance deductible without proper notification to owners; CCR’s not updated or previously enforced over a period of several years now sudden ‘violations’ to select owners in the community; the board’s refusal to help families in crisis by not allowing reasonable payment arrangements for unpaid and late HOA dues, demanding payment in full, liens placed on properties, families already hurting turned over to the association’s attorney for collections and court actions filed with amounts of only a few hundred dollars owed in association dues turned into thousands by all the added fees imposed resulting in subsequent foreclosures; Ms. Wilcox further stated “the loss we must endure in our community by the loss of good friends and neighbors forced to leave their homes and the pain felt by those who’s ‘community of neighbors’ known as ‘the board of directors’ refusing to help them in their time of need is what motivates the Committee Angels to make a difference; Together we can make miracles happen for our neighbors”.

Committee Angels is expanding their network of “Angels” to include other Condo Associations and HOA communities. They are also a member of The National Homeowners Advocate Group, LLC, The National HAGS Coalition and the Arizona Satellite Office for The National Homeowners Advocate Group, LLC.
For more information regarding the advocacy of this new Arizona group go to their website at http://committeeangels.org

The National Homeowners Advocate Group, LLC © 2013. All rights reserved.

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Corpus christi Tropic Isles Michael Cyrus

Harvella Jones

The Tropic Isles Homeowners Association (TIA) in the Tropic Isles subdivision in Corpus Christi, Texas is being accused of illegally collecting HOA dues. According to one of the owners Michael Cyrus, “the TIA ceased to have any authority over our property in 1981 and despite this fact they continue to illegally collect dues at closings without the legal authority to do so.” This statement is cited in his very comprehensive website “Tropic Isles Exposed”. The location is http://www.tropicislesexposed.com/Home_Page.html. What is worse according to Mike Cyrus is that “the TIA is now claiming to be able to change the dedicatory instruments anytime they want by simple vote of the board; the TIA Board has done so on several occasions since 1994 and these actions bypass the amendment provisions in the original Restrictions that are meant to protect the owners and their properties and the worst part is that these illegal documents adversely affect the salability of every property in the Tropic Isles subdivision.”

Corruption in homeowner association communities can only prevail when people continue to be apathetic about the abuse. Some people would rather withdraw into their homes and not do anything about it just to keep from getting into “trouble” with their homeowner or property owner association. Unfortunately, this type of behavior does not stop the abuse—it only causes it to escalate. What Mike Cyrus hopes to accomplish with http://www.tropicislesexposed.com is to let his neighbors know that they are not alone and that in coming together the owners might prevail.

Michael Cyrus is to be applauded for his pro-active actions in exposing the wrongs in his community and hopefully, he will soon be able to get his communities’ help in recapturing their community from the wrongs being committed by this association, that according to actual court documents, include “illegally changing the dedicatory instruments, putting a cloud on the title of every property owner and illegally demanding fees from the owners residing in the Tropic Isles subdivision.” The documents posted on his website really do speak for themselves.

For more detailed information and a look at those legal and association documents, click on this link: http://www.tropicislesexposed.com/Home_Page.html.

The National Homeowners Advocate Group, LLC © 2013. All rights reserved.

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