The “North Carolina Coalition for HOA Laws Reform and Regulation” (website: http://www.nchoalaws.org) was formed in early 2012 as part of an effort by Citizens of North Carolina to present Homeowner concerns to the NC Legislature’s House Select Committee on HOAs. The Committee was created by the Legislature to study and to report findings about the General Statutes that Govern Homeowner and Condominium Owner Association. The Founder of the NC Coalition, Jim Lane from Charlotte, was the first of more than 100 speakers that addressed the Committee at three locations around the State. The Committee, in their Report dated May 1, 2012 (see http://www.nchoalaws.org for a link to the full report) stated:
In the words of Jim Lane, “we are concerned Homeowners and Housing Industry related professionals, now across the Country (not just in NC) who are disturbed by the bias and excessive powers given to Homeowners Associations (HOA), Property Management Companies and so-called HOA Attorneys by our State Laws and how those laws enable abuse by HOAs upon Owners, with little to no recourse by Owners but to comply or seek very expensive and unproductive litigation.”
So we welcome with open arms another soldier organization on the battlefield of homeownership righteousness—The North Carolina Coalition for HOA Laws Reform and Regulation.
Many moons ago, this national organization introduced a co-op legal plan to homeowners across the country to assist them with their property and homeowner association issues. For as little as $17.00 per month or $26.00 per month (depending upon the plan you purchase), you are able to get legal advice from a law firm without going broke in the process and the plan will also cover your entire family. Once you join, your member law firm, located in your state, is assigned to you as this co-op plan is generated from a national company. Your member law firm will answer all of your legal questions, look at your documents and refer you to attorneys who will litigate for you at a 25% reduced rate per hour or at no additional charge after you have accumulated hours per month as a continual member and if you become a defendant in a court action.
It does not matter what state you live in, this legal plan will operate out of your state using a law firm in your area for you to consult with and if you talk to an attorney from your member law firm that is rude, just report it to the member law firm and he or she will be replaced with an even better attorney. We cannot let one bad apple spoil the whole barrel.
One thing we all need at some time in our life is an attorney. However, due to the limited number of attorneys trained in this particular field of litigation, homeowners are generally stuck with attorneys who are not qualified to protect their property and Constitutional rights against rogue property and homeowner associations or if they are able to find one that know the law in that area, the homeowner cannot afford the fee.
Well, we are happy to reintroduce a co-op plan we introduced to homeowners more than ten (10) years ago. This plan is still the best deal in town.
Imagine getting legal advice and help whenever you need it at a price you can actually afford. Other legal services are available and other legal plans are available for entrepreneurs, business owners, truck drivers, corporations, brokers, any one that needs an attorney or wants to start a business.
You can either sign up and have your family covered, especially nice for families with teenagers that drive and sometimes get tickets (yeah and sometimes you do too), and just like food co-ops, the cost is low because many people are sharing the cost. What a concept? The best part of this is we do not come to your door and take your blood pressure and get your health history before you qualify for this policy. You can join this co-op plan on-line in seconds and have an attorney available to you to answer your legal questions “almost” immediately. It takes approximately a week to get your welcome package, so if you want to get it sooner, just send us an email and we will be more than happy to get your membership number sooner for you... firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are looking for a business opportunity, we can help you out with that too. This is certainly an excellent time to start your own business and be the entrepreneur you have always wanted to be while at the same time covering your own legal needs. Here is the link to learn more about that and to join our national team. Just think how cool that would be to operate a business, quietly from your home on your own home computer, reaching out to individuals across the internet that need legal assistance and/or networking one-on-one with people in your own community, your own church, your own area, building your own team. Don’t you just love the sound of that? Here’s the opportunity link to examine that option:
It does not matter what state you live in, this legal plan will operate out of your state using a law firm in your area for you to consult with and if you talk to an attorney from your member law firm that is rude, just report it to the member law firm and he or she will be replaced with an even better attorney. We cannot let one bad apple spoil the whole barrel. Here’s the opportunity link:
We personally put our stamp of approval on this Plan because it works. We feel like we have a law firm in our back pocket and thought it was a good time to re-introduce this “gem” to all of you; after all, what are friends for. Take care ….
The National Homeowners Advocate Group is asking all senior citizens to be cautious if approached by anyone calling, sending literature, stopping by their house or any form of communication pertaining to attaining a "reverse mortgage". If you have a substantial amount of equity in your home, you may become a target by "reverse mortgage" predators who are turning the well-meaning intent of this type of funding for seniors into a living nightmare. Due to the growing number of "baby boomers" coupled with the current economy, reverse mortgages are not only becoming more attractive to "baby boomers" but the incidence of fraud is also on the rise so please be careful.
Please click on the link below for a heart wrenching story regarding this type of mortgage:
Texas. 2012 It has just been brought to our organization’s attention by one of our Vice Presidents that someone has setup a website calling themselves “the National Homeowners Advocates” and telling people that contact them that they can sign up for $200.00 and they will go to their mortgage company and they will get money back for them from the mortgage company because they are being overcharged. For the record, we do not offer this type of service.
We do not think this is a random accident or a mistake but that whoever is doing this is doing it intentionally with the intent of bringing harm to our business reputation.
We have alerted all of our satellite offices to be on the lookout for any unusual activity, contacts or complaints involving a group with the same name as ours asking them to pay $200.00 so that they can contact their mortgage company for a overcharge refund. The National Homeowners Advocate Group does not provide this type of service for homeowners. We ask anyone reading this article to contact us at any of our satellite offices to report this fraud.
When we goggled our name, we came up with the following website that looked suspicious and that had the same name as ours (The National Homeowners Advocates). Their website is www.naoha.org and we have already contacted the host of this website and asked that they remove the website as it also has President Barack Obama’s name on it and after talking with the White House, the website they support is www.consumerfinancialprotectionbureau.gov which pertains to mortgages, etc.
Our website is copyrighted so we know that anyone using our name could not be using it legally or gone through the regular channels of publishing an authentic website which would have done a search and not permitted the publishing of the website in the first place.
Here is information about our group so that you will be able to tell when you are talking to a scammer using our name to benefit themselves or to ham our business reputation.
This is who we are:
The National Homeowners Advocate Group, LLC started in Texas as the Texas Homeowners Advocate Group, a group seeking homeowner association reform with high concentration on stopping foreclosures by homeowner associations.
We believe that knowledge about the laws governing your community and information on how to make needed changes in the laws that detrimentally affect your lifestyle should be at every homeowner's fingertips.
As a member of our group, you will learn what your property and Constitutional rights are or are not. We will work with you one-on-one or in a group. We are a homeowner advocate group dedicated to helping homeowners throughout the nation in their HOA disputes. We have satellite offices across the country manned by homeowners just like you that have or had conflicts with their HOA and together now work with us to help other homeowners resolve their issues.
We believe in the “Homeowners United” concept in which together we can resolve our own issues by learning what our property and Constitutional rights are and learning how to protect those rights without going bankrupt and having to sell our homes. However, if your issue is beyond resolving without court intervention or you are already sued and need an attorney, while we are not attorneys, we will refer you to qualified, honest, fair attorneys that have expertise in litigating for homeowners in HOA disputes.
We know that sometimes your dispute is not something an attorney need to become involved with so we try to help with the dispute to resolve amicably for all concerned. Our goal is to ensure that not every dispute has to end up in a costly, lengthy, gruesome battle in your community leaving everyone bitter, fearful, broke and sick when it is all over, with the only winner being a CAI (Community Association Institute Attorney) or a Senator Carona Management Company.
Our accomplishments thus far: While initially operating under the mother group, the Texas Homeowner's Advocate Group, successfully achieved getting the Texas Attorney General to answer a key foreclosure question which gave us the go ahead to solicit help from our legislators; various media performances to alert the public regarding the foreclosures, fines and HOA reform needed; conducted neighborhood training and informational seminars throughout the state; helped stop a number of bad bills from passing; continually educating legislators regarding the ongoing problems with foreclosures, fines and the need for HOA/POA regulation; articles and a book written by members; assisting homeowners with acute HOA/POA problems; assisting with the writing of proposed legislation; a continual watchdog for homeowner- related issues; a growing petition to permanently stop foreclosures; building a "Watchdog" list of Fair Debt Collector violators; an investigative report.
One of our tools is an on-line newspaper in which we write our own stories and publish them: www.writeyourownstories.com.
Now you know who we are and what we stand for so that you can determine before you pay $200.00 for services we do not offer to an organization that has the same name as ours that is not one we support. Our membership fee is only $42.00 annually.
Remember to contact any of our satellite offices listed at the top of the page to report any fraudulent activity involving our name and/or anyone calling you requesting you pay them $200 for services to get money back from your mortgage company. So far complaints are being documented from the Dallas area.
Please help us raise funds for next year's legislative year by purchasing Organo Gold Products from our 1st Vice President Aletha Ray. Ms. Ray will donate 50% of the proceeds to this fundraiser for the "Go to Austin" drive for next year's legislative session. This is the only gourmet coffee with health properties. Organo Gold Products contains 100% of Ganoderma Lucidum Herb. Ganoderma contains many active ingredients known to support health, oxygenates the body, provides more energy, supports circulation.....read more by clicking on the link.
We still have work to do in Austin. Next year's legislative session is very important. We must ensure that condos obtain the same laws as single family home dwellers. We also want to work on legislation concerning the accountability of homeowner assessment fees paid to their homeowner and property owner associations. Contact Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon's office to find out more about this bill (last year it was numbered HB 2328) at 512-427-9057 and speak to Nicole Gilmore.
Texas. 2012. I always had faith, that one day somebody would improve the current HOA laws and put an end to a lot of the homeowner’s problems. New laws putting an end to unjust foreclosures, rigged elections and last but not least rogue boards who forget they work for the association and are in it to personally profit from their positions as board members. Until that day I knew I would have to keep a close eye on my HOA board, knowing what they were doing but unable to stop them. Between myself and a neighbor I knew, we had both exhausted all efforts short of a civil suit. We both knew we would be suing ourselves basically and that was not an option.
Sam, my neighbor and I had been friends for years but even though he was right next door to me, we did not live in the same community and each had our own separate HOA to deal with. We used to laugh at the similarities between the two HOA's and swore we must have the same board running both of our HOA's We both had out of control boards that were running the property in the ground. They have been on the board for years by using all the proxies to keep it that way.
When January 1, 2012 arrived and we both read about new HOA laws, we knew getting the association back in the hands of the homeowners again was going to happen. We each made copies of the new laws and went our separate ways to spread the word to our own association members. When my board caught wind of what was going on they went to our association lawyer to try to work around the laws. If you ever have to deal with an association attorney, you will quickly learn that even though they say they work for the association, which would be the homeowners, that is not true. The association attorney always works under the direction of the board and the majority of the time that would be against the homeowners.
They are good at pointing ways to get around the laws that govern us. That didn’t slow me down because my neighbor had already talked to his attorney and was assured that now there were ways to get things done without going to civil court. My board laughed when they informed me that only two of the new laws (solar panels and harvesting rainwater) pertained to our association and that’s when I ran face first into that same brick wall I had run into several times in the past. When I read the laws that did include condo associations I realized I should stop worrying about condo owner’s rights and start worry about the entire state of Texas as a whole and who was running it.
HB 362 is one of the two laws passed that mentioned condo associations, and if I ever decide that I want to install solar panels on my roof, than I can do it and the board cant stop me. Of course to do that I would have to do the entire roof since most condos are similar to apartment buildings and there are several units under one roof. The roofs are also owned and maintained by the entire association no individual homeowners. Than there is HB 3391 this bill would allow us to put rainwater barrels out to collect rainwater. Well since the association owns and maintains all the extremities of the complex just like the roofs, where would we put rain barrels? Most units either have a small patio or balcony that they maintain. I barely have room for a table and chairs on my patio.
How could this happen? My neighbor and I lived in the same neighborhood, we both paid around $300,000.00 for our individual residences and both had the exact same HOA issues so how could I not be protected by the same laws that homeowners were. I guess there is one important fact I might have forgotten to mention. I just happen to live in a condominium; therefore I do not have the same protection that my next door neighbor has because condominium associations and housing communities are not the same. The only similarities are the guidelines set by the state to follow, the same issues, same aggressive boards, same everything.
Since January first my neighbor has a whole new board with members that are there for the community and not themselves. My association is still being run by a board president that writes all the checks, and nobody sees the financial reports. They do all this while hiding behind the attorney that defends them against everybody. She needs money; she just writes herself a check.
Condominium associations normally pay dues monthly, whereas most housing communities pay once or twice a year. My particular HOA has 68 units with average dues about $168.00 a month that’s about $130,000.00 a year in dues, and this alone makes us more vulnerable to embezzlement and other crimes. I have asked for answers and got none, so I will ask them in person in Austin next Legislative Session 2013, commencing January 1, 2013. Why should I suffer the consequences for someone else’s ignorance, when they are the ones getting paid by us to protect us from this type of nonsense?
For years we have had two different laws that governed how Associations operated The Texas Residential Property Owners Protection Act for Housing Communities and The Texas Uniform Condominium Act, for Condo Associations. These 2 laws were very similar when they covered how the association was set up and how it was run by a board of directors. They each laid out the rules for voting for Boards, along with rules the board must follow. Most association bylaws are written to comply with the 2 laws. I have always been familiar with both laws since I was an HOA Property Manager for years; however, the one thing I did not know about these 2 laws is that the majority of each law is as worthless as the paper it was written on.
I went to the District Attorney’s office about my own association because our board is not following the guidelines of the TUCA or our bylaws. I took a copy of the TUCA (Texas Uniform Condo Act) along with proof of their illegal activities for him to review. He read the law, looked at the proof and told me I definitely had cause for concern. It was at that time he told me something that made me lose all faith in our state lawmakers in Austin. He than gave me a brief explanation about laws and what they must contain in them to be enforceable. Every law written, in order to make it enforceable, must have a remedy along with it. He than explained, after carefully reading the TUCA law, that even though it sounds good and has proper guidelines to follow, the bill is worthless. That is because there is only one section out of the entire law that can actually be enforced. That is the section that discusses dues collections and foreclosure which basically says “if you don’t pay your dues we have the authority to foreclose on your property.” It has a remedy or defines how to enforce it. That is why for now the only way to stop my board’s illegal activities is to file a civil case against them. That’s all because most of the TUCA law does not specify what can be done if they don’t abide by the individual laws. Now what makes me so different from all of the homeowners? They now have SB 472 which has ways to prevent illegal election and boards controlling of proxies. That law would prevent my board president from using all the proxies as she has done for the last six years and get her and her friends replaced.
HB 2761 states that a person can not be a board member if they have been convicted of a felony. I think that is an important issue but what I think doesn’t matter because it does not apply to me anyway. If a homeowner wants to get copies of financials, they can go to JP court and force a board to disclose them or if they want to go to a meeting, they can. I have to file a civil lawsuit or sneak in the back door if I want to attend a meeting. During the last legislative session Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon had drafted a bill HB 2328. This bill included all of the different types of HOA’s and covered what most of the new laws covered but it never made it to the floor. That really makes me wonder, did her bill not make it because it was bad or did it not make it because it included all the different types of associations?
This error was not just an oversight or done by accident, it was done for a reason and I have every legal right to find out what that reason was. Could it be due to the fact that one of our Senators owns a string of management companies and some of these new laws are putting restrictions on ways for him to profit from the associations. How he makes his money is not my concern unless it affects me. This affects me in a huge way so any involvement he has making or changing HOA laws is now my concern. Its time we started reminding these lawmakers that they work for us, we don’t work for them. This is a huge injustice and I personally have to suffer because of it. It is not morally right and if somebody really did some digging into it, would probably find that it’s not legally right either. I just want my association out of the hands of a bunch of out -of- control hoodlums and back into homeowner control. When laws are written, they are supposed to be written for the good of the people not for the good of a person. For years I always heard about living the American dream-- you have a job, own a house, go to an occasional baseball game and eat apple pie. I guess I only lived part of that dream because I bought a condo instead.
I hope this helps to let people know the fight is not over yet and we need as much support as we can get from all associations. I am new to this going to Austin and standing up for my rights and don’t know all the ins and outs of it yet but I am going to give it my all because one thing I have learned during this entire ordeal that those people that we elected and also pay to go to Austin to stand up and fight for our rights, well they just aren’t doing it.
By Gary Stone, a Condo Owner 2012. All rights reserved. The National Homeowners Advocate Group, LLC.
Our goal is to help homeowners but some of the products we suggest you look into may result in a sale that will benefit this organization. We don’t get donations and need funds to continue with our homeowner HOA advocacy. Thank you for purchasing the products and the bottom line is we both win…..you get the help you need and we get the funds we need. Take care and please have a blessed day. The Team
The National Homeowners Advocate Group, LLC
Post Office Box 1702
Richmond, Texas 77406