Does the mortgage industry collusion extend beyond just foreclosure to a broader tit-for-tat, “one hand washes the other” cooperation with HOA developers? Ever wonder why your CC&Rs contain a 20 -30 year “no terminate” clause? Or why your CC&Rs contain archaic and ignored wording that the first lender must approve any CC&R changes? Or why there’s that PUD rider attached to your mortgage?
In order to understand the “why” we must go back in time to the period of the original promoters of the legal scheme for planned developments with homes associations. That was in 1964 with the publication of the HOA mass merchandising document, the Homes Association Handbook, Technical Bulletin #50, by the Urban Land Institute. (For an analysis of this document see Part I of The Foundations of Homeowners Associations and the New America). The document was one that spoke of a utopian scheme for better communities, which would also make tons of money for the developers and promoters. In 1964, HOAs were a new concept that had to be sold to all the “players” in order for the concept to succeed and, as with any new venture or concept, it came with high risks. One question for these mass marketeers was how to get funding from banks and mortgage companies to finance the development of planned communities, and subsequent HOA home mortgages. It was a question of insuring the survival of the HOA and, consequently, its marketing success.
First, the right to foreclose. One way was to come down hard on homeowners who didn’t pay their “fair share” and threatened the survivability of the HOA: create covenants that run with the land granting the HOA automatic liens for assessments and the right to foreclosure for non-payment. And, since there may be instances where there would be insufficient funds, as they recognized the second position status of the HOA, it was necessary to include a grant of right to seek a personal judgment against all of the assets of the non-paying homeowner. All in the name of survivability of the HOA for the future success of the promoters. (See Section 12.3 and 12.31 of the Handbook).
They were not concerned with constitutional and legal issues relating to democratic governance and protecting the rights, freedoms, privileges or immunities of the member-owners. They could not tolerate democratic protections by means of independent tribunals and so gave themselves, as Declarant, dictatorial rights over the community. The developers had to stay in control to protect their investments and profits.
Second, “sweeteners” for the lenders. With these strong measures to protect the HOA income stream from non-payers, who, by the way, may dislike the way the HOA was operated and want to withhold payments, they could now approach the mortgage companies and banks. They gave the lenders additional protections to get them on board – the HOA cannot be terminated until after the first 20 -30 years of operation, even though the developer no longer had any obligations to the lenders – he was long gone and had paid off the lenders.
So, why this “no terminate” clause? Why the PUD rider on individual home mortgages not owned by the HOA, that holds no title to the individual home? Why should the lenders want additional assurances when they got none of these with traditional, non-HOA homes? Why were they given these “sweeteners?” As an inducement so they would make loans in support of this unproven concept?
It appears that this was all for their mutual benefit, at the expense of the unsuspecting home buyers.