Qui Pro Domina Justitia Sequitur
(‘who prosecutes on behalf of Lady Justice?’)
Attorney Penny Koepke appeared on the Nov. 19th Arizona KPHO TV segment, “HOA Disputes,” as the demure and soft spoken attorney from the Ekmark & Ekmark law firm, and spoke in favor of the demise of due process protections for homeowners. (See http://www.kpho.com/local-video/index.html and select “HOA Disputes”). The court case discussed in this news segment was Gelb v. DFBLS (in re Sedona Casa Contenta HOA).
Please note that the Carpenter Hazlewood law firm, which pursued the constitutionality challenge to the state agency adjudication of HOA disputes in three cases leading up to the Gelb decision, does not appear in the KPHO segment. Partners Carpenter and Hazlewood, as well as Curtis Ekmark, are all members of the national HOA lobbying trade organization (not an educational 501(c)3 organization), Community Associations Institute, CAI. Ms. Koepke does not admit to being a member, but frequently speaks and lectures at seminars and conferences for CAI.
In 2004, Ms Koepke also appeared before the Arizona House FMPR committee hearing on the HOA foreclosure reform bill, HB 2402. She addressed the committee and responded to questions by the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Farnsworth, for about 21 minutes. (The audio CD is available from the Clerk’s office archives for a small fee).
Following this hearing, I produced a segment on HB2402 from the House audio CD. In her testimony Ms Koepke had stated that she was an ethical person of integrity who foreclosed only as a last resort upon the instructions of her HOA clients. However, she had a problem with making use of alternative methods of collecting debts as are available to all lien holder in other arenas, and saw no moral issue with completely stripping the homeowner of all his equity for a few pieces of silver. Her justification was that they were “scofflaws” who needed to be punished to deter future untimely payments. In the complete audio, you will hear the committee Chair informing Ms Koepke that such actions were “unconscionable.” I added a commentary as an addendum, which presented a few background cases and incidents in which Ms Koepke was involved. This short commentary video can be found at Foreclosures.
It should be apparent by now, with respect to foreclosures and due process protections in general, that a homeowner can get a better deal from the IRS than from his HOA backed by attorneys. There is no requirement in the HOA “contract” — the CC&Rs “constitution” — requiring the HOA to be fair, just, compassionate, conciliatory or charitable. Remember: “It’s the contract, stupid,” and you are not protected as one would think under state laws and constitutions.