AZ R.E. dept. removes CAI and AACM from its list of resources

The Arizona real estate department (ADRE) took the high ground and did what was right and just:  it removed the HOA special interest vendors, AACM and CAI, from its list of Resources (under HOA Due Process).  To those familiar with CAI’s opposition to OAH adjudication of HOA disputes, this was the only acceptable decision.   (See Is AZ ADRE violating 1st Amendment free speech on HOA public issues?)  I congratulate Commissioner Lowe and Deputy Commissioner Dettorre for protecting the consumer, the HOA homeowner.

I am told that ADRE believed it was helping homeowners to better resolve HOA disputes.  When presented with the facts on the conduct of these vendor special interests ADRE reacted accordingly.  The department can play a significant role in restoring homeowner protections that were denied under the adhesion CC&Rs “contract” and under pro-HOA state laws. (More to come.) The defenders of the status quo, and that includes CIA and AACM, invoked the misguided argument that the homeowner agreed to be bound.

ADRE has authority to act under the statutes specifically regarding HOA disputes, and in general under real estate statutes. However, the department must be on guard not to fall into the clutches of the wolf as it appears to have done with respect to the resource issue.

Perhaps it was influenced by the Arizona HOA Coalition that claims to speak for the people.  It is a closed group run by a strong personality, as I’m told, that has no qualms working with the Evil Empire to bring about justice for homeowners.  It is a de facto lobbying group and not an educational group.  AZHOC, as it is known, is following a failed approach that was used by another so-called group in the 2000 – 2oo5 period.

AZHOC has already submitted proposed legislation to CAI, and others, as part of ADRE’s stakeholder group.  Obviously seeking CAI’s blessing before obtaining legislator sponsorship.  Yet, the public HOA member is not privy to this proposed legislation and cannot provide valid feedback.  But, CAI and others can.

I will not participate in the stakeholder meetings as a matter of principle, because CAI and AACM are usurpers of homeowner rights, freedoms, privileges and immunities.  What is important to keep in mind about these meetings is the failure of AZHOC to advance substantive issues for HOA reforms, while arguing for changes in the law relating to the daily operation of HOAs.  I don’t think CAI would support these substantive reforms nor even allow them.

HOA operational reforms are commendable, but falls far short of effecting meaningful change like supporting effective enforcement of HOA board violations as a detriment, fair elections procedures, reform of the laws regarding OAH dispute handling, requiring the HOA to swear allegiance to the Constitution as all other local governments, challenging the sales process that is ripe with misrepresentation, etc.

I have not been consulted by AZHOC, although I’ve volunteered as such last year, nor have I received any copies of its proposed legislation.  That alone speaks for itself.

ADRE must continue its good work. However, ADRE must not fall into the clutches of the wolf.

Published in: on September 27, 2017 at 9:33 am  Comments (9)  

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  1. Congratulations George. Your efforts make a difference. You are are truly leader. Thank you for taking the time to protect homeowners.

    One more step towards protecting homeowners. AZRE made the correct decision in removing CAI and AACM from the Resource List. It was misleading.

    I congratulate Commissioner Lowe and Deputy Commissioner Dettore for protecting the consumer and the HOA homeowner. Thank you both for standing up for what is right and not caving into “stakeholders”.
    From now on when they ask for meetings, think what do they want, are they trying to position themselves to get more business or truly trying to protect the homeowners? $$$$s seems to be what motivates these type of groups.

    In regards to HOA advocate groups, the line is clear. They are either on the side of homeowners or on the side of the vendor lobbyists.

    Compromising efforts to protect homeowners is not acceptable. If any self proclaimed lobbyist who acts as if he or she is on the side of protecting homeowners is compromising/negotiating then they should go work for the other side.

    George, I agree with your sentiments. Let’s be leaders in the efforts to protect homeowner’s rights, not followers of vendor lobby organizations.

    CAI and AACM comprise mostly of vendors such as attorneys that Boards often hire against homeowners, management companies that refer vendors who are also members. Is their goal to make $$$$s or to protect the homeowners is what every HOA homeowner should ask themselves. Are they getting referrals is another question to ask. What is the connection. Follow the money and you will have the answers.

    Also when some CAI or AACM attorney is hired, ask why? Are they helping the homeowners and trying to minimize costs/compromise or are they just running up their billing?

    When a CAI or AACM management company is hired, look at costs closely, question when they start to recommend vendors that are also members of the same organizations? What is the connection? Go out and get bids from that are not members of their lobby groups. You might find that you will get better and lower bids in some cases.

    Also, use the Better Business Bureau as a source of verification. Look up the attorneys and management companies recommended or that your HOA is using.

    Also note, that there might be other complaints but as I experienced the management companies try to block negative complaints. The BBB will follow-up, try to help the homeowner who files a complaint. It will not cost the homeowner a cent. Homeowners are welcome to write reviews about attorneys, management companies and vendors. Just go on the BBB site.

    There is not a thing the HOAs can do to interfere with the homeowner’s legal right to post an honest review. Those days are over. It will be violating Federal Law. You can file an honest complaint or your point of view without fearing any retaliation. Federal Law now prohibits a company from targeting you. President Obama passed the “Consumer Review Fairness Protection Act of 2016” in December 2016.

    Organizations and companies are prohibited from targeting consumers who make honest reviews. It is illegal to violate the Consumer Review Fairness Protection Act of 2016. One more step towards protecting consumers and homeowners.

  2. Good job, George. Thank you for all you do.

  3. From personal experience living in an AZ HOA for a number of years, I have come to realize that HOA legislative reform needs to address four (4) specific areas:

    1. DEVELOPERS – During the time of developer control of a community’s HOA board of directors the property owner members pretty much live under a dictator form of governance. The developer establishes the legally recorded association governing documents that all residential property owner members are contractually obligated to comply with, while the developer controlled board of directors is free to pick and choose what aspects of the governing documents to address with little concern for any potential legal liabilities. Additionally, residential property owner members may be given a voice or may be given lip service by the developer as to how the member assessment payments collected are allocated and controlled.

    2. HOA MANAGEMENT COMPANIES – With volunteer HOA members serving on a board of directors, it is necessary for larger HOA communities to hire third party management companies to handle the day-to-day operations of the community. However, while these management companies and their employees are delegated a board’s authority to act, to enforce & manage to the established association governing documents, to handle large sums of association monies, etc. there is currently no State compliance authority overseeing these HOA management companies?

    3. HOA BOARD OF DIRECTORS – Current local educational offerings for HOA volunteer board members are seminars conducted at the city municipal level by self-proclaimed HOA Law Firms that focus on Federal, State and local municipal laws/statutes. Also, Community Associations Institute offers limited online education studies for HOA volunteers and from time-to-time the local CAI Central Arizona Chapter will offer volunteer board director seminars. However, there is no State compliance authority requiring educational standards and certification testing for volunteer association community board members, of which, can be responsible for the oversight of millions of dollars in both financial and physical assets?

    4. ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF REAL ESTATE HOA DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCESS – While the program rolled out in January, 2016 offers a cost effective solution for a HOA residential property owner to petition for a hearing regarding a dispute between the residential property owner and the HOA, the program does not allow for petitions by a HOA residential property owner regarding disputes with an individual HOA board member or the HOA board as a whole. Currently, a HOA residential property owner’s option, in addressing disputes with a HOA board, is to file a Complaint in Arizona Superior Court. However, based on the financial resources available to large HOAs along with retained self-proclaimed HOA law firms utilized by the board and/or the attorneys representing the board’s liability insurance provider, a typical strategy employed is to stonewall the HOA residential property owner plaintiff with legalize requests so that the residential property owner plaintiff runs out of financial resources and then is forced to give up and go away without the Complaint ever making it in front of a judge.

    • In regard to:

      1. The transfer of authority should follow the same public procedures for newly incorporated municipalities. See statutes.

      2. Licensing is a must, but not like the CAI dominated procedures in other states. Rather, it should follow the same strict requirements for real estate brokers who are subject to random audits by ADRE, and who must account for deposit monies held for sales.

      3. It is disgraceful that the legislature has adopted a banana republic attitude toward HOAs — the board can do no wrong. This is a violation of the equal protection of the laws that favors HOAs to the detriment of homeowner rights under the Constitution. Don’t worry about prior court decisions, as this specific question was never raised and never answered. It would be “a first impression” as the judges like to say.

      CAI seminars, especially the town sponsored HOA Academy classes are nothing more indoctrination classes for CAI’s “HOA-Land School of Thought.” “How to live happily and not get into trouble” under an authoritarian regime where the member is a second class citizen. The sponsoring towns are Chandler, Peoria, Glendale, Surprise, Avondale, El Mirage and Goodyear.

      4. Yes, this is another area for direct ADRE involvement as it is now responsible for OAH resolutions. It comes under the heading of a the authority to review ALJ decisions and ADRE’s overall statutory mission to protect the consumer.

  4. Thank goodness. Living with a Board of Directors totally control by a management company which does whatever is necessary to keep the same Board in place is legalized thievery.

  5. George,

    Thank you for taking the time to care about the Owners in HOAs. Anyone that spends anytime reading what the CAI supports and stands for would know the CAI does not care about Owners rights. As an Owner, If you do not believe me, call any CAI affiliated attorney and see if they will represent you in a lawsuit against your HOA?

    Again, thank you George for taking the time to care and keep us informed.

  6. Thank you.

    I assume the consumer protection law relates to BBB. Do you have the Public Law number?

  7. […] See AZ R.E. dept. removes CAI and AACM from its list of resources. […]

  8. Yea!


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