Support CO 22-1137 for HOA due process justice

Another HOA enlightenment bill has been proposed in Colorado, 22-1137, joining California’s and Arizona’s legislation to restore homeowner fundamental rights and freedoms.  Reading the bill as introduced, it addresses a number of issues designed to provide meaningful due process, to good extent, allowing for small claims adjudication and restrictions, limitations on the HOA’s right to fine, interest charges, late payments, work-out plan before foreclosure, and limits on the amount of collection to just 3 times amount owed (avoids unusual and cruel punishment charges). 

What more can a homeowner ask for to obtain justice and fairness within the HOA government? Go for the bill! Support it!  Get what you can before the evil empire strikes back and whittles the bill down!  Yet, to my disappointment, a homeowner advocacy group has found problems with this bill, all relating to how it would cost the HOA more money. 

What is needed, as I’ve repeatedly argued, is strong support for the sponsor, Rep. Naquetta Ricks, and an outpouring of emails to the legislators, especially to the committee members who will hear the bill.  If there is a Request To Speak option at the legislature, sign up and use it!

Related issues

In a broader view of HOAs as private, separate local governments keep in mind what has been ignored and bypassed by state legislatures across the country, including Colorado. Why are there private HOA governments when there are public home rule, charter governments?   

All the states have a version of home rule that varies in the degree of independence granted to a local governments and under what terms.   Given this existing legal mechanism for strong, independent  local control, why was there a need for the creation and approval of, and the support for, private government HOAs?

 (See America’s homeland: HOA law vs. Home rule law; Colorado Constitution, Art. XX, §6, Home rule for cities and towns).

HOA social dynamics — “freedom of mind” pt. 1

HOA social dynamics and the loss of “freedom of mind”

By: George K. Staropoli, March 18, 2019

Part 1.

A very disturbing  behavior by the vast majority of HOA members in many HOAs, both large and small, is their willingness, their wholehearted obedience, and their unquestioned loyalty to behave as instructed by their board of directors (BOD).  When confronted with contradicting views, criticizing and opposing the BOD’s actions and conduct — supported by documentation in statutes, correspondence and BOD behavior — members simply ignore the evidence.  These unknown neighbors, these strangers for the most part, who apparently cannot think for themselves can affect your home without your consent.

And when questioned and confronted as to their reasons and justifications for these outright illogical and wrongful acts by their BOD, the questioner is met with a cult-like resistance and dogmatic defense.  The defenses are a combination of, among other things,

  1. the BOD can do no wrong;
  2. the BOD is made up of volunteers doing what’s right for the HOA;
  3. outright denying and disputing the opposing arguments without investigation;
  4. labelling the questioner as a troublemaker and attacking his motives; ostracize, and disparage;
  5. a defense consisting of slogans and mottos, like “no government interference.”

The BOD demands faith (never question), loyalty (agreement with the BOD),  and obedience (suffer the consequences for disobedience, both financially and emotionally). However, there may be a small opposition group, but it usually lacks the power to be effective because the governing documents have been designed to restrict such “upstarts.”   HOAs restrict the freedom of political speech as permitted in the public domain.

I am aware of two instances —  both in Arizona by upscale, large HOAs — of the extreme degree to which members display a lack of “freedom of the mind”[i] concerning amendments to the governing documents that have material consequences.   In both cases the membership was given notice of serious violations of the law and governing documents supported by hard evidence. In both instances the BOD failed to address these concerns and to justify its actions.  The vote was allowed to continue and the amendments became, in my view, falsely effective.

There is clear and convincing evidence that this irrational behavior is the result of a long-term, systematic program of indoctrination using propaganda[ii] as the means to accomplish the aims and goals – the “party line” — of the propagandists.  Enforcement of the party line can be found in the same methods used to enforce cult obedience.[iii]  The causes of this state of affairs in HOA-Land[iv] are analogous to the pressures of the pre-WWII Germans and today in America with respect to Facebook and other  businesses fostering social media for their own self-serving agenda, respectively.

Milton Mayer interviewed average Germans in 1955 asking how could they let the Nazis take control. One telling response was that the “good” Germans went along “in the usual sincerity that required them only to abandon one principle after another, to throw away, little by little, all that was good.”[v]  The vehicle for this abandonment was the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda.

Roger McNamee[vi] describes Facebook’s motive and mission as to make money by allowing people to “talk” to each over the Internet.  Facebook uses behavioral modification techniques such as, playing on “’lizard brain’ emotions such as fear and anger,” “giving users ‘what they want,’” and “[nudging] user attention in directions that Facebook wants.”  Both examples seek to control and limit the people’s “freedom of mind” by indoctrinating them to their self-serving agendas. The analogies to HOA-Land are striking.

Continue with Part 2.

References

[i] See Social dynamics freedom of mind.pdf (2019), footnote 1.

[ii] Propaganda techniques: glittering generalities; testimonials from prominent people; name calling; use of false and misleading statements.

[iii] Obedience: “a form of “social influence in which a person yields to explicit instructions or orders from an authority figure.”

[iv] I have defined HOA-Land as a collection of fragmented independent principalities within America, known in general as “HOAs,” that are separate local private governments not subject to the constitution, and that collectively constitute a nation within the United States.

[v] They Thought They Were Free, Milton Mayer, 1955.

[vi] Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe, Roger McNamee, Penguin Press (2019).

Evan McKenzie on HOA consent, disclosure and realtors

The typical homeowner has no idea what he is getting into — or what kind of HOA leadership he will be dealing with — when he signs a binding contract to move into an HOA-governed subdivision.”

So spoke internationally recognized and outspoken advocate for HOA reforms, Professor Evan McKenzie (author of Privatopia: Homeowners Associations and the Rise of Residential Private Government (1994) and Beyond Privatopia (2012)) in an interview for the Evansville Courier and Press (“Woman says HOA demanded microchip in her dog”).  And with respect to consent and the inadequacy of state mandated disclosure documents, McKenzie calls them “hopelessly inadequate.”  He is quoted as saying, “If (realtors) cared about this, which they don’t, they would be establishing policies.”

I’ve written on the topic of why people choose to live under HOA regimes and who remain silent. As a sample, there is the  oppressive structure of the HOA (Why do people harm others in HOAs?), the “unspoken alliance of no negatives about HOAs” (Good night and very good luck – the unspoken media HOA alliance, CA court upholds HOA suit against real estate agents), and the failure of state legislatures to uphold constitutional rights (Proposed “consent to be governed” statute, the “Truth in HOAs” bill).  One can conclude that the HOA institution is basically corrupt (as defined: impairment of integrity, virtue, or moral principle; perversion of integrity).

I have repeatedly argued for the education — the enlightenment — of the public, the media and state legislators as to the truth of the matter, understanding that the unspoken alliance is still at work.  Where there is a lack of understanding, actual or pretended, then educate as to the truth. Help others to understand.  And this enlightenment requires that advocates challenge, confront and expose the non-truths being continuously aired by pro-HOA special interests (Path to Victory at the Legislature).

Thank you Evan for your effort to enlighten others as to the reality of the HOA concept and its defects.

 

Read this highly informative article at CourierPress.com.