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While Fighting in Iraq, Soldier Loses Home to HOA

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The Dallas Morning News reported on another HOA foreclosure.  This time it was on  Capt. Clauer who, while fighting in Iraq, lost his $315,000 home in 2008 for a mere $977.55 owed to his HOA.  That's far in excess of the money owed the HOA, with the homeowner getting nothing in almost every case.  In fact, it's 322 times in excess to a private entity that has not, unlike a bank or mortgage company, advanced any hard cash or funds to justify the right to foreclose.  

If this were a product liability case, punitive damages, as the punitive nature of HOA foreclosures can easily be described, are limited to 10 times damages under the 2003 US Supreme Court holdings (see State Farm v. Campbell, 538 U.S. 408).  How can our judicial system and state legislatures  allow such an unconscionable agreement to benefit not the people, but a private entity?  

More accurately described, HOA assessments are like public taxes because they go on forever and are not used to purchase any specific product or service offered by the HOA government.  They are just $$$ for the HOA government to operate — just like taxes are to public government.  And while the HOA private entity is ascribed rights and privileges of public government, it is not subject to the restraints and prohibitions that protect the people as are public governments.  Suppose, to clarify the unconscionable nature of this contractual arrangement, solidified by statute in almost every state, HUD has now instituted new mortgage contracts in order to insure its survivability. It now required payments to be made forever during the lifetime of the borrower.  How do you think the people would react?  Why is it acceptable with HOAs  that are not public entities with the right to tax?

This is disgraceful!  It reflects the New America where people have been misguided into believing  that HOAs make a better America — landscaping, that is.  Other important values, beliefs and principles as Jim Wallis wrote in Rediscovering Values, no longer count.


"We have . . . substituted 'market value' for 'moral value'.  What has been deliberately and carefully made 'socially acceptable' was, not too long ago, thought to be irresponsible — both financially and morally."


What America did Capt. Clauer fight for?  The New America of HOA-land (now 23% of Americans live in HOAs), or the America of our forefathers?  HOAs are unrecognized, de facto political governments operating outside the US Constitution. The HOA private government  repudiates the Constitution, and it is allowed to do so with the permission and approval of your state legislature.  This is disgraceful!

HOAs must be made subject to and accountable under  the Constitution as all other forms of political government in this country are subject.

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  • While waiting for publication, a June 27th article appeared in the Telegraph Herald , reporting that the Heritage Lakes HOA has hired a PR firm to address all the publicity stemming from this foreclosure. In short, in dispute are the HOA claims that the assessments were owed before going on duty and when Clauer was on active duty, and that they never knew he was on active duty. Clauer’s attorney replied that they never even attempted to call him.

    I have written repeatedly about the short-sighted, self-defeating, hardnosed position that the HOA does not negotiate and does not give in one inch. That posture stems from the great fear of a slippery-slope path to a loss in absolute power over homeowners.

  • Doug Hunter

    I appreciate the article. HOA’s are way out of control, but sadly are just a reflection of what we Americans have become.

  • You got it right, Doug. People need to take a good look at themselves, and what America has become. We are no longer a nation under the rule of law, but of man. Why do you think there’s all this fuss about the next Supreme Court Justice. The concern is for getting the right MAN as a Justice.

    And our political apparatus, values, and ideals have fallen to the level of third-world politics, where each faction is vying to push their views to in the hearts and minds of Americans, and control the country.

    Read Ron Brownstein’s “The Second Civil War.”

  • I am amazed at your take on things. For some reason, you seem to view HOAs as some kind of socialist/liberal-mindset scheme.

    In actuality, it’s but good old American-style ethic, however disguised, but all intent on defrauding people and making “easy money.”

    Business as usual. Nothing new.