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Comments about HOA program-Jim Burneson

1:39 PM, Jan 28, 2008   |    comments
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Your program on Channel 20 about HOAs has to be one of the worse ever aired in the history of your company. The reporter (I use that term loosely) could not have researched the subject enough to have prevented two of the worst crooks in the HOA business to come on in a public forum to answer pre-selected questions to be aired to mislead the HOA members tuning in for answers.

The following is a recap of the questions with my answers instead of your guests: Rep. Morgan Carroll and Chris Pacetti CAI. . These two have to be laughing their A-- off after the program at what they got away with thanks to Channel 9's ignorance.

I emailed my warning of what can happen not knowing who the guests were for the show. I am available for any questions anyone at Channel 9 might need to clarify in hopes this mistake will not be repeated as a disservice to the public. This email will be posted on my website at for the public to read.

Question: Is there a way short of filing a lawsuit to get the HOA to enforce the rules of equally.

Answer: If the Board of Directors doesn't want to do something there is very little a homeowner can do about it, except hire an attorney and sue the board. Mediation does not work, especially if the board doesn't want to mediate. They can agree to mediation as a stalling tactic and after months of delays cancel the mediation. Mediation is another tool for making money for CAI members. When there is a dispute between a member and the Board of Directors the power lies with the Board of Directors.

Question; What other solution does a homeowner have other than attending a hearing before the Board of Directors? It seems that hearing with the Board of Directors is like asking something from your own executioners. What other solutions does a homeowner have besides a hearing?

Answer: That is the problem a dispute usually is caused by decisions made by the Board of Directors. For a member to go before the board to question a decision or maybe the cause of the dispute means a hearing will not solve anything. The Association attorney doesn't make money developing solutions, but only if we can get the homeowner mad enough to sue the Association. The association attorney will give advice to the Board of Directors something along the lines like, "who does he think he is? Let him sue us we have insurance and it will be a lesson to the other members not to cross the board."

Letters will be written accusations will be made tempers will rise and the lawyer will have worked another lawsuit for him to make money off of. This whole HOA mess revolves around the property manager and the lawyer making money and there's a lot of money to be made in this HOA business. If the homeowner tries to sue without an attorney his chances are 1 out of 10 of winning because the courts don't like pro se litigants. A pro Se litigate is look upon as a malcontent against the government and needs to be slapped around to stop Pro Se attempts at getting justice. (News bulletin Perjury is not enforced in any civil courts in our land. The Pro Se litigate doesn't know this dirty secret and thus goes to court without a level playing field with the apposing lawyer and judge.) All Pro Se lawsuits are mistrials if the court doesn't advise the Pro Se litigate its OK to lie in civil court. I have requested Chief Justice Mullarkey Supreme Court of Colorado to tell the public of this fact. She has refused. Its simple a civil court judge can't rule on a felony. Only a DA can and there is no record of any lawsuits filed by a DA for perjury in a civil court. Thus you can lie in civil court and the judge can't do anything about it. Call your local DA and ask when he/she last sue for perjury in a civil court case? Call me with the answer.

Question: In mediation who pays for the service?

Answer: Both Parties will be charge a per hour fee for the mediation. The mediation is supposed to be conducted by train mediators in HOA matters. What she didn't tell you was a dispute in mediation is presented by the Association Attorney for the board and the member could try but best hire an attorney to represent him a the mediation. Morgan Carroll claims the cost will be $50 to $75 per hour and 2 hours should be sufficient. That's a lie. Nothing involving lawyers will be that cheap nor will two hours find a solution. Mediation can cost the same as going to court and Morgan knows it. Remember it's the Association Attorney who got the dispute to this point so he can make legal fees in the mediation.

Question: What exactly is an impartial decision-maker?

Answer: this is a person who has no goals in the dispute, and will not benefit from how the dispute is settled. SB 06-89 removed the conflict of interest for Directors they now can have a conflict of interest in their management of an HOA. Like make money off the side from the HOA while being a director.

Question: To Chris Pacetti how do the CAI members feel about mediation?

Answer: of course, the membership is going to like this mediation because it will become a new moneymaker for the CAI members. There will be no justice delivered by Mediation as described by Morgan Carroll. Dam East Homeowner Association tried meditation three times and not once did it work. After all the meetings, hearings and more meetings a settlement was reached and before it could be typed up for submittal to the court as a stipulated agreement the board decided to cancel the mediation. The homeowner is out the money for the lawyer and now has to sue if he wants justice.

Question: There are 2. Questions: 1. Why can't there be a commission to report problems relating to HOAs to be investigated for fraud? The answer this question is property managers should be licensed under the Real Estate Commission. Then there would be a commission to report to problems to instead of going to court. Morgan Carroll does not want any regulation of HOA, because that would eliminate huge legal fees, which her fellow lawyers like from this industry. Question 2. Do you think that the State needs to regulate the HOA managers and management companies? Do you think this would help eliminate the indiscretions that required this legislation? Answer: yes, regulating the property managers and the companies would eliminate 90% of the problems with HOA in our market today. The only parties who don't want this regulation are Morgan Carroll and members of the CAI.

The answer given by CAI representative was how difficult getting licensing required, property managers and difficulty of educating Board of Directors. "This would be most difficult to find directors willing to attend education sessions. This difficulty covered all the problems that help defeat licensing property managers by the Real Estate Commission. The present solutions offered by these two guests on TV Sunday are intentionally misleading and Channel 9 is involved in this misrepresentation.

Second Answer: Morgan Carroll started discussing the situation in the state legislature and the cost of getting passage of a new law licensing Real Estate Commission to oversee Property Managers. She points to the reasons of defeat to stop the REC license property managers. Right now the public (members of HOAs) has to pay for the enforcement of State laws, which Morgan Carroll has passed and the state does not incur any cost in that enforcement. This cost to the public of self enforcing State Statutes by suing board members and hiring lawyers at starting fees of $25,000 is the reason the entire HOA program is a failure in Colorado. It's time for the State to start publicly supporting and protecting members of HOAs from crooked lawyers and crooked property managers. It becomes the State's responsibility and expense to the taxpayer to fund the cost of regulating an out of control industry that becomes wealthy, raping in plundering the HOA membership.

Question: Is it legal for The Board of Directors of the Masters Association to charged everyone's property, $33 assessments and late fees of $66 and if not paid on time.

Answer: The Covenants and Bylaws need to be reviewed as to what the Board of Directors can do. Usually any increase in assessments has to be approved by the membership at an annual board meeting or Special Meeting. That includes the amount charged for assessments and late fees.

Question: when amendments are made by the Board shouldn't letters be sent out to notify all homeowners?

Answers: Most HOAs must publish all amendments to be voted on by the members in a notice 15 days before the annual meeting. The members must be advised what they will be asked vote on before the meeting. Once an amendment is passed all members have to be notified in a newsletter or individual mailing to everyone. If the membership isn't advised of an amendment before the meeting it can't be voted on at either the annual meeting or a Special meeting.

Question: what is my recourse when the HOA is not live up to the contract between us?

Answer: Morgan Carroll's answer was private line of action, which means hire an attorney for $25,000 and two years in court to cause enforcement of her State Statutes which since SB 06-89 has passed the Board of Directors has more protection than the membership which is ridicules. In this State there is no third party that will enforce any of the State Statutes that are written to protect the public. This is the cause of the failure of HOAs and lawyers and property managers are over powering the members of HOAs for their profit. You get screwed by your Board of Directors and they have the money of the Association and insurance to protect themselves from the violated homeowner.

Question: this has to do with the problem that a buyer is not knowledgeable to what he is getting into purchasing a home and a HOA.

Answer: There are laws on the books that the buyer is to be provided all documents pertaining to his purchase in a HOA. Morgan Carroll's State Bill 06-89, removed the liability of the seller and a real estate broker on misadvising the buyer what might be wrong with a purchase of a home in the HOA. With no commission to enforce the laws the buyer is at the mercy of the crooked property managers, and lawyers in the business of HOAs.

Question: Can a homeowner withhold payment of his assessments to the Board of Directors.

Answer: No. You cannot withhold payment of your assessments. Even if you are in a dispute as to what is owed Association. You must continue payments to keep current your assessments. The Board of Directors can hide the books you need to prove the charges against you are incorrect and without the books you can't sue the board. Yes the membership has the right to see the books but at the Dam East Homeowner Association for 7 years and three court orders to see the books only half the records were provided for review. The other half was keep by the attorney in his office to prevent a smoking gun to be found.

Question: once again the same question comes up about regulating the industry under the Real Estate Commission.

Answer: Morgan Carroll's only response was its very difficult involving the Sunshine Law and costs a lot and involves lots of work. It may even involve a public vote to get it passed. So what if it prove difficult if it will protect the citizens of Colorado from what we have now? The only solution to this problem is State Regulation by the Real Estate Commission, no matter what it costs. The public deserves it, the lawyers have had free reign over homeowners requiring them to incur the expense of going to court to enforce State laws to gain justice. The CCIOA needs to be revised without Morgan Carroll and the CAI involvement.

Question: was not until after I purchased the home that the management Company advised me I had bought into an HOA that has extensive debt.

Answer: the representative of CAI was totally wrong in his answer. The only check a Title Company does is to find out if the seller owes any outstanding fees to the HOA. The Title Company does not investigate the stability of a HOA's financial position. The only thing that the insurance company guarantees is that there is no outstanding debt owned by the individual seller as a liability to the buyer. Thanks to Morgan Carroll's new law 06-89 a seller nor the realtor can be held liable for not advising the buyer of the condition of the HOA.

Question: About properties that are foreclosed on by bank to bank does not help maintain the property. Shouldn't the bank be held responsible as an owner of property in maintaining it?

Answer: the representatives of CAI had the banks are hard to get a hold of and thus could be a problem. The Board of Directors has to have responsibility, no matter where the bank is doing business.

In summation this Sunday program was a sham and Channel 9 and the reporter needs to repeat program with all the big questions answered instead of only the ones cherry picked by Morgan Carroll and her partner of the CIA. The HOA problems are huge and exist across the entire country. Here is a State Representative misrepresenting how to solve the problem by adding mediation to the laws. The Public needs the Real Estate Commission to field the problems instead of members of HOA's hiring a tort twister to enforce State Statutes.

The problems of our State HOAs can't be handled by the justice system since a homeowner has to front all the expenses of the justice system while the Association Attorney and Board of Directors has the HOA General Funds to fight the homeowner.

Another reason the justice system doesn't work is very few lawyers will accept a member's lawsuit because they all know how slanted the judges are against homeowners who go against the government called the Board of Directors. You can't hire a lawyer to represent you in court in a dispute with your HOA. That's why for 9 years I have been pro se and paid he price by going to jail for 31` days while my board tried to intimidate me from demanding to see the full records of the Dam East Homeowner Association.

Visit my website at

Jim Burneson

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