http://houston.indymedia.org/news/2009/07/67889.php

 

by Arthur Jameson Saturday, Jul. 25, 2009 at 11:35 PM

Former San Antonio HOA President has requested that a bankruptcy attorney be appointed HOA Receiver, for his own personal gain, while fate of homeowners and residents looms in balance.

 

48 families may soon be out on the street, even though homeowners have paid their mortgages and homeowners association dues on time. What is worse is that local government officials, including the Texas Attorney General, have refused to intervene to help homeowners at the Village at Woodlake Homeowners Country Club Association. Many homeowners and tenants there are low-income, elderly, disabled, minorities, women and/or veterans and wish very much to keep their homes. 

The Village at Woodlake Homeowners Association is in a state of disrepair. Some say that it has been grossly mismanaged over the past few years. What’s more is that people live in a hostile, suppressive environment, and are afraid to peacefully assemble or speak out because they are constantly threatened with the prospect of lawsuits. One particular individual has essentially made a living suing people across the country over the past few decades. He knows that homeowners do not have the financial resources to go up against him, and has filed various nuisance lawsuits against homeowners. 

Unbeknownst to homeowners, this month, the former HOA President filed suit against the homeowners association, and therefore all homeowners. The previous President served himself, as the agent on record, and did not bother to notify homeowners of this action. He is seeking $225,000, of which he admits to having already taken $96,000. This is unheard of, considering that Board Members are supposed to serve in a voluntary capacity. 

The former President has requested that the court appoint a bankruptcy attorney as receiver of the HOA, to “liquidate the assets as he sees fit,” so that the former President may collect the full $225,000 to which he claims entitlement. 

Homeowners who are aware of this situation are outraged. The previous President seeks to be compensated for a management contract that he wrote for himself in September 2008. As a condition of the contract, he stipulated that homeowners bond and indemnify him. Homeowners never agreed to these terms, as the document was signed in secrecy by the former President and 3 other Board Members. The former Board did not seek competitive management bids prior to contracting the former President. Less expensive bids obtained by individual homeowners for actual property management companies were rejected before even being heard by the previous Board. 

There currently is no Board of Directors because Travelers Insurance considered the previous Board too much of a risk, and discontinued the Directors & Officers Liability policy on June 10, 2009, citing too many claims as their reason. Travelers cancelled the policy immediately after the former President frivolously filed suit against 8 homeowners for $1,000,000. He claimed alleged defamation and interference with the contract he signed with himself. Travelers has actually appointed legal counsel to defend those 8 homeowners against the previous HOA President’s allegations. 

The previous Board waited until there was no more insurance before they stepped down, and failed to give homeowners any resources for establishing a new Board or liability insurance. Prior to resigning, the former President actually threatened to sue his successors to the HOA Board, knowing that nobody in their right mind would assume the liability involved without insurance to protect them. 

Now there is no Homeowners Association Board, and homeowners hope that the courts may appoint an impartial, objective third party as receiver to the association so that normalcy may be reestablished. They want to regain control of their association and run things responsibly and fairly. 

Homeowners want to have a full accounting for the finances over the past 4 years, since homeowners have not been allowed to see utility statements or financial records during that time. The former President was even been subpoenaed for a contempt of court hearing on July 22, 2009, for failing to provide financial records for a forensic audit. However, his attorney requested that it be postponed until a later date. 

Homeowners simply want to know how their money has been spent over the past few years. While buildings and common areas have been deteriorating, it seems that one former HOA President thought it more prudent to pay himself than to fix several unsightly, structural and safety-related problems. Water in the pool is putrefying and at least one unit is not even inhabitable. 

Brian Mylar of San Antonio’s KSAT News has told only part of this story. You may view it online at the following link:http://www.ksat.com/news/20018507/detail.html

A hearing is scheduled at the Bexar County Court House, in San Antonio, Texas at 9am on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 (Reference Cause # 2009-CI-11491). 

Please plan to attend and follow this case until a satisfactory conclusion may be met for all homeowners and tenants involved.