Las Vegas Man Takes on HOA's and Collection Agencies
Las Vegas, NV - When you join a Homeowner Association, you commit to the rules, and to paying the dues. But one local man says HOA's are going too far, and he's working diligently to even the playing field for homeowners.
Jonathan Friedrich wants to change a state law. "It's a cancer on our society," he describes. "It gives the boards that run the HOA's tremendous power over the people that live in the associations."
A big part of his fight, is getting rid of the collection agencies hired by HOA's. "They're worse than the mafia," he says. "They make the mafia look like choir boys."
The $900 Lillian Bossart owed in HOA fines and payments turned into $6,000 after a collection agency got involved. Now she's facing foreclosure. "I'm a slave to my community association," she says.
And for Jay Gee, $142 became $2,500 after he bought a foreclosed property that was already behind in HOA dues. "During the time I owned it, I was never notified of any debt," he says. "But when it came time to sell the property I found out that a collection agency wanted $2,500 in debt, in attempts to collect the $142."
But on the other side of the coin, you have the fact that hundreds of vacant properties, and thousands of dollars in unpaid dues are taking a toll on many of these HOA communities.
"They are cheating the people that live next door to them," says David Stone, who runs the collection agency, Nevada Association Services. "The costs don't just jump from $50 to over $1,000. The costs accrue over time and it's because of their failure to respond that causes the cost to increase."
He says the focus shouldn't be on changing state law, but rather on holding people accountable. "When they buy into a homeowner association, they buy into responsibility and obligation to pay," he says. "When they don't, they suffer the consequence. It's no one else's fault but their own."
Jonathan Friedrich has developed a website, a petition, and potential revisions to the current state law regarding HOA's, and he's trying to talk with as many state leaders as possible about lessening the power of these organizations.
His website is www.the-hoa-advocate.com