June  2010  

Associa buying Laguna Woods Property Management Company is out of the frying pan into the fire

 

Posted by Katie McDaniel  06-06-2010 03:00 PM

Laguna Woods, CA- I had to laugh when I first got the announcement about Associa buying PCM because the information came from chatter at a FOV meeting. PCM doesn’t even have the grace to inform boards of directors let alone give any real information to people who actually OWN the properties they manage. Does this mean that Daddy Disbro and Uncle Jeffy are taking their money and running? Is poor little sad sack Donny going to be left just holding the bag? IT’S YOUR HOME.

 

This is information I recently received about the company who bought PCM. It is VERY important to read this information. My personal opinion is that this transaction just brings us all that much closer to the total redevelopment of this community starting with United and it is now time to PAY ATTENTION. PCM MUST GO and GRF has to be restructured. THEN EVERY SINGLE DIRECTOR WHO HAS BEEN PART OF THE PROBLEM HELD PERSONALLY ACCOUNTABLE. IT’S YOUR HOME.

 

How long have we been calling for an executive director who answers to US and not to some for profit company? How long have we put up with  being told “it’s a crap sandwich but you’re just going to have to eat it”  or “fix your own damned faucet” by directors. Well, folks, you can sit still for this and just be moved along with the crowd who won’t stand up for their own homes or you can get busy right now and speak up. How many more times will you sit still and be told that “well, let’s just pass it for now and if it’s not legal we’ll fix it later”?

 

Ruth May and her little Friday night tea party with Milt Johns and the rest of the PCM Executive Staff, the incredible leakage of funds totaling millions, the outright abuse of members by refusing to allow their hospice workers in the gates while  drug dealers can wander around free on the streets, Russ Ridgeway and his history as VP Operations with Carolina Broadband and suddenly we have Connexion from NORTH CAROLINA running our broadband(all done in complete secret)…..it’s all part of the package. But we’re gonna spend half a million bucks PER GATE to beautify Laguna Woods Village which is REALLY LEISURE WORLD, thank you very much. I am personally starting a list of the people who have been involved in all the transactions and shenanigans that have gone on in here and I’m going to tick them off one at a time as they are taken out to prison. I wonder if they have trips to the Great Wall, the Great Barrier Reef and the Amazon Jungle on the daily agenda in Federal prison.

 

Read. Pass it along. Ignore this at your peril.  Welcome to Associa which now owns PCM.  START QUESTIONING IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY. DEMAND that your boards quit doing the work of PCM for PCM and begin doing the work of the MEMBERS FOR THE MEMBERS.

 

TEXAS SENATOR JOHN CARONA'S ASSOCIA INVADES FLORIDA

An Opinion By Jan Bergemann 
President, Cyber Citizens For Justice, Inc. 

Published September 6, 2009

 

Homeowners' activists from other states have warned us before. So did many media articles that were forwarded to us from other states. The warning read: BEWARE OF ASSOCIA!

 

Let's start with an explanation: ASSOCIA is not really a company.  Associa is a fictitious business name for Associations, Inc. - Senator Carona's holding company for all his HOA businesses. For many years Texas homeowners have complained that Texas State Senator John Carona is using his office to push favorable community association bills that help his business interests!

 

There are lots of newspaper articles describing problems with management companies that are part of the ASSOCIA network. Here are two examples:

   

Neighborhood regaining its self-respect

Harris County DA investigating homeowners’ claim that their former management firm mishandled things

Homeowners Associations Gone Wild

  

But John Carona's ASSOCIA doesn't only supply management services; they have as well their own bank: 

First Associations Bank

For more explanations please visit: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ASSOCIA as well supplies services as insurance agents under various names, like: 

Association Policyholders, Inc.

These entities actually only collect insurance premiums.

 

Full service corporation you would say?
Actually, I think it can create a serious conflict of interest if it comes to the required bidding process. 

 

This is the alleged Modus Operandi of ASSOCIA -- according to media articles and warnings of homeowners' activists from other states:

  • Help gullible or power-hungry members to be elected to the board or stay in power.
  • Take over the power from the board members with feel-good statements.
  • Create amendments to the governing documents that allow a small minority to amend the governing docs. 
  • Make sure that the association funds are under the supervision of the management company.
  • Flood the neighborhood with violation letters.

That was obviously a pattern that was reported in media articles from Texas, Nevada and California. Together with the complaints of owners that the management company failed to properly maintain the neighborhood. A recent article in the Houston Chronicle reported (quote): "Harris County DA investigating homeowners’ claim that their former management firm mishandled things."

 

According to the ASSOCIA WEBSITE there are currently four management companies in Florida that are part of the ASSOCIA Network:

 

Benson's
12650 Whitehall Drive
Fort Myers, FL 33907


3050 Horseshoe Drive North Unit 275
Naples, FL 34104

Community Management Professionals
5401 S. Kirkman Road -- Suite 450
Orlando, FL 32819


800 Celebration Avenue -- Suite 224
Celebration, FL 34747

Association Services of Florida
10112 USA Today Way
Miramar, FL 33025

CMC - Jacksonville
7400 Baymeadows Way -- Suite 317
Jacksonville, FL 32256

  

Early this year the owners of a condo association in Jacksonville smelled the rat in time. They felt that their sitting board was -- together with the management company -- up to no good and recalled the board. The new board's first action: Fire the management company!

 

It looks like the latest takeover of a homeowners' association is planned in the L'ETOILE HOMEOWNERS' ASSOCIATION in Hollywood.

In a NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING, signed by:

ASSOCIATION SERVICES OF FLORIDA
An Associa member company
As Managing Agent for: L'ETOILE HOA

the membership is asked to change the requirements for amending the declaration from 66-2/3% of the total membership to "the affirmative vote or written consent of a majority of the voting interests of the Membership present in person or by proxy at a meeting at which a quorum is present". 

 

Florida statutes FS 720.306(1)(a) require 30 percent of the total voting interests to constitute a quorum at a meeting of the members. If the required quorum of 30% is present (or represented by proxy) and only a majority of these owners is needed to amend the declaration, we are down to 16% of the whole membership to approve any amendment. Huge difference between 66-2/3% and 16%?

 

A very small minority could now amend the declaration, adding horrible power-grabbing provisions to the governing documents.

  

If the proposed amendment passes and if the modus operandi continues, the board will quickly be advised by ASSOCIA to change the bylaws and require a lower percentage for a quorum at a membership meeting -- as allowed by FS 720.306(1)(a): "Unless a lower number is provided in the bylaws, ......" Then suddenly a tiny minority can call the shots! And the total power is in the hands of just a few!

    

In my opinion this is an obvious attempt to hand the whole association power over to a small group of owners, taking any decision-making power away from the membership. Only members who favor living under a dictatorship can actually favor such an amendment.

 

But it gets worse if you read the reason given for this "much needed" amendment.

This amendment is for the purpose of charging home owners for the related Attorney fees when they are in violation of the Rules and Regulations.
** Every owner of the Association will have to continue to pay for the legal fees that result from the owners who are in violation being sent to the Attorney for compliance.
** In addition, for large attorney costs, special assessments may be required, which will be charged to homeowners. Please help the Board to keep costs down by having the owners who are in violation pay for their own legal fees.

How can a simple amendment reducing the percentage of votes required to amend the declaration have an impact on the legal fees? This amendment is just the beginning. 

What follows will be much worse: 

Since 2004 Florida statutes FS 720.305(2) state: "A fine shall not become a lien against a parcel." 

That didn't sit well with many attorneys and management companies and they are trying to circumvent the law. Easy enforceable fines have always served as a great way to shut up outspoken homeowners or owners who didn't stand at attention as soon as board members, managers and attorneys said so. And it was always a great source of income for the folks pushing "violation" enforcement!

Please read: SOME CALL IT ENFORCING DEED RESTRICTIONS -- OTHERS CALL IT HIGHWAY ROBBERY! This article shows what horrible effect amended declarations can have. Please note: As an owner you are still liable for the attorney's fees -- no matter if the so-called violation was just bogus!

Here is another example of a letter of a manager to an owner threatening with a fine. "If the violations are not corrected as requested a fine of $100.00 per day not to exceed a $1000.00 maximum as allowed by State law will be imposed against your home. If a fine is imposed, invoiced and not paid your monthly maintenance fees will be used to satisfy the outstanding fine leaving your homeowners' association account delinquent. If your homeowners' association maintenance account becomes delinquent more than 90 days, the account will be turned over to the associations attorney who will proceed with the filing of a lien against the home. If a lien is filed, all attorney's fees and court costs will be the responsibility of the home owner."

Even if this manager is going totally overboard, it shows how far some of them are willing to go -- to the detriment of the homeowner.

These are just some examples of what amendments can do -- turning a neighborhood community into a dictatorship where a "managing agent" will run the show!

In case you haven't read enough, here is the icing on the cake. The last sentence of the section that is supposed to be amended -- actually 98% of it will plainly be deleted -- says (quote): "This  section may not be amended." I'm not a lawyer and didn't pass the BAR exam, but wouldn't that clearly mean that this section can't be altered or changed? Most likely some smart lawyer will come along saying that this doesn't amend this section -- it deletes it. Point taken, but Merriam Webster says as explanation for the word amend: "to alter formally by modification, deletion, or addition." How much clearer does it get?

And in case you missed it, the NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING reads: "Thirty percent (30%) of all association members (a "quorum") must be present, in person or by proxy, at the meeting, in order for the business to be conducted."

In my opinion they still need the vote of approval of 66-2/3 percent of the total membership to pass the planned amendment of the section, which, according to the declaration, can't be amended. The new provisions are not in effect until the majority of the membership votes in favor -- if it can legally amended at all!

I sincerely hope the membership of the L'ETOILE HOMEOWNERS' ASSOCIATION will smell the rat before it's too late! This is power mongering at its worst!

Homeowners really should think twice before voting in favor of such an amendment. It's a sure bet to financial disaster. 

This is a typical example for the actions homeowners’ activists warned us about when talking aboutASSOCIA: GRABBING POWER STEP BY STEP!

Florida's condo owners and homeowners beware: Senator John Carona's ASSOCIA is coming to town. Hold on to your wallets!

 

LAGUNA WOODS - Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT I Inc. and PGGM Private Real Estate Fund purchased San Sebastian, a 134-unit active-seniors multifamily community on a three-acre site at 24299 Paseo de Valencia, through a partnership with Alliance Residential.

PGGM Adds $300 Million

To Behringer Harvard JV

DALLAS – PGGM Private Real Estate Fund is anteing up another $300 million for its joint venture relationship with Behringer Harvard. In two previous tranches, the Dutch pension fund has contributed $200 million to the locally based investment group for its acquisition of multifamily properties in the U.S.

To date, Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT I has amassed a 4,741-unit portfolio, buying 17 upscale properties in 10 states from the co-investment till. The JV's focus has been major metropolitan areas, including Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Denver, Fort Lauderdale and Los Angeles.

"We believe that PGGM's decision to increase its investment in our U.S. multifamily platform is a vote of confidence in the quality of the diversified portfolio we have built together thus far," saidMark T. Alfieri, executive vice president of real estate for the Dallas-based investment group.

Behringer Harvard, as before, will be the driving force for acquisition, asset management and disposition services, legal and accounting services and property management.

 

http://www.ahrc.se/new/index.php/src/tools/sub/yp/action/display/id/1863

Information about Senator John J. Carona - Texas Senator - Associa Management Company Owner

Senator John J. Carona - Texas Senator - Associa Management Company Owner 
P.O. Box 600035
Dallas, Texas 75360-0035
Phone: 800.808.4882     Fax: 
http://www.associaonline.com/
Trademember: CAI 
Rank: No ranking.

Summary: Texas Senator John Carona: a realtor, owner of the largest HOA management company in the U S , CAI foreclosure trade group member, CAI lobbyist - he lobbies for CAI interests in the legislative hearings and committees in spite of his conflict of interest, See complaints published by Texas property owners about techniques Carona and his management business uses to foreclose on homes to skirt Texas property laws that do not allow HOAs to foreclose for fines.
Senator HOA Manager John Carona - the Powerful CAI foreclosure lawyers and managers lobbyist in the Texas Legislature


Other Information: Comment 1. TUPCA and it's strongest supporter, State Senator John J. Carona and he makes lawyers and realtors very rich 

• Senator John J. Carona - a real estate broker, a homeowner association management company owner, and a CAI activist, has been lobbying for Texas laws that take away the constitutional and property rights of homeowners and benefit the homeowner association industry lawyers, managers, brokers and developers. The legislation he helped shape has been very profitable for his real estate business. His website states that his management company is now the largest in America and he is now on an acquisition spree for more management companies. Comment 5. TUPCA has been gamed by CAI from day one. 
• Lobbied for CAI and real estate industry interests as Texas State Representative (3 terms) , Senator (since 1996).
• Owns: Associa Management Company Purchased N N Jaesche in 2005
• involved in home construction, and maintenace 
• On an acquisistion spree for America's homeowner association management companies 
John J. Carona, President & Chief Executive Officer
Bradford J. Brady, Senior Vice President
W. Stephen Castle, Vice President
William Cretney, Senior Vice President & Chief Technology Officer
Ronald Duprey, Vice President
Helen V. Eden, Senior Vice President & Chief Integration Officer
Mark S. Friedman, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel
Michael T. Hallick, Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
Mark Lewis, Vice President
Bernard S. Meyer, Senior Vice President - Business Development
Marjorie Jean Meyer, Vice President - Dean, Associa University
Vicki Ward, Vice President

 

http://nreionline.com/seniorshousing/real_estate_behringer_harvard_delves/

The above article indicates that, contrary to what we've been told, the San Sebastian was purchased by a partnership of Behringer Harvard and PGGM and Alliance.  Alliance is not the sole owner.  Behringer Harvard is located in Dallas.  Associa's headquarters are in Dallas.  I don’t believe in coincidence.  Associa is busy buying up everything that isn't nailed down at bargain basement prices.  In my opinion, if we don't rid ourselves of PCM in a hurry, we'll be owned by Associa before we can say "How did this happen?"
--------------------

 "Texas Senator John Carona: a realtor, owner of the largest HOA management company in the U S , CAI foreclosure trade group member, CAI lobbyist - he lobbies for CAI interests in the legislative hearings and committees in spite of his conflict of interest, See complaints published by Texas property owners about techniques Carona and his management business uses to foreclose on homes to skirt Texas property laws that do not allow HOAs to foreclose for fines."

 

"Senator John J. Carona - a real estate broker, a homeowner association management company owner, and a CAI activist, has been lobbying for Texas laws that take away the constitutional and property rights of homeowners and benefit the homeowner association industry lawyers, managers, brokers and developers. The legislation he helped shape has been very profitable for his real estate business. His website states that his management company is now the largest in America and he is now on an acquisition spree for more management companies."

 

 

 


 

 

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Taking a page out of the OC Register?s ?paraphrased reporting?, an article written by LA Times staff writer Diane Weder titled ?Bill to limit transfer fee founders?, published appropriately on May 13, 2007, quotes the president of the statewide Realtors...

 

Private Transfer Tax - Good for the Common Interest Development (HOA/CID) Industry or Good for the Politicians?
When we received our copy of the report that the California Association of Realtors (CAR) used to Sponsor and help draft transfer fees, we were confused. Given that Vanitzian has become an icon in Sacrament (some say a thorn in the legislature's side),...

Management company's tape-recording tactic puts homeowners at risk
Question: Because our management company has been sued before, it has a policy of recording all incoming and outgoing phone calls. Before a management employee answers the phone, there is an automatic announcement warning callers they are being recorded....

Of Trial Lawyers, the AAJ and the Democratic Party
The National College of Advocacy and AAJ Education maintain two distinct programs that recognize AAJ lawyer member efforts in pursuit of advanced legal learning and professional development?the Achievement Recognition Program and Advanced Studies in Trial...

Laguna Woods Village CC&Rs, What CC&Rs? I Got Your CC&Rs Right Here!
Coto de Caza is not the only place where the board of directors consistently either disregard the civil code, governing documents (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions - CC&Rs) or even the moral code.

 

What is better in HOA Management? Transparency and Accountability or Feel Good?May 22, 2007
Mostly as a result of the Enron and Worldcom scandals, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 known as the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act of 2002 and commonly called SOX; was enacted to provide business executives with less wiggle...

HOW DO OWNERS SPELL L-A-W S-U-I-T? SENATE BILL NO. 127!X
This author asks WHERE ARE THE PENALTIES AGAINST MANAGEMENT COMPANIES AND BOARDS? WHAT?S THE PENALTY FOR BREAKING THE LAWS THAT THESE LEGISLATORS ARE PASSING?

 

Two of the Worst & Most Detrimental Laws to Hit California are Sponsored by None Other than: California Association of Realtors (R) The Gold is Gone --No more gold in the Golden State!
Dear Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger,
SHATZI! PLEASE REMEMBER YOUR PROMISE TO US. Please listen to the people who support you and look to you to help us! When you first began buying property in California NO ONE told you what you could or could not do...

THE LAW OF INTENDED CONSEQUENCES - WHAT A DIFFERENCE A "WORD" MAKES: NO! ON ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 563
It apparently does not matter that titleholders with a vested interest in their property cannot get their legislators to carry legislation to help US, but, they can waste taxpayer funds by preventing the bills WE WANT and NEED by CHANGING *ONE* WORD in an...

EMERGENCY! EMERGENCY! OOPS! WE JUST HAD THE MEETING! YOU MISSED IT!!
So THIS is what the Senate calls an "Open Meeting." How many Open Meetings have THEY been to? Obviously not many. ROTFLMAO!

 

CAN YOU OUTSWIM YOUR HOA SHARKS? or will you drown trying?
Owning, let alone living in an HOA is a tough JOB and requires you be physically fit, possess a certain sophistication of the processes, and have the character let alone stamina, that allows you to be persistent in a manner that indescribable to REAL...

HEY GRAY PANTHERS! YOU GOT IT WRONG!
(c) D. Vanitzian
May 16, 2007The Gray Panthers are on record as SUPPORTING A BAD BAD BAD BAD BILL: Senate Bill Number 948. SHAME ON YOU. Where the heck are you getting your information from?

The Law of Unintended Consequences: Legislation and HOA BOD Cause and Effect: Clueless in my CAR


Coming off a most improbable but successful campaign to defeat SB 670 author and HOA advocate Vanitizian thanks supporters making a connection between the quality of legislation being passed in Sacramento, and the quality of life in most homeowners...

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

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