By Tara Owen
Mention Home Owner Associations (HOAs) to any Las Vegas home owner and you are sure to get a passionate love them or hate them response. Many home owners I’ve met with are bitter over the fines imposed by HOAs for seemingly trivial violations.
The ongoing controversy of fraudulent practices, excessive assessments, and egregious collection costs of HOA fees on Las Vegas home owners has reached national attention as two local attorneys have filed a federal lawsuit against hundreds of Nevada HOAs and collection agencies.
Attorneys Puoy Premsrirut and James Adams filed the lawsuit under the False Claims Act against 500 Nevada HOAs in a federal court last year. The lawsuit, which can be read in full http://www2.8newsnow.com/docs/hoa_lawsuit.pdf, was unsealed in April to reveal allegations of conspiracy to fraud the United States government by overcharging Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in excess of $15 million dollars in assessments and collection costs on REO properties.
Strategically getting the U.S. government involved in this recent lawsuit is a brilliant move by Premsrirut and Adams, which falls in a series of lawsuits filed over the years fighting the alleged crime of exorbitant in the HOA collection fees being charged to Las Vegas home owners.
The attorneys insist that under Nevada law NRS 16.3116, in foreclosure situations, the assessments and costs that can be levied against delinquent properties “are limited to nine months immediately preceding institution of an action to enforce the lien unless federal regulations adopted by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac require a shorter period of priority for the lien in which case the nine month period is reduced to a six month period.” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have adopted such underwriting guidelines, which limits the HOA “super priority lien” — a lien superior to the first mortgage — to 6 months in the Federal Loan Mortgage Corporation Act 12 U.S.C 1455.
The HOAs listed in the lawsuit allegedly charged Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac every month the HOA dues went unpaid, along with additional late fees and collection costs for past due obligations. Continue reading »
By Jared James
I am going to keep this brief. I’m writing this article sitting in the West Virginia airport on my way home after speaking at the West Virginia Association of REALTORS®. I am right in the middle of what I call “convention season,” which consists of the months of September and October. During this time I will keynote more than 20 events for state associations and companies, requiring me to hit the road pretty hard.
In the last month I have spent a collective one week at home, which can be difficult with two adorable boys at home, ages 5 and 3. In fact, a couple of weeks ago I had just finished up speaking at the Texas Association of REALTORS® Convention and Xplode Conference and had to speak in Wyoming the next day. It seems like an easy flight from Texas to Wyoming, but instead I decided to fly back across the country, land in New York, drive home and spend 2 ½ hours with my kids and put them to bed, just to go back to the airport and fly back across the country to Wyoming to do my event. For the parents out there, you know that this was a small price to pay to be able to tuck my kids in at night instead of the usual Skype call before they went to bed.
While these two months are not the usual for me and my family, they are still a reality. While my job requires a lot of travel, it is also true that most events are not held on weekends so I am almost always home and able to coach my kids’ teams on Saturdays and Sundays – with exception of this last weekend when I had to miss my 5-year-old’s soccer game because I had to catch a flight.
I don’t write this so you will feel sorry for me. I have a great life and I’m able to inspire and have an affect on a lot of people, which is an amazing feeling and a great calling. I am more so writing this because my life is not normal, I admit, but I have the honor of working with a lot of REALTORS® and salespeople and the one thing I always hear them tell me is that their family comes first. While, for some, this may be true, actions speak louder than words. Continue reading »
By Peter N. Lamandre
No Apple event would be complete without a post from me, the self-proclaimed “Über Apple Fan-boy.” iOS 6 is finally here and the new features are aplenty…
I will rundown a few of the super cool new things iPhone/iPad users can now do.
Let’s start with the new maps app replacing the previous map application, which was a Google product. It’s clear that Google was holding back some of the cool features in the iOS version of their product as the Android version had far superior features. Can you really blame Google though? Would you really provide your competitor with a “great product” or a “just okay” one? So Apple took the bull by the horns and created a new map app from the ground up, and I must say, so far this is a killer app. With all the iOS users out there, I can not see how the GPS companies will stay in business. The turn by turn is smooth, and so far it is accurate — hopefully it won’t send me into a corn field as I test in in some rural areas in the next few days. I took a spin on the highway and the anonymous crowd-sourced data to determine traffic patterns seems to be spot-on.
Mail received a facelift with the ability to now directly insert pictures and movies from the mail screen. Seems like a simple idea, but the insertion of videos and pictures was previously a cumbersome task, now it’s easy peasy lemon squeezy. I frequently read messages then mark them as “unread” in order to remind me to go back and do something with the email… I know I can flag them but I prefer to mark as unread so I was a bit scared when I could not find the “Mark as unread” link where it normally is. You can now find it in the lower left hand corner of your screen under the flag icon.
In the camera and photo features, there is now a built in panorama shooting mode in the iPhone, but not the iPad. I have used many panoramic apps over the years, and this one is fast, easy, and the sticking works very well. The photo app has noticeably faster loading, which I’m sure all the users can appreciate. The addition of a multiple photo stream will allow users to quickly share specific photos either publicly or privately by invitation only. I can think of numerous real estate-related uses for this feature.
As REALTORS®, we are always in meetings with clients, or in committee meetings where phones can be a distraction. Continue reading »
By Alex Milshteyn
Unpredictability is a big part of our careers as REALTORS®. I have been selling real estate for nearly 12 years and as soon as I get comfortable with, the market the rug is pulled right from underneath me and my business is thrown into disarray.
After five years of negative media coverage on our market and a downward pricing of homes, I was used to the negativity. I was used to calling my sellers every week and not having anything to talk about other than the need to drop their price. I was used to buyers taking their sweet time with no sense of urgency to find a home. I was used to showing 50+ houses to a buyer just to get through the short list of houses meeting their criteria. I was used to negotiating the deal then renegotiating the deal after inspections then renegotiating the deal at the appraisal and then again renegotiating the deal prior to closing. I was use to apologizing for this market. And last but not least, I was use to being content with what my job had become.
Like many REALTORS®, I think we got use to the negativity and we did the best we could. I saw many friends go out of business, and the sad story is I saw some friends lose their homes like many of our clients because of this market and the economy.
All in all, what we all went through was sad. But we all knew things would eventually change. I am happy to report that the rug was pulled from underneath me once again. This time it’s for the better.
In my travels throughout the country, I am happy to report that it seems most markets are rebounding, especially in the hardest hit states like Florida, Michigan, Nevada, California, and Continue reading »
By Jennifer Klein
I’m a two-year chair of the Placer County Association of REALTORS® Young Professionals Network and I was recently nominated to the 2013 Placer County Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors. In my video below, I share why and how I became involved with the board, as well as the benefits of getting involved in your local association.
Jennifer Klein is a REALTOR® in Northern California who is experienced in short sales, investments, and property management. Connect with Jen at RosevilleAndRocklin.com, JenKlein.com, and @JenKleinSac.
By Dave Robison
It was a beautiful day and I was excited to get working. One of my agents, Debbie, came into the office all ready to start her day, too. She had a buyer who, though she had seen around 15 homes, couldn’t come to a conclusion about what she wanted to buy. I had shown the same buyer homes, and I knew about her difficulty with decision making as well.
Debbie said to me, “I don’t know what to do. The buyer isn’t a fun buyer; she’s kinda grumpy. She doesn’t care about me, and is wasting my time. She’s really becoming a pain in my butt.” I noticed how Debbie didn’t have any energy to help this buyer, and she was just talking negatively about the client.
I said, “You know what? The client told me just yesterday how she liked you and thought highly of you.”
Debbie’s face seemed to glow. “Really?’ she said.
“Yes, and you can’t let someone down who likes you. Help her out.”
The next thing you know, her energy level picked up. The buyer bought a home, and Debbie and the buyer started going to lunches together. Debbie and the buyer’s relationship changed not because of something the buyer did. It changed because Debbie’s perception changed. She treated the buyer differently because she couldn’t let down someone who liked her. She stopped talking negatively about the client and treated the buyer like royalty.
Talking negatively about other people is like taking cocaine. It becomes addicting, and before you know it, your business suffers. Continue reading »