AZHOC - Arizona Homeowners Coalition
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HOA harassment, retaliation and falsifying minutes

Do you think it is worth our time to file a complaint with AG.
We have worked with an attorney , but board and manager are sending wrong document to delay, delay and costing us more and more. They even went as far as falsifying minutes to
support their claim. The manager confessed although we think she is covering for the board, now protected by HOA attorney. Never experienced anything like this.
Thank you
Bente Hewitt.

7 Responses

  1. Dennis Legere

    Bente;

    Unfortunately the AG will do little to nothing to deal or help homeowners in Common Interest communities. As corporations operating under terms of a contract HOA or Condo issues are beyond the scope of authority of the Attorney General. Unless you can provide credible cause for action against an association or its board that is criminal in nature like embezzlement or fraud you will get little help from the AG’s office. Trust me many have tried in the past all to no avail.

    The AG will also no longer even write an AG opinion on an HOA or Condo issue even is asked to do so by a legislator. In the history of Arizona there has been only one AG opinion ever written directly related to Common Interest Community issues and that was in 1997.

    Let me just tell you that what you are experiencing is far too common. The association knows that they have an endless supply of money thru assessments and special assessments and if they cannot win a case on the law they will use every tactic they can come up with, to out last the limited personal assets of a homeowner or group of homeowners. They will file motion after motion and feign ignorance in providing even subpoenaed documents to delay the hearings. If they cannot win on the law than time and money is on their side and they will simply wait you out until you fold.

    If you have an attorney he should be advising you and taking action to stop this game in your best interest. Just remember that billable hours are billable hours and he will make more money the longer this is drawn out as well.

    As for falsifying minutes, creative minute writing is an art form and totally within the direction of the board. Because minutes do not include everything that was discussed in a meeting does not make them false. If however a vote of the board was taken to take action and the minutes do not reflect that action the minutes are not falsified they are simply incomplete. If however minutes were taken and subsequently approved and then changed without a new approval of the change, then official corporate documents were falsified after the fact without the approval of the board. To make such a claim you would bear the burden of proof and would need to file suit in Superior Court.

    If proven this could be criminal in nature and the AG does have a separate division that investigates and prosecutes fraud cases. I highly doubt that the AG would take on such a case for one set of minutes unless that act was based on concealing more significant criminal activity.

    What are the issues you are pursuing maybe I can help on that front?

    Dennis

  2. Bente Hewitt

    Hi Dennis
    Thank you for responding so quickly. Yes our attorney Jon Dessaules told us not to spend any more money as nothing got accomplished. The last straw for him too was the falsified minutes.
    We got s copy of Jan8th 2019 minutes through our attorney not stamped approved. We knew right away they were falsiifuef, because we
    had a copy of the original approved minutes. Because of our conflict with the board and knowing our president was not up front and honest we had printed out all the minutes for
    2018 and 2019 because we suspected they were cabable of doing just what they did.
    We are positive it was the president changing the minutes together with our manager, but she took the fall and the HOA attorney said it was an honest mistake.
    This is when out attorney advised us we would not get anywhere unless we filed a lawsuit and that was not worth paying for.
    Since then we have met with upper management of the management company and they also told us the manager had confessed, but does not know why she did it.
    I also had a long talk with the CEO and he is telling me that they cannot fire the manager because she is now protected by the HOA attorney.
    Last meeting they voted to amend the Jan 8th 2019 minutes to include werbage that never took place. I just looked today and the amended Jan 8th minutes are now posted and approved, but not the werbage they approved in the meeting.
    We are just disgusted.

    There is nowhere for homeowners to go at all.
    What is you experience with AACM?

    1. Dennis Legere

      Bente;
      As usual Jonathan is right in his recommendation. To pursue falsifying corporate records would be cost prohibitive unless that act caused significant harm for which you could claim damages. And you are again accurate in your assessment of justice for homeowners, there is little you can do or few options to get justice with these communities. What you can do however is initiate a petition to remove the board or at least remove the leaders of that board for not fulfilling their obligations to the community. It’s not easy to do that but it remains the only answer for many of homeowners issues.

      Dennis

    1. Dennis Legere

      Bente
      The Arizona Association of Community Managers claims to hold their members accountable to their standards, but I’ve never experienced that to be true in any way. Community managers pay a significant amount annually to be part of this trade group in order to claim some sort of legitimacy by paying for and attending their training classes, and to take advantage of their lobbying power. AACM is a meaningless certification similar to participation trophies for youth sports, you get it for participation in their training program not for actually knowing or understanding the fundamentals or property servitudes law that truly govern these communities. In fact the principles of this common law are not even taught in their certification courses.
      If you think that Linda Lang the CEO of AACM cares in the slightest about what any homeowner thinks of their community manager, you would be wrong. The community managers don’t work for the community homeowners they work for the association, and their focus is to only serve the board representing the association not the homeowners paying for their service. This organization is about making more money for its members in any way that they can, and all that money comes out of the pockets of the homeowners. AACM will not drop or discipline any management company that pays them thousands of dollars a year simply because homeowners complained to them about a particular manager or the company in general. While AACM will claim that they only represent community manager the reality again is quite different, They have affiliated partners that are mostly HOA attorneys that also pay up to $12,000 per year for that affiliation, do you believe for one minute that AACM will refuse that money because those attorneys abuse homeowners?
      I thing you get a picture of what I think of AACM. Any homeowner looking for help from AACM is a waste of time. The only homeowner that I know of who looked for help from AACM and actually got it relative to an issue with a community manager just happened to be the lobbyist for the Arizona Realtors Association the most powerful political force in the state. Of course those two facts were totally unrelated.

      Dennis

  3. Bente

    Hi Dennis
    I appreciate your answers so much and really enjoy reading truthful information.
    My husband and I are very knowledgeable in this field of finance and real estate, but the last few months fighting with our board and management company had really opened our eyes much wider. We are flabbergasted as to what is going on.
    I have not explained what our original dispute was and right now it really does not matter.
    For almost a year now we have been subject to harassment, retaliation and lies, because we are knowledgeable and speak out.
    We have lived in this community since 2005 and it is only since this president and this new manager that we have felt the need to speak up.
    I would advice anybody to not bother getting an attorney unless you are asking for large damages and even then there are no guarantees.
    It is really hard to be knowledgeable and then constantly being lied to.
    I wish we had learned about your organization earlier.
    Thank you so much for what you do. Reading your responses are like a breath of fresh air.
    Today we are letting everything go and celebrate our experiences. Even though we lost our case we feel like we came out on top.
    Honesty always win and karma is the shits.

    1. Dennis Legere

      Bente;

      Thank you for your kind words, please tell all your friends and neighbors about our organization and ask them to join us in our fight for basic fairness and fundamental rights for homeowners. I cannot directly help people that do not know that we are here for them. Together I truly believe that we can make a difference to make these communities places where all the 3.5 million Arizonians living in them, can simply live and enjoy their lives and their homes in peace.

      Dennis

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