Complaint alleged excessive charges, racketeering in HOA case

By TONY ILLIA

LAS VEGAS BUSINESS PRESS

A recent court ruling has valley homeowner associations breathing easier, but an attorney for investors on Friday promised the fight will go on.

Clark County District Court Judge Kathleen Delaney dismissed complaints against hundreds of local homeowner associations filed by nine disgruntled investment entities in late January. District Court Judge Jennifer Togliati dismissed a similar investor lawsuit in May against association collection agencies.

The defendants, which include such prominent neighborhoods as Aliante and Seven Hills, Silverado Ranch and Panorama Towers, were accused of excessive lien amounts and slander, racketeering and unjust enrichment. Associations, in short, are charging more than legally permissible under state law with accumulative fines, interest and assessments, the lawsuit says.

State secretary records identify the individuals associated with the investment entities as Ryan Welch, Sara Ferradino, Mickey Fouts, Greg Bohannon, John Gubler, Patrick and Phillip Ziade, and Andy Chu. Defendants consisted of Nevada Association Services, RMI Management, Homeowner Association Services and others.

“The court saw these as real estate speculators who are reaping thousands in profits by buying and flipping distressed homes,” Las Vegas-based Nevada Association Services President David Stone said of the Aug. 11 ruling. “Justice prevailed in this case.”

But James Adams, principal of Adams Law Group Ltd. in Las Vegas and attorney for the plaintiffs, said Friday: “The homeowners associations can collect for past due fines, fees, assessments and other charges against the original homeowner with no limit. When the first mortgage holder forecloses, all junior lien holders typically get extinguished, except a portion of the association liens. Homeowner associations can collect nine times their monthly dues assessment. The investor or bank is consequently being forced to pay that excess amount. That is the subject of the litigation. … (Investors) are being asked to pay thousands and thousands of dollars; it’s not about who is greedy and who is benefiting or not, but about demanding more money than they are legally entitled.”

Associations have become more aggressive in pursuing delinquent fees from foreclosed and distressed homes in disrepair, market observers say.

Las Vegas had the nation’s highest metropolitan foreclosure rate during the first half of 2010, Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac.com reported. One in 15 valley homes received a foreclosure notice through June, which is more than five times the national average. Associations struggle to collect unpaid dues from vacant and bank-seized homes, market observers say.

“There are a lot of unhappy and frustrated homeowners,” Las Vegas-based RMI Management President Kevin Wallace said. “We have also seen a lot of dead or dying landscaping, and pools going green. It’s very common.”

Laws went into effect in October that give associations more power to fight disrepair at neglected residences. Assembly Bill 361, for instance, empowers associations to upgrade poorly kept residences that create blight and depress surrounding property values. Homes that don’t meet neighborhood standards are subject to association improvements; homebuyers must reimburse expenses before gaining title.

Assembly Bill 204, meanwhile, extends associations’ superpriority lien ability, letting the groups collect nine months of unpaid dues, up from six months. Homebuyers must pay association dues before gaining ownership title.

“Homeowners associations are a touchy topic, with arguments to be made for both sides,” Las Vegas-based Home Builders Research Inc. President Dennis Smith said. “From a typical homeowner perspective, there is no way they should be able to walk away from liens and association assessments on distressed properties. Conversely, there is a need for investors in today’s market. But they are also going to make a profit by flipping or renting homes.”

Contact reporter Tony Illia at tonyillia@aol.com or 702-303-5699.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
MGM Grand Plans To Add Retail And Dining To Its Strip Facade
MGM Grand President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Sibella said executives are “discussing redeveloping that entire frontage of the building out to the Las Vegas Strip.” (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Boyd Gaming planning new corporate campus
Casino operator Boyd Gaming Corp. has filed plans to build a new corporate campus. The plans call for two 10-story office buildings and a six-level parking garage in the southwest Las Vegas Valley. Boyd Gaming operates The Orleans, the Suncoast, downtown's California Hotel and other properties. The new headquarters would be just a mile from its current main office building.
Bellagio Conservatory transformed to celebrate Year of the Pig
The Bellagio Conservatory Team transformed the 14,000 square foot conservatory to commemorate Chinese New Year, the holiday that marks the end of the coldest days of winter. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Intro uses sound to connect people
Intro, a startup that is part of the Future Worlds Accelerator in the UK, has an app that uses ultrasonic sound to find people and companies nearby.
CES 2019 Video: CES wraps up another year
Time-lapse video of the action at CES 2019 in Las Vegas. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Create your own beauty products
Beauty Mix by BeautyByMe is a product that lets you create your own cosmetics and beauty products. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Picobrew’s home brew machine
Picobrew brings automation to homebrewing. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Surviving CES
What it's like to spend four days working the mammoth tech convention. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Haier’s smart home
Haier presented smart home technology at CES 2019.
CES 2019 VIDEO: Foldimate makes laundry day easy
Foldimate has created a machine that will fold your laundry for you. Just feed it anything you need folded and it will do the rest. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Opte device corrects skin spots
Opte from Proctor and Gamble is a device for correcting spots and freckles from skin. It analyzes the area for spots and then covers them with a serum of matching skin tone. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Circa hotel-casino in downtown Las Vegas unveiled
Derek Stevens reveals Circa hotel-casino in downtown Las Vegas. He plans open by the end of 2020. (K.M Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Circa, new casino coming to Fremont Street
Casino owner Derek Stevens announces his new property Circa, coming to Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas in late 2020. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dreenk My Oeno makes wine suggestions
At CES 2019 in Las Vegas, the Dreenk My Oeno tells you all about wine.
Polaroid One Step Plus camera unveiled at CES 2019
Polaroid has moved into the digital age with its One Step Plus camera with Bluetooth. With the connected app, it turns your smartphone into a remote for the camera, along with filters and features.
Amazon is everywhere at CES 2019 in Las Vegas
Seemingly everything works with Amazon Alexa
LG Smart Mirror helps you dress snazzy
LG’s Smart Mirror is less of a mirror but more of an assistant to help get you looking snazzy. It takes your image and recommends clothes for you or matches existing clothes with new clothes, which can be purchased right from the mirror. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Underwater robots make waves at CES 2019 in Las Vegas
Robosea is a company dedicated to underwater robotics. They produce consumer robots for underwater filming as well as commercial products which can be used for underwater research. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019 - Victrola record players spin in Las Vegas
A new spin on an old favorite, Victrola record players are meeting a demand for retro products. The brand is also making furnitures with built-in speakers.
CES 2019: Slamtec robots ready to serve
Slamtec is a robotics company out of China whose goal is to provide solutions for laser localization mapping and navigation. They have created two autonomous robots that can be used in areas such as bars, restaurants and malls. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mixologiq drink maker appears at CES 2019 in Las Vegas.
This is the Mixologiq drink maker.
CES 2019: Veritable smart garden
Let’s face it; not all of us have green thumbs. And herbs are particularly difficult to grow, considering their constant need for sunshine. Enter the Veritable smart garden from Exky, which does it all for you. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bonnie Springs Ranch near Las Vegas being sold to developer
Bonnie Springs Ranch near Las Vegas is being sold to a developer, set to close in March. Bonnie Springs, west of Las Vegas off State Route 159 — next to Spring Mountain Ranch State Park — spans more than 60 acres and was on the market for $31 million. The developer and his project partner are under contract to buy the ranch and plan to chop it up mostly into custom-home lots. The plans includes a 25-room motel, a restaurant and a 5,400-square-foot event barn.
Bone-conduction headphones form Aftershokz
Aftershokz offers bone-conduction headphones - headphones that don’t go in the ear.
CES Happy Hour party at Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace
Conventioneers mingled during the Hardware Massive CES 2019 Happy Hour Bash at The Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Autonomous Cars and Futuristic Aircraft Rule CES
Day two of CES was dominated by autonomous cars and futuristic aircraft in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
TekNekSavr fights neck problems caused by smart phones
Atiya Syverson invented the TekNekSavr to help fight neck and head problems caused by strains while typing on smart phones. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New eyeglasses know if you fall and call for help
The French company Abeye has created eye glasses that will detect if the wearer falls and call for help. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Company that creates vibrator-like device claims genders bias against CES
Lora DiCarlo is a women-run start-up that creates a vibrator-like device designed for female pleasure called the Osé. This year they were awarded the CES Innovation Award in the Robotics and Drone Category, but a month later the Consumer Technology Association, which runs CES, rescinded the award and their booth. Haddock and her team believe it is a reflection of gender bias and sexism in an industry with a long history of male domination.
CES-Wagz has new pet products
Wagz has three new products to help create better lives for your pets in a digital world. One is a collar with LTE tracking and an HD camera. Also a smart pet door that only lets your pet in and out. Lastly, a device to humanely keep Fluffy out of certain areas of your home. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like