Fake HOA Files Real Liens

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By Jennifer Felten 

Tony Navarro, a resident of Missouri, was told by his neighbors to ignore the HOA invoices he receives in the mail. He was told the invoices are a scam, and the neighborhood does not have an HOA. However, right before Christmas last year, a $445 lien was filed against his property, as well as over 30 of his neighbors. The lien claimed it was because he didn’t pay his dues to the Summerfield Homeowners Association (SHOA). SHOA has no board and provides no services.

People called the phone number listed for SHOA. Instead of a company, they get a person unfortunate enough to have his phone number stolen. He’s been getting calls for over five years from people demanding SHOA stop sending them invoices. He has no association with SHOA, and probably wishes they’d stop more than anyone else so he can stop receiving so many phone calls.

There is no law in Missouri against filing a fake lien. It’s becoming a major problem and people are looking to enact legislation making it a felony. It’s easy to file a fake claim. The Recorder’s Office of each county claims they do not have the manpower to verify the legitimacy of each claim. They receive the document, verify it’s filled out correctly, and file it. This is true in most states throughout the country as well. In California, for example, the Recorder’s office is required to file a document presented to it for recording as long as it meets all the legal requirements of a validly recordable document irrespective and without verifying the accuracy of the contents.

Homeowners in Summerfield enlisted the help of the local news station, FOX4 Problem Solvers. Problem Solvers contacted Karen Sue Lovell. She is the person who filed the liens and is listed as the manager of SHOA. She wouldn’t open her door, and speaking behind a window of her home, she stated she had no comment. Lovell’s attorney sent a letter to Problem Solvers stating that Lovell believed there should be an HOA to pay for the upkeep of the lot containing the neighborhood’s drainage basin. It’s an odd request, since she doesn’t live in in the Summerfield neighborhood. Instead, she lives far away in the town of Independence.

Problem Solvers caught up with the second person behind SHOA, Al Roberts. Roberts is a retired Kansas City school teacher and he formed the company behind SHOA. He is also the individual who sent out the initial invoices. Roberts was very difficult to reach, since he’s currently living in federal prison. He was convicted of $3 million in mortgage fraud. A relative of Roberts claims he’s still running SHOA from his prison cell. The attorney representing SHOA denies that claim.

The good news is the liens have been dismissed. The bad news is there is currently nothing preventing new fake liens being filed.


Jennifer Felten

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Jennifer Felten, Esq., Relaw Ms. Felten specializes in representing both individuals and legal entities, providing representation and guidance on a variety of real estate related matters.  Relaw APC 699 Hampshire Road, Suite 105 Westlake Village, CA  91361 US Phone: (805) 265-1031 or email her at: jennifer@relawapc.com 

 

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