Report: #876978

Complaint Review: Newington Forest Community Association

  • Submitted: Wed, May 02, 2012
  • Updated: Wed, May 02, 2012
  • Reported By: Disgusted — United States of America
  • Newington Forest Community Association

    Springfield, Virginia
    United States of America

Newington Forest Community Association Rees Broome,Community Associations Institute Collusion to Extort Large Sums of Money from HOA Homeowners Springfield, Virginia

*Consumer Comment: Update

*General Comment: Will the person who filed this please let me know how to contact them?

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Do not purchase property within the Newington Forest Community Association or which is otherwise represented by Rees Broome and/or affiliated with the Community Associations Institute. These groups collude with each other to extort money from homeowners in order to unduly enrich themselves and their principals.

In my case,  in addition to all ofother numerous abuses to which I was subjected at the hands of these (alleged) criminals, the NFCA community trumped up violations against me. The citations were simply nonexistent. When I tried to address them, Rees Broome  demanded more money through a deluge of letters. These issues were created by vandals who were admitted agents of the HOA and created the issues in advance of my being cited and fined thousands of dollars for them. The same issues under new ownership on the same house were not considered to be covenant issues at all.  The never were to begin with.

Essentially the HOA perceived that I had substantial equity in my house and made a dash for my assets.
Since all of the qualified attorneys in the area I interviewed were in business with the CAI and/or Rees Broome, I was forced to retain out of state counselin Washington, DC, who pointed out to the HOA and Rees Broome that what they were doing was illegal and in violation of covenants.  Rees Broome's representatives (Courtney Harden and Kim O'Halloran) responded that since he was not licensed to practice in Virginia, they did not have to listen to his arguments, even though they were valid and consistent with the covenants, Virginia state law, and Rees Broome's own literature explaining what is legal/acceptable or not.  In turn, I had to retain second counsel a VA prosecutor to threaten

litigation so they would engage us in good faith. Despite retaining Virginia counsel, Rees Broome then proceeded to violate the agreements these lawyers had established with them and grab five times the final amount discussed.

According to covenants and the law, a homeowner cannot be cited without being brought before the Board of Directors for hearings -to address the citations. I was never presented this opportunity. In fact,  when my attorney attempted to arrange for hearings, Rees Broome went ahead and filed a lien against my property before the hearings were even held.

At the closing of the sale of my property, when I was first informed of the lien, Rees Broome lied to my settlement company about its legitimacy, forcing me to pay out. When I contacted the Board of Directors, I was told that they had no say whatsoever in the lien-that the matter was adjudicated entirely by Rees Broome and the CAI-sanctioned office manager, Stephanie Jackson.  The Board was cirumvented altogether, in violation of the law and covenants.

According to covenants, in order for a lien to have been valida suit must have been filed, and the HOA

must have prevailed. This never happened. Instead, the HOA picked a number out of the air, assigned it to my property and claimed it at closing while falsely alleging that the matter had gone to court.

The $15,000 I was billed incorporated the maximum amount of $3800 for four citations, including  eggs

thrown against my house by the HOA's agents, soil erosion under the steps of my house created by the HOA's agents, the fact that grass grew in bunches, and that my lawn was slightly impertfect.  The lien

incorpoated an addition $4000 for attorney feeseven though, according to the law, my attorney, and the Rees Broome's own literature affirm, attorney fees cannot be claimed outside a court judgment nor did the covenants even authorize this. So, in addition to paying attorney fees for counsel Rees Broome and the HOA entirely ignored to address covenant violations they had entirely trumped up, they forced to to pay their attorney fees.

Rees Broome then tacked on another $5800 for attorney fees for work not even performed. The firm simply wanted the money, and another $850 for quarterly dues that were already paid.

The illegal amount of attorney fees demanded exceeded $10, 000, amounting to what appears to be felony theft.  During negotiations,  Harden even admittedly padded her bills by $3,000 before the $5800 appeared.

After closing, I requested hearings to address the covenant violations as I am allowed to do as the HOA is require the request of past homeowners. Rees Broome refused, blocked emails, and just turned their backs.

I also brought the improper billing and conduct to the attention of the founding principal of the firm Joel

Birken responded with contempt and indifference and blocked my email also. By the way, Birken has presided over the American Bar Association's Virginia State Bar disciplinary committee and therefore

can have any/all ethics complaints against  his associates dismissed. Isn't that convenient! Many RB associates/attorneys have held leadership positions at the VSA.

O'Halloran is now President of the local CAI, which kicks business to HOAs and is a networking group for

attorneys working on HOA issues to maximize their bottom line-often through extorting large sums of money from homeowners and vendors. (This is happening in CAI-affiliated HOAs across the countryand certainly happened in other instances within the NFCA.) Harden is counsel to the Virginia Transportation Commissioner, a fellow who has built his reputation on combatting waste, fraud, and abusethe irony! The VTC also coordinates police activity on the roadsa dangerous mixture considering Rees Broome's vindictive use of the police towards homeowners.

While extorting ridiclously and unjustifiably large amounts of money from homeowners, RB will do

everything in their power to financially ruin and terrorize their marks  to prevent them from coming forward to challenge them or reclaim RB's ill gotten loot.  Who knows how that money is distributed. RB never provided me or my counsel with a detailed invoice and as far as I am concerned, some of that money may very well have been distributed to police offices who admittedly put tickets on my driving record within the HOA in order to get my license suspended and to run my insurance into the roof Other

kickbacks may have gone to the office manager, the Board of Directors, and the vandals.  

In litigation, RB apparently refuses to engage counsel which is not licensed in Virginia, where they hold an extraordinary amount of political influence and reach within the legal communities, courts, and political offices.  Instead the homeowner is forced to work within their network, which they control

through intimidation, bullying, kick backs, and crony contracts.  They won't even deal with counsel not in their area, telling them, they can do whatever they want and violate whatever law they see fit

since that attorney can't sanction them in the courts or sue. In the area, they call all the shots.

When you take them to court,  you are forced to deal with their insurance company, Nationwide, which

provides cover for their alleged illegal and unethical conduct. It is in Nationwide's interests to prevent the homeowner from recovering his/her money, so that Rees Broome/NFCA/and CAI-affiliated attorneys,

will throw more business in its direction on behalf of HOAs extortingmoney from homeowners. These contracts are probably worth millions of dollars, so absent any sense of ethics, it's worth Nationwide's while to go along with their scheme.

The entire arrangemnt amounts to a criminal racket in which they grease  each other's palms, cover for

each other's misconduct, and enrich each other at the expense of homeowners. Even when their willful,   lawlessness and unethical conduct is brought to the attention of authorities,  or their management, they definantly maintain they are entirely right even though the law, their own literature, and the covenants say otherwise, and they dare anyone to challenge them.

Do yourselves a favordo not purchase property in NFCAor any community represented by Rees Broome or the CAI. These people are making phenomenal amounts of money through extortion of homeowners within their communities.  Ironically, O'Halloran claims on her professional biography to help the poor become homeowners when the reality is she renders homeowners poor by stealing their money and eventually drives them out of their homes to enrich herself and her cronies.

Would you want to live in any community where this sort of conduct is deemed acceptable.  Basic human decency, professional integrity, ethics, and concern for your assets would argue against it. Somehow these people delight in strip others of their humanity and finacial resources. They have no conscience, just a sense of entitlement, power lust, and greed. While they like to think of themselves as super lawyers, they bring disrepute and disgrace to their firm, community, and their profession and

devastation to their communities. These people are absolutely corrupt to the coreand their firm, CAI, and NFCA should be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
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#1 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Josie - (United States)

After the original complaint was filed, the NFCA Board of Directors, which was presided over by someone whose last name was aptly named "Crooks," resigned in disgrace. They were then praised by the new Board for their "service" while the same criminal elements outlined above persist.

Years later, NFCA residents are reporting the nails in the tires and vandalism. They are also reporting citations due to vandalism. Folks, I can affirm that this HOA directs vandals to vandalize your property in order to fund raise off of you.  You will be selected generally because 1.) you are perceived to have equity in your home; 2.) you are female, a minority, or somehow perceived as weak and vulnerable and unable to fight back effectively; 3.) you have fallen on the wrong side of this HOA by calling them on their corruption or complaining about the vandals, who are, in fact, their friends.

This HOA does not follow either the covenants or the rules in the prosecution of cases against homeowners. They basically attack residents with all the finesse of a bull in a china shop and try to intimidate you into forking over your money.  They are weak minded, degenerate, greedy, and lawless.

My advice: get out while you can! The first sign of this HOA's nightmarish behavior , just get out. Trust me, it only gets worse. These people are psychopathic and greedy, the likes of which normal, ethical, law abiding people could never anticipate.

These people collude with the West Springfield police station. Notice that the police you call never prosecute the vandals? Always some excuse? Exactly, why is that? They can't/won't prosecute without HOA authorization/direction and given that vandalism is a pretext to shake down homeowners for  money by creating issues over which  you will be fined, you will  never fully address as the vandalism will continue unabated.  Remember this: there is a law of freeseeability. If you have reported the vandalism and it persists, the HOA IS LIABLE. Keep records and SUE!

If you manage to prevail over their campaigns of harassment and vandalism, the HOA will use the police to attempt to imprison you through trumped up charges  so they can foreclose on your property and otherwise execute liens if you have sufficient equity in your home. They seek THREE MONTHS -- the amount of time required to foreclose and seize your assets.  Some of their strategies involve having police trail you around the perimeter of the HOA/HOA groudns and ticketing you over nonoffenses to get your license suspended. They can only do this with the permission and at the direction of the HOA. IF they can suspend your license by deliberate ticketing, which West Springfield police have admittedly (with laughter) done to targeted homeowners, they can run you into prison for three months, the amount of time it takes to foreclose and seize the equity within your home. If that fails, they will set you up for criminal prosecution over trumped up charges -- just to bind your hands within prison for three months, so they can seize your property and your assets.

Homeowners are already commenting on the toxicity of this HOA on Facebook.  What they are sharing is the tip of the iceberg. This HOA Is no place to raise a family or to build a life, despite the beautiful, inspiring woods that surround it. The beauty hides an insidious beast who just wants your money and will stoop to profound levels of criminality to get it.

Others who have endured abuse at this HOA should share their stories here. This HOA needs to be called out,  investigated, and prosecuted. Even with a new Board, the abuse persists.  Your children are not safe here nor are your assets.  if you have anything going for you -- particularly success and wealth -- you will be targeted, particularly if you are female and/or a minority.  Even better if you are ethical and honorable as such people could never fathom the depths this HOA sinks nor the psychopathic tactics it indulges. This place is, in my opinion, run by a criminal cabal.  GET OUT -- and if you are targeted, SUE and fight back. These people don't follow the laws or covenants and are incredibly greedy and of low intellect and poor family backgrounds -- like b*****d children raised by a gang of thieves.  They are pathetic on every level and try to advance through intimidation. Don't back down. Don't take it. Report and document everything and take these bastards to court.

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#2 General Comment

Will the person who filed this please let me know how to contact them?

AUTHOR: cynthiastphns - (USA)

Will the person who filed this report, pleasecontact me? I am an HOA homeowner advocate,researcher and victim and we hav many in advocacies now,who may have some tools for you.  Thank you.

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