John Cowherd

A simple concept:  Get homeowners to pay for neighborhood infrastructure and municipal services -TWICE – has morphed into a massive costly mess, making life even more complicated, unfair and intolerable.  No longer do we live in real communities, where neighbors are friends and can be counted on to be there for each other.  Instead the chap next door feels duty bound to spy on neighbors and to report any perceived problem, great or small, real or imagined to the neighborhood Junta.  In this brave new world the balance of power is tilted away from the individual and because of the politics involved with associations, individuals in the unenviable position of having to defend themselves are isolated, intimidated and belittled.

Slowly, very slowly, the scales are starting to tip the other way. First there was one, then two, then another one and one more and even more attorneys are beginning to realize that their hearts really are on the side of the homeowners.

John Cowherd joins us On The Commons this week.  John is a young attorney who has practiced real estate law in Northern Virginia for about a decade.  In his practice he has represented homeowners in HOAs as well as handled other real estate related cases.  He is well versed in the Virginia Property Owners and Condo Acts as well as Fair Housing, Fair Debt Collections and other related topics.  John is going into practice for himself where the focus of his practice will be on homeowners.  We talk about the existing laws that apply to homeowners in associations, we discuss the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act and property values.  John also maintains a blog called Words of Conveyance .  Check it out, tune in to the show and stand up for your rights and those of your neighbors, because you really don’t have to take it any more.


3 thoughts on “John Cowherd”

  1. “Slowly, very slowly, the scales are starting to tip the other way. First there was one, then two, then another one and one more and even more attorneys are beginning to realize that their hearts really are on the side of the homeowners.”

    Which does absolutely no good for the home owners who can’t afford an attorney.

  2. Interesting interview. It’s always refreshing to know there is an attorney that will go to bat for the homeowner.

    Pink Doors….that tells me the owner is an individual that will step outside the box and is willing to be different by exhibiting more confidence than the basic beige compliant follower. I’ve learned in an HOA there is no room for an independent thinker. Over the years, I’ve decided HOAs are very cult-like. And the cult leaders determine how, what, and when the members will think, behave, and respond. I’ve noticed over the years many of my neighbors are more like brainwashing victims than human beings. And some are like prisoners of war. The blank stars, expressionless faces, heads down toward the ground, absolutely no eye contact, just very zombie like. It’s a sad but interesting observation. And still some make me feel like I’m outside of the HOA barriers watching ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest!’

    Standing up for a neighbor is risky. I have done that on several occasions. Some joined the board and became power-hungry and do the exact things they supposedly despised in the previous board members. Looking back, if I could do over again, I would never stand up and fight for those people. I’ve taken a lot of heat, heavy bullying, been targeted for lawsuits, and suffered the health consequences from the stress.

    Bottom line, what I’ve learned in my situation is that people move into condos to be coddled and protected and led around like sheep. Many signed into an HOA because they needed to feel accepted by a group. They simply need to be part of the herd.

  3. we discuss the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act

    The maximum statutory damages for an FDCPA violation is $1,000.

    § 813. Civil liability [15 USC 1692k]

    (2) (A) in the case of any action by an individual, such additional damages as the court may allow, but not exceeding $1,000

    Since unscrupulous H.O.A. collections attorneys can make more than $1,000 when they violate the law, the FDCPA does not provide an effective deterrent. And for all we know, H.O.A. attorneys simply bill the costs of an FDCPA lawsuit back to the H.O.A. corporation, to be paid by the home owners. Given the lack of transparency common to H.O.A. corporations, we can never know for sure.

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