by: Scott Wickersham Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Some Charlotte homeowners asked that their
homeowners association management company be investigated.
The homeowners said that they have paid dues for years when they weren't even part of the homeowners association.
Eyewitness News found that their manager has had problems before.
Richard Blanco has lived in Faires Farms in North Charlotte for 15 years. He has paid his HOA dues until recently when he discovered his part of the neighborhood is not included in the
HOA, but Blanco and resident Skeeter Brawley both said the bills kept coming.
"They admitted phase one was not part of that," said Blanco.
"All of the letters we have been getting are just a form of harassment," said Brawley.
Blanco said he has paid hundreds of dollars and other neighbors have paid thousands. Now they want to know what happened to that money.
Blanco blames Joe Patterson, the president of Carolinas Association Management,
who handles the money for the HOA.
"This guy knowingly went and duped these people out of their money. To
me, that is fraud," said Blanco.
When Eyewitness News went to Patterson's office, he declined to talk on camera, but said he only billed phase one homeowners because the HOA board told him to do so.
The HOA president said that is not true and that Patterson was asked to stop sending those bills a year ago.
Patterson said billing more homes does not make him more money, but the HOA president said that Patterson's contract states that he does get paid more for managing more homes and without phase one his fee gets cut in half.
The incident is not the first time people have complained about Patterson.
In 2001, the North Carolina Real Estate Commission revoked his license as a real estate broker for failing to account for money to some clients. Patterson gained it back in 2004.
Currently, the commission has two open investigations involving Patterson both alleging unethical
behavior. Patterson said both of those claims are false.
Janet Thoren with the
North Carolina Real Estate Commission said most problems come from what she calls non-professional HOA managers.
"Non-professional HOA managers are managers who frankly do not know what they are doing or have taken this up as a career without any kind of training," said Thoren.
Blanco certainly isn't happy with
Patterson's management and he is happy that because of all of this, the board has fired Carolinas Association Management.
Much of the money residents unnecessarily paid over the years
has already been spent by the HOA.
Some homeowners are now considering a lawsuit against Carolinas Association Management.
If you have a complaint about an HOA Management Company, you can call the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Line at 877-566-7226.