Summer Creek Ranch Residents in Fort Worth, TX Request Transparency From HOA

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( — August 26, 2021) Sydney, NSW — 

Summer Creek Ranch Homeowners Association

The Summer Creek Ranch Homeowners Association is a non-profit corporation whose role is to ensure compliance with covenants and to maintain the upkeep of the common areas of the residential development.

One of the largest residential developments in Fort Worth TX, the Summer Creek Ranch Homeowners Association has an annual budget exceeding $750,000 in 2020.

Financial Irregularities

Upon review of the Homeowners Association annual accounts for 2020, some residents found several financial irregularities. Of particular concern was the opening of a new reserve account with financial services firm Edward Jones, where the sum of $100,021 was deposited into the account.

With its headquarters situated in St Louis, Missouri, Edward D. Jones & Co., L.P., more commonly known as Edward Jones, have over 19,000 financial advisors working across its branch network of over 15,000 locations to service investment clients throughout the U.S. and Canada.

The opening of a new reserve account with Edward Jones has residents questioning why an HOA would open an account with a financial services firm versus a traditional bank?

In addition to this question, Summer Creek Ranch residents have also discovered significant budget overruns, particularly with landscaping and water costs.

Landscaping costs were budgeted at $98,724 but actual costs came in at $120,341, more than $21,500 over budget. Water costs, budgeted at $95,000, came in $47,450 over budget with an actual cost of $142,450. Understandably, residents are interested to find out why these costs came in significantly over budget.

On detailed review of the financial reports, it showed homeowner dues had significantly exceeded the HOA expenses. From 2019 to 2020, total assets saw an increase of $241,953, from $760,725 to $1,002,678. Residents have requested to the board that credit be put against dues of $150 for each homeowner in order to be utilized for other associated maintenance costs.

Request for Transparency

One Summer Creek Ranch resident has made numerous attempts to gain some clarification on these financial irregularities. Unfortunately, to date, there has been no response from Michael Ortiz, the President of the HOA, or any other board members.

The only response received by the resident enquiring was from the HOA’s lawyer requesting payment of $263.33 for copies of invoices relating to the landscaping and water costs. Despite having paid this requested sum of $263.33 six weeks ago, no documents have been provided.

Residents are simply asking for transparency from their Homeowners Association. Since March 2021, several correspondences attempts to the board requesting transparency on the financial irregularities have been ignored.

Questions have been asked of the board requesting clarification of whether the owner of the Edward Jones office servicing the reserve account and the owner of the landscaping company has any affiliation with, or is a board member of, the HOA or is a homeowner with the Summer Creek Ranch development.

As well requesting clarification on the Edward Jones reserve account, the significant budget overruns, and excess dues, residents have also requested in writing to the board transparency on why the HOA has exceeded the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) limit of $250,000 per account with two of their accounts.

Transparency has also been requested on several points including confirmation if the Summer Creek Ranch Board of Directors is bound by a code of ethics if the Year-End financial reports are audited by an accredited third-party accounting service and why open a reserve account with Edward Jones instead of with a traditional bank.

For those residents concerned, they feel that the lack of response from their HOA board members has gone on for too long now. All that is being requested of the Summer Creek Ranch HOA by residents is transparency over the financial irregularities raised.

Summer Creek Ranch

With 1,483 homes, Summer Creek Ranch offers an attractive lifestyle for active families in Fort Worth, TX, with swimming pools, playgrounds, parks, and reserves, as well as close to a number of shopping, dining, and entertainment amenities and a local school.

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