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Fri Nov 15, 2013, 11:58 AM

Kentucky 75-year-old's house seized, sold over $288 unpaid HOA dues

Source: WLEX

Ingrid Boak did not realize participation in her homeowner's association was mandatory. It seems like a minor oversight, but it was a mistake that ultimately cost the 75-year-old German immigrant her Lexington home.

The Masterson Station Neighborhood Association sold Boak's house on Winding Oak Trail last month after she failed to pay six years worth of membership fees - or $48 per year.

... The homeowner's association and attorneys sent at least 20 letters, notices and summonses to Boak's home since 2009, but the some of the mail never reached her, according to court documents. Boak, a horse trainer and business owner, is rarely home.

When letters did reach her, Boak says she threw them away because she thought the homeowner's association was a solicitous social group, and the $48-per-year was a fee to use the pool. She paid cash up-front for her house, and no one explained to her that the fee was mandatory, she said.

Read more: http://www.lex18.com/news/lex-18-investigates-small-debt-costs-lexington-woman-her-home

157 replies, 6800 views

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Reply Kentucky 75-year-old's house seized, sold over $288 unpaid HOA dues (Original post)
Newsjock Nov 2013 OP
progressoid Nov 2013 #1
reddread Nov 2013 #2
bvar22 Nov 2013 #3
woo me with science Nov 2013 #134
jehop61 Nov 2013 #4
reddread Nov 2013 #5
Blue_Tires Nov 2013 #6
jehop61 Nov 2013 #8
reddread Nov 2013 #9
Gormy Cuss Nov 2013 #15
defacto7 Nov 2013 #33
Gormy Cuss Nov 2013 #109
Demeter Nov 2013 #94
99Forever Nov 2013 #99
Demeter Nov 2013 #100
99Forever Nov 2013 #101
Art_from_Ark Nov 2013 #135
Demo_Chris Nov 2013 #141
99Forever Nov 2013 #143
Demo_Chris Nov 2013 #145
Gormy Cuss Nov 2013 #110
brush Nov 2013 #114
Demo_Chris Nov 2013 #140
noiretextatique Nov 2013 #17
functioning_cog Nov 2013 #31
jeff47 Nov 2013 #40
Pretzel_Warrior Nov 2013 #48
jeff47 Nov 2013 #50
Pretzel_Warrior Nov 2013 #51
jeff47 Nov 2013 #52
oldhippie Nov 2013 #37
okaawhatever Nov 2013 #7
LanternWaste Nov 2013 #12
noiretextatique Nov 2013 #21
jeff47 Nov 2013 #32
former9thward Nov 2013 #55
jeff47 Nov 2013 #59
brush Nov 2013 #115
jeff47 Nov 2013 #117
brush Nov 2013 #129
Generic Other Nov 2013 #131
Art_from_Ark Nov 2013 #132
jeff47 Nov 2013 #149
jeff47 Nov 2013 #148
Generic Other Nov 2013 #150
jeff47 Nov 2013 #151
Generic Other Nov 2013 #152
Demeter Nov 2013 #93
Marrah_G Nov 2013 #153
jeff47 Nov 2013 #154
Marrah_G Nov 2013 #155
jeff47 Nov 2013 #156
Mopar151 Nov 2013 #130
woo me with science Nov 2013 #26
haele Nov 2013 #20
jeff47 Nov 2013 #45
Pretzel_Warrior Nov 2013 #46
haele Nov 2013 #58
DisgustipatedinCA Nov 2013 #61
MattBaggins Nov 2013 #75
KamaAina Nov 2013 #82
Logical Nov 2013 #84
brush Nov 2013 #112
NuclearDem Nov 2013 #123
sibelian Nov 2013 #133
DiverDave Nov 2013 #138
uppityperson Nov 2013 #147
HijackedLabel Nov 2013 #10
NightWatcher Nov 2013 #13
LanternWaste Nov 2013 #14
SomeGuyInEagan Nov 2013 #36
laundry_queen Nov 2013 #81
Stargazer09 Nov 2013 #49
Pretzel_Warrior Nov 2013 #53
HijackedLabel Nov 2013 #57
penultimate Nov 2013 #72
ScreamingMeemie Nov 2013 #87
penultimate Nov 2013 #71
Beaverhausen Nov 2013 #11
jeff47 Nov 2013 #16
noiretextatique Nov 2013 #18
jeff47 Nov 2013 #22
noiretextatique Nov 2013 #25
jeff47 Nov 2013 #30
oldhippie Nov 2013 #43
former9thward Nov 2013 #56
oldhippie Nov 2013 #74
treestar Nov 2013 #144
DisgustipatedinCA Nov 2013 #63
DragonBorn Nov 2013 #62
jeff47 Nov 2013 #67
DragonBorn Nov 2013 #69
jeff47 Nov 2013 #70
snappyturtle Nov 2013 #83
jeff47 Nov 2013 #89
snappyturtle Nov 2013 #90
jeff47 Nov 2013 #104
snappyturtle Nov 2013 #113
jeff47 Nov 2013 #118
snappyturtle Nov 2013 #120
jeff47 Nov 2013 #121
Captain Stern Nov 2013 #34
functioning_cog Nov 2013 #38
Captain Stern Nov 2013 #41
sammytko Nov 2013 #68
Sgent Nov 2013 #73
haele Nov 2013 #65
bpj62 Nov 2013 #19
noiretextatique Nov 2013 #24
Stargazer09 Nov 2013 #47
Demeter Nov 2013 #95
lancer78 Nov 2013 #146
CFLDem Nov 2013 #23
Garion_55 Nov 2013 #28
Javaman Nov 2013 #27
geek tragedy Nov 2013 #29
functioning_cog Nov 2013 #35
geek tragedy Nov 2013 #39
Sirveri Nov 2013 #116
REP Nov 2013 #44
defacto7 Nov 2013 #42
upaloopa Nov 2013 #54
searchingforlight Nov 2013 #60
Demeter Nov 2013 #103
Liberal_in_LA Nov 2013 #64
SheilaT Nov 2013 #66
penultimate Nov 2013 #76
oldhippie Nov 2013 #77
Nevernose Nov 2013 #78
Major Nikon Nov 2013 #96
Mariana Nov 2013 #107
lumberjack_jeff Nov 2013 #79
Major Nikon Nov 2013 #97
lumberjack_jeff Nov 2013 #105
Major Nikon Nov 2013 #108
Thinkingabout Nov 2013 #80
Mz Pip Nov 2013 #85
IrishAyes Nov 2013 #86
gerogie1 Nov 2013 #88
Sheldon Cooper Nov 2013 #92
gopiscrap Nov 2013 #91
gulliver Nov 2013 #98
Sheldon Cooper Nov 2013 #102
Major Nikon Nov 2013 #111
TwilightGardener Nov 2013 #106
Vashta Nerada Nov 2013 #119
gulliver Nov 2013 #124
Vashta Nerada Nov 2013 #125
ForgoTheConsequence Nov 2013 #127
Sheldon Cooper Nov 2013 #136
gulliver Nov 2013 #137
Sheldon Cooper Nov 2013 #139
ForgoTheConsequence Nov 2013 #126
Mopar151 Nov 2013 #128
JustABozoOnThisBus Nov 2013 #157
Lancero Nov 2013 #122
treestar Nov 2013 #142

Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 12:33 PM

1. "the association did not know anyone lived at the house."

Maybe knock on the fucking door?

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 12:48 PM

2. WOW.

Knew I hated this town and neighborhood associations.
never would have thought...

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 01:32 PM

3. I could NEVER live ANYWHERE there was an HOA.

I would wind up in jail.

We don't even have Zoning, Inspections, or Building Permits where we choose to live.
If someone doesn't like what color we paint our front door, thats their problem.

If we build something and it falls down,
thats our problem.

Condo-minimums?
Why?

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 06:35 AM

134. +100000

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 01:34 PM

4. Sorry folks

But this woman isn't senile or disabled. She appears to be in full command of her faculties and is a businesswoman. She signed a legal agreement tp pay HOA charges and reneged. She is under a contractual obligation to pay. Her excuses don't hold up legally. That's the law and ignorance of this won't release her from it's consequences. Too bad, but she knew she must pay and tried to get away with it. How would you feel if she owed you?

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Response to jehop61 (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 01:41 PM

5. $288 dollars? Not like I could sell her house!

are you OK?
you must have hit your head AWFULLY hard!

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Response to jehop61 (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 01:51 PM

6. I'd pretend I was a human being and have a bit of common sense

Yanking away a senior woman's home over $288 is beyond the pale...

You might do well to learn some compassion in this life...

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Response to Blue_Tires (Reply #6)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 02:13 PM

8. I too

am a senior woman with ss check of less than $1000 a month. This woman's plight is very familiar where I live in my condo. Some people try to get away with not paying for services done for all of us and then cry poor me or I'm old, etc, while they can pay the hoa if they want to. The rest of us then have to take up the slack for the deadbeats. Just because a person is 70 plus, doesn't mean they are truly needy or have dementia. This person is an international business woman, able to travel extensively. She signed a contract to pay and suffered the consequences we all know when we buy a home. If she was truly needy, I would of course, be on her side. But I've seen this all before.

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Response to jehop61 (Reply #8)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 02:21 PM

9. really? how many houses have you seen sold out from under the rightful owner for $288?

HOA is a bunch of garbage no matter what, and that is one hard case to make.
I have less sympathy for anyone living in Lexington that I do for people moving into the sort of scum that form and enforce HOA's.
lowest of the low. no redeeming social value. Have I made myself clear?

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Response to jehop61 (Reply #8)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 02:41 PM

15. $288 dollars is probably less than five percent of the value of her dwelling.

That's in the territory of taking out a lien on the property or suing her in small claims court, not selling the unit out from under her. Some HOAs are just awful.

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Response to Gormy Cuss (Reply #15)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 03:05 PM

33. Less then 5%?

So you think her home would value at $5760 or a little more? Try .5% which would be $57,600 x .005 or even .1% which would be $288,000 x .001. It all depends on the neighborhood and it's way out of line.

Just for the picture...

That's 1 - 1/1000th to 5 - 1/1000ths of it's value.

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Response to defacto7 (Reply #33)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 11:51 AM

109. .5% is less than 5%

I originally was going to write less than 1% but I've been on DU long enough to know that someone, somewhere would chime in and talk about how cheap housing was where they live and I must be from some elitist area.

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Response to Gormy Cuss (Reply #15)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 09:19 AM

94. Businesses cannot sue in Small Claims Court. And I'm sure there was a lien for years

that she refused to make good.

Our condo association has two liens out currently on chronic deadbeats. It will take a year or more to foreclose upon their condo units, by law.

This woman is neither poor, disabled, nor mentally incompetent. She's a cheat. She pushed the system too far, and miscalulated.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #94)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 10:33 AM

99. "...pushed the system too far..."

Fuck "the system," and those that use it to STEAL from their fellow citizens.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #99)


Response to Demeter (Reply #100)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 10:43 AM

101. "The system" is rigged.

Fuck "the system."

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #99)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 06:39 AM

135. "Steal" is right

Taking someone's *house* over a lousy $288 payment in arrears is theft.
I wonder how many of the HOA cheerleaders would take the HOA's position if it were their own parent(s) who were losing their home over such a trivial matter?

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #99)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 12:49 PM

141. No one stole from her, she stole from her neighbors...

 

And it finally caught up with her.

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #141)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 12:54 PM

143. Is there some part of ...

...proportional justice you don't understand?

The fucking system is rigged and taking someone's home over a piddling $288 debt is proof of it.

Heartless, greedy people suck.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #143)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 01:22 PM

145. Proportional justice would have been her paying her bills...

 

Just like everyone else.

Instead, like a typical 1%er, she decided that the bills to maintain her community were someone else's problem. Bills and notices an warnings and court summonses and even signs are all for the little people, not someone like her who pays cash for her hundred-grand home.

YES they should have foreclosed on her. I reserve my sympathy for the poor who are struggling and trying their best to do everything right. Self-entitled globe trotting jerks get no sympathy from me.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #94)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 11:59 AM

110. Two hundred and eighty-eight dollars is a trivial lien.

I'm really glad that I knew enough to avoid HOAs.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #94)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 12:54 PM

114. Cheated on $48 a year?

C'mon. There was an obvious lack communication there.

The woman thought HOA membership was voluntary, not mandatory.

The HOA should have made sure there was personal, face-to-face contact with the homeowner before doing such an unfeeling, drastic action.

The HOA was not going out of business over $288.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #94)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 12:48 PM

140. Yep. She's a con artist and manipulator who got burned by her own games. nt

 

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Response to jehop61 (Reply #8)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 02:44 PM

17. So...you think she should lose her home ovee $288.00?

why should anyone make such a huge profit?!

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Response to jehop61 (Reply #8)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 03:01 PM

31. Garnish her income or sue her and have funds from her bank account turned over

 

But don't sell her house. That is not a reasonable render for $288.

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Response to functioning_cog (Reply #31)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 03:13 PM

40. Based on what?

You can't just garnish income. She would have had to sign an agreement that allowed that as the mechanism for enforcement.

Instead, she signed an agreement that allowed foreclosure as the mechanism for enforcement. And that happened. After a very lengthy process that involved lots and lots of notification she ignored and did not ask about.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #40)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 03:28 PM

48. Yes, they can garnish. If they sue in court one of the remedies assigned by the judge can be wage

 

Garnishment up to a certain percentage until debt is paid or an order to your financial institution to freeze and pull money from checking or savings to pay the debt. Happens all of the time and would have accomplished the same thing without kicking her out of her home after it was sold below it's actual value.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #48)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 03:33 PM

50. It happens all the time for things that aren't your house.

For example, if you sign up for a credit card or other loan, the documents will include wage garnishment as an enforcement mechanism.

But let's say you refuse to pay your plumber. He can't garnish your income. What he can do is place a lien on the property.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #50)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 03:38 PM

51. Not true. When my mom was dying of cancer...her finances were in disarray. Her HOA

 

Took the matter to court and part of her money in account was frozen and sent to HOA. I've also had coworkers in HR who have handled wage garnishments for HOA debts. Looks like you are wrong.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #51)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 03:39 PM

52. It's probably a state-by-state difference

The ones I'm familiar with don't allow garnishment.

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Response to jehop61 (Reply #8)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 03:10 PM

37. Rules are for little people ...

Ordinary people cannot be expected to honor silly contracts.



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Response to jehop61 (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 02:03 PM

7. First, she's an immigrant so she may not have understood the HOA agreements she signed. Also, as a

horse trainer she wouldn't need a strong command of the English language to work. I agree it's a legal obligation and the HOA needs the money to survive, but I think in 6 years the management company could have sent someone by the house. Most HOAs pay property management companies for oversight and they routinely inspect the neighborhoods. Let someone put something jacked up in their front yard and see if they don't get a visit from the property manager. Not only do they have tremendous negative press for the foreclosure, it doesn't help the comps in the neighborhood. I wonder who purchased her home at auction. They would stand to make a fortune if the foreclosure holds up in court.

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Response to jehop61 (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 02:34 PM

12. Generous. Magnanimous. Good-will.

"How would you feel if she owed you?"

Generous. Magnanimous. Good-will. Let her off the hook as I've let others off the same hook.

However, I do realize there are "sorry folks" indeed who feel that $400 is more than enough to rationalize the devils on our shoulders, the greed in our hearts, and the meanness in our spirits...

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #12)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 02:49 PM

21. Appalling, isn't it?

too many in our country seem to lack compassion and balance. Yes...she should have paid the fees and/or responded to notices. But she should not lose her home for $288.00 so the HOA can make a huge profit. That is obscene!

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Response to noiretextatique (Reply #21)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 03:05 PM

32. Then what should have happened?

She didn't pay. They sent a ton of notices. They taped a sign to her front door. While the article doesn't discuss a personal visit by the HOA, there would have been plenty of other people showing up at the property during the foreclosure process.

So what, specifically, should have been done? Just let her slide?

And when she just "didn't understand" that property taxes weren't optional? Cut the school budget in order to not be too mean to her?

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #32)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 04:00 PM

55. They could have gone to small claims court.

Its quick and the plaintiff will get court costs if they win. Seems much simpler than foreclosing a house.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #55)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 04:23 PM

59. Not in all jurisdictions

I have no idea what the rules are in the relevant jurisdiction, but in many places only humans can go to small claims court. Companies, HOAs and other "non-people" can't.

Going to a 'regular' court makes it take about the same effort as a foreclosure, but the foreclosure is a little easier since it's the remedy she agreed to when she bought the house.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #59)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 01:05 PM

115. Are you really advocating taking the woman's house over $288 . . .

. . . in post after post? Do you not understand that you are coming off as an unfeeling rule stickler.

Someone in that HOA should have made sure a face-to-face conversation or phone call with the homeowner occurred to make sure there was a clear understanding that membership in the HOA was mandatory and not voluntary.

And if for some reason that could not happen then there are other legal remedies short of selling her house.

Common sense and compassion were lacking in that HOA board who voted to do such an outrageous thing.

I wouldn't want that on my conscience.

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Response to brush (Reply #115)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 10:46 PM

117. Do you always ignore what you agree to do?

Someone in that HOA should have made sure a face-to-face conversation or phone call with the homeowner occurred to make sure there was a clear understanding that membership in the HOA was mandatory and not voluntary.

According to the article, they thought the home was abandoned because they could not get someone to come to the door.

How, precisely, do make sure there is a face-to-face conversation or phone call in that situation? Should they have camped out in front of her house 24/7 since she wouldn't bother to read her mail? Or call them even though foreclosure required posting a sign on her door with their contact information?

And if for some reason that could not happen then there are other legal remedies short of selling her house.

Well, we keep getting legal experts in this thread pointing to small claims court....where the HOA can not sue her because the HOA is not a person.

We also get people claiming they should just charge interest and fees.....and not managing to explain how tacking on interest and fees would actually get her to pay the bill.

Then there's the fun of "they could sue her instead of foreclosing"....ignoring that foreclosure is a lawsuit, and she failed to respond to it. Why would she respond to another suit?

Then there's the folks claiming they could garnish her wages....ignoring she's self-employed so there's no employer to contact.

And now you're proposing that the HOA station someone at her house until she actually answers her door.....after ignoring all the other mail, notifications and signs attached to the house.

If there was a neon-colored sign stuck to your front door that said "FORECLOSURE" in a giant font, don't you think you might try calling the phone number written on it? Or showing up at the date, time and location on it?

Common sense and compassion were lacking in that HOA board who voted to do such an outrageous thing.

Yes, stationing someone on her doorstep is far more reasonable than expecting someone to call you when you put a sign on their door saying "Call us or we will take your house".

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #117)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 02:36 AM

129. So you're still advocating they sell her house from under her?

There's always a way instead of exercising the power trip that many HOA board members seem to get off on.

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Response to brush (Reply #129)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 04:26 AM

131. He sneers and rubs his hands in glee



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Response to Generic Other (Reply #131)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 05:44 AM

132. And what eventually happens to Snidely Whiplash?

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Response to Generic Other (Reply #131)

Mon Nov 18, 2013, 09:44 AM

149. Yeah, clearly the HOA should have stationed someone at her door

That's far more reasonable than all the other ways they tried to contact her.

Maybe they could have armed this guard, and you could get a double-outrage if she got shot! You'd really show just how much better you are by railing against that!

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Response to brush (Reply #129)

Mon Nov 18, 2013, 09:42 AM

148. Then explain exactly what they should have done instead.

"Somehow get her to pay" is not a solution. "There had to be another way" is a lovely thought, but there's tons of people in this thread spouting off ideas that are illegal or ignore that the homeowner refused to respond to attempts to contact her.

In addition, you're not talking about something happening with no warning. To foreclose, they literally had to put a sign on her door saying "We're about to foreclose on you. Call us." Why is it up to the HOA to force her to call them? And how, exactly, do you propose the HOA do that? Break into her house and shove a phone into her hand?

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #148)

Mon Nov 18, 2013, 03:59 PM

150. And you sound heartless

The others on this thread are trying to be charitable. The two points of view will never see eye to eye.

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Response to Generic Other (Reply #150)

Mon Nov 18, 2013, 04:00 PM

151. Name calling does not create a solution.

Again, what specifically should the HOA have done to get her to pay?

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #151)

Mon Nov 18, 2013, 04:08 PM

152. I am not calling you a name

I said you sounded heartless and seem over eager to take someone's property over a small bill. Maybe she has dementia. Maybe senior services needed to be called in to assist her. But like the greedy HOA all you are willing to look at is $$$$. That is heartless.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #55)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 09:15 AM

93. Corporations cannot use small claims court in Michigan. They must go to District Court

which means a lawyer, legal fees, etc.

I am Treasurer for my condo association. We are putting a lien on one co-owner who hasn't paid on time since she moved in, whose last personal check had insufficient funds, who tried to negotiate payments over FIVE YEARS to pay for an entire year's condo fees she owes, and who is "saving that money for her son's bar mitzvah."


The fact that we are rebuilding our private roads at an anticipated cost of $2.5M doesn't seem to matter to this person, who is well aware that she has a legal obligation to pay. And every time we have to use the lawyer, she gets to pay for that, too.

A condominium is a business, not a charity.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #32)

Mon Nov 18, 2013, 04:29 PM

153. They could have taken her to small claims court

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Response to Marrah_G (Reply #153)

Mon Nov 18, 2013, 04:31 PM

154. Only humans can go to small claims court. The HOA is a corporation.

Since it's impossible for the HOA to represent itself in court, it can not go to small claims court.

And she ignored all the other legal notices. Why would she pay attention to a notice from a small claims court when she ignored all the ones from "big-boy" court?

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #154)

Mon Nov 18, 2013, 04:32 PM

155. Businesses take people to small claims all the time.

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Response to Marrah_G (Reply #155)

Mon Nov 18, 2013, 04:34 PM

156. Sole proprietorships, partnerships and other business arrangements do.

Being a business is not the same as being a corporation.

The key element is no one in small claims court can have an attorney representing them. A corporation can not walk into the courtroom, so it has to be represented by an attorney.

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Response to noiretextatique (Reply #21)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 02:37 AM

130. Somebody thought they could pull a fast one

On some furriner that might have died, or othewise incommunacado. The nice horse lady needs to sue the daylights outa somebody, starting with every name her wolverine of a lawyer can find associated with the seizure.

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #12)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 02:57 PM

26. Best post in the thread.

Thank you.

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Response to jehop61 (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 02:47 PM

20. Aren't they required to get someone to hand-serve the eviction/sale notice?

Most states require some sort of owner's signature or proof of legal condition/notification of the owner or estate if a private company is going to seize a property asset.
There are lots of small business owners who aren't very well versed in legal issues and contracts. Heck, a lot of them barely graduated high school, and others rely more on verbal and handshake agreements in their dealings than written contracts.
When I owned my house, it was the last at the end of a common driveway for which we had a "HOA", where every year we paid a portion of the insurance for that alley. We would have a big "After Thanksgiving/insurance payment" party so everyone would remember they had to chip in for it.

As for what she owed - small claims court at the most. There is no reason why they should be able to sieze and sell physical property she owned seperate from a "maintenance contract" with them. $48 a year? That's gardner money, or at most, insurance on common property, not an escrow account.
Would it be the same if they siezed her car and sold it instead of her home, since she owned both outright, and both were on the common property?

She should sue for any amounts collected in the sale above what she owed to the HOA, at the very least.

Haele

Edited because I assumed with such low HOA fees - even for a retirement "village" in the SE, it was a trailer park.

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Response to haele (Reply #20)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 03:22 PM

45. The exact details depend on the state.

AFAIK, every state requires something similar to sticking a neon sign on the front door with "FORECLOSURE" on it in giant letters. There also would have been a court summons, which most states require to be delivered in person - some allow registered mail.

(In addition to all the other letters, notices, registered mail)

Would it be the same if they siezed her car and sold it instead of her home, since she owned both outright, and both were on the common property?

She didn't agree to let the HOA seize her car if she didn't pay. She did agree to let the HOA seize her house if she didn't pay.

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Response to haele (Reply #20)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 03:22 PM

46. It was not a trailer park

 

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #46)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 04:10 PM

58. That's why I edited it. $48 a year is a damn low HOA even for the South.

Or for a retirement community. Like her, I would probably have expected something that low to go to pool care, and figured they either had an opt-in or opt-out for it.

I suspect that at 70 years old, even if she were fairly astute in her business, if someone told her, "...and the residents are required to pay $48 a year to pay for areas like the pool " while they were showing her where to sign to move into our house, she probably assumed that if she told them she wasn't going to use the pool, she wouldn't have to pay that money.

Not saying that's right, just commenting that lots of people think that way when faced with finish-up paperwork.

If it was not made crystal clear to this woman that paying the annual HOA fee was a requirement for her to purchase the house - that it was just like a property tax, (which she was apparently current on, so there didn't seem to be any confusion there) then, depending on the state laws, she could have a case against them.

But again, if I were in the HOA, I would have taken her to small claims court for that amount, could have recovered off a lien on her income tax, if nothing else. Too risky otherwise, especially if she was still a businesswoman.

Haele

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Response to jehop61 (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 04:30 PM

61. Taking a woman's house for a $300 debt is inexcusable.

Anyone who believes otherwise is deep in sociopathic territory.

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Response to jehop61 (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 05:35 PM

75. Fuck HOA

She should have burnt the house down on the way out

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Response to jehop61 (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 06:28 PM

82. I'd sue her in small claims court

for $288.

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Response to jehop61 (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 07:05 PM

84. LOL, 387, posts. Hmmmmmm. n-t

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Response to jehop61 (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 12:49 PM

112. Get real!

$288 is no reason to sell someone's house out from under them.

I've been on an HOA board chairman and can tell you that there should have been direct outreach to this homeowner to find out what was the problem.

And by direct outreach, I mean a face-to-face conversation. That would have found out that the owner thought membership was voluntary and not mandatory.

A little common sense and human empathy was in order — $288 dollars and someone loses their house?
I repeat, get real!

I'd hate to have that on my conscience as an HOA board member who voted to do such an unfeeling thing.

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Response to jehop61 (Reply #4)


Response to jehop61 (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 06:32 AM

133. Yeah, I don't think I'd SELL HER HOUSE to recover $288...


THAT'S STUPID.

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Response to jehop61 (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 11:23 AM

138. So, you think that for a measly 300 bucks

she should LOSE HER HOUSE???
Man, some heart you got.

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Response to jehop61 (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 01:39 PM

147. So she should lose her home for a bill >$300? Seriously? How about small claims court first?

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 02:22 PM

10. I have no sympathy for the snoots that live in HOA-controlled neighborhoods. nt

 

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Response to HijackedLabel (Reply #10)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 02:35 PM

13. we're not snoots. We live in a very normal ($125-200K homes), but the builder started the HOA

The HOA here does nothing except send out a $400 a year bill for nothing. There is no pool, they do not maintain the lawns, they do not even maintain the old wooden fence around the perimeter of the subdivision. The good thing is they have stopped even sending out the annual bills. I think the HOA dried up and went away. We're keeping an eye on them to make sure that they don't do the same to us for not paying this year.

HOA's are a joke.

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Response to HijackedLabel (Reply #10)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 02:36 PM

14. I imagine may people predicate their sympathies on zip codes rather than on the people themselves

I imagine may people predicate their sympathies on zip codes rather than on the people themselves-- regardless of how they may try to rationalize it otherwise.

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Response to HijackedLabel (Reply #10)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 03:09 PM

36. Went house-hunting a few years ago - every development w/i 20 years has an HOA.

That is the de-facto standard in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis-St. Paul and burbs) for "newer" developments. That was for developments with townhouses starting in the low 100s and homes in the low 200s and up. In the Twin Cities, those price points won't work for "snoots" - they would consider that slumming.

Builders put HOAs in place before they begin the development for the simple reason that they can impose rules to keep the neighborhoods to *their* standards while they continue to build and sell. At some point, typically when the development hits 70 or 80% buildout, the builders lose their seats on the board (until that point, from my experience and reading, the builders hold a majority of the board seats and therefore control the association).

That is just a reality of the times if you want to move into a newer development in many parts of the country.

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Response to SomeGuyInEagan (Reply #36)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 06:09 PM

81. HOAs aren't the only way

it's a shame that people buying think that it's a necessary evil. Buyers have to let builders know they won't buy if there is an HOA - although there will always be those who want HOAs because they live in holy fear of someone painting their door pink and affecting their property values by $10. Anyway.

The brand new duplex I bought did NOT have any HOA, BUT, it is in what the town has designated as an 'architecturally controlled' area. Basically, for 6 years after the house is built, I cannot change the outside of the house or the basics of the front yard landscaping (ie, I can add flowers, I cannot cut down the fruit tree). After that, I'm free to do what ever I want. Owning the land my house sits on, and having that control and lack of an HOA was a HUGE selling feature and was the main reason I bought my place (that and I got a great deal and it's a high efficiency building). I don't know why buyers put up with an HOA. I think I'd go insane. I've had friends and family that have owned condos and have had huge issues with the busy bodies on the HOA. My brother, who was a young guy who bought a condo in a building where there were mostly older people found they were always going around raising money for ridiculous improvements not really needed, like new tulip bulbs for the flower beds and so on. He was there for 3 years and in that time the monthly fee went up $100. My parents currently deal with an HOA for their lake lot and they were having huge problems with constant raises because of money mismanagement until they urged their accountant friend to run to take over the finances. When he did, suddenly there was all kinds of money. Turns out the previous people in charge were hiring their friends for all kinds of bogus 'maintenance' jobs and telling the tenants that these jobs were necessary. When the accountant went over it he found there were all kinds of duplications. The previous HOA president sold his lot pretty fast once he got voted out. But really, who wants to deal with that shit? Not me. I'll take the risk of my property values tanking over dealing with control freaks who are looking to enrich themselves and friends.

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Response to HijackedLabel (Reply #10)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 03:29 PM

49. They are EVERYWHERE now

You can't buy a newer house without one nowadays.

The trick is to find one with an HOA you can live with. Ours isn't all that great, but the neighboring subdivision's is worse.

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Response to HijackedLabel (Reply #10)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 03:42 PM

53. Then you don't know much. Most new developments have HOA set up by developer

 

And after it's built out, HOA is turned over to homeowners but they are usually idiots and the actual administration of HOA functions is outsourced to professional management companies. I personally think HOA's are a horrible legal creation just to make sure someone get fined if their satellite dish was installed without prior approval or they leave their trash can at the end of the driveway while out of town.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #53)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 04:10 PM

57. It might be different in other areas...

 

But here in my area, one of the poorest in the country, it's the rich and snobby part of town full of doctors, lawyers and kids of money that won the genetic lottery.

In other parts of town, people live in subsidized housing and modest homes.

Perhaps my statement made an unfair generalization.

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Response to HijackedLabel (Reply #57)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 05:28 PM

72. And so what if they are doctors, lawyers, engineers or whatever?

That means that they deserve to lose their homes and have bad shit happen to them?

While my kneejerk reaction is that this lady was wronged, I admit she may have just been hard-headed stupid too... If it turns out she was warned and warned and warned but refused to pay what she agreed, it sucks, but sadly it's her own fault. However, if the HOA didn't even let her know what was going on, then I'm not going to pretend like she deserves it just because she lives in a "nice" part of town.

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Response to HijackedLabel (Reply #57)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 07:48 PM

87. It did. Here in Houston, where there is no zoning, HOAs are sort of necessary.

Except even they have gotten out of control.

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Response to HijackedLabel (Reply #10)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 05:23 PM

71. *rollseyes*

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 02:28 PM

11. She threw away the notices

I'm sorry but she does have some fault here. When she bought the house someone must have explained what HOA fees are.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 02:43 PM

16. So she threw away multiple notices, and multiple court summons

and yet we're supposed to believe she just didn't understand? And didn't bother asking anyone? Or mention it to anyone?

Foreclosure does not just "poof" into being. There's lots and lots and lots and lots of warnings, notices, letters, warnings posted on your front door, and so on. It is not possible to just "miss" that something is happening.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #16)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 02:46 PM

18. Do you think the HOA is entitled to her home

For $288.00?

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Response to noiretextatique (Reply #18)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 02:50 PM

22. I think the HOA is entitled to enforce the agreement she signed when she bought it.

Don't want to risk losing your house over $288? Don't sign something agreeing to lose your house over $288. Don't understand what you're signing? Then why the fuck are you signing it? Ask what the hell it is.

Don't understand what all these notices and court summons are, including the one taped to your front door with FORECLOSURE written on it in giant letters? Ask what the hell is going on.

Do you think a city is entitled to a home if the owner doesn't pay their property taxes?

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #22)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 02:56 PM

25. Heartless...

Just like the HOA. Karma.

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Response to noiretextatique (Reply #25)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 03:00 PM

30. Golly, I'm so surprised that you followed up with a personal attack.



So should she get out of property taxes by just "not understanding" what they are?

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Response to noiretextatique (Reply #25)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 03:14 PM

43. So you are Ok with people not paying their property taxes .....

... if they "didn't understand they had to"? You just let them slide?

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Response to oldhippie (Reply #43)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 04:04 PM

56. Property taxes are equal to a private organization's bill?

They are not. What is the HOA doing for its precious money anyway? They could not be bothered to make a personal visit to the house before they disrupt a person's life. Karma will come back at them.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #56)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 05:33 PM

74. The private organization's bill was a result of a contract ....

So you don't believe in honoring contracts. OK. It seems a lot of people don't. I was raised differently. I have no fear of karma.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #56)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 12:55 PM

144. She was kind of dumb, especially for a businesswoman

Any creditor can get a judgment and a lien, and they must have gone through that in order to get a foreclosure. Something should have grabbed her attention that this was something she had to do. Sounds like going into foreclosure was about the only way to get her attention. Likely she can pay up now that she realizes it. It's not worth it to the HOA. OTOH, maybe they are fed up.

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Response to noiretextatique (Reply #25)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 04:34 PM

63. Heartless is a start. Downright cruel gets closer to the mark.

Maladies listed in the DSM IV might be closer yet to the mark, but I'll just leave that part unsaid.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #22)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 04:32 PM

62. Reaalllly???

You seriously belive this woman should lose her $100,000.00+ house for debt $288? Ever heard of small claims court or preportional punishment? On a liberal forum we can't even agree that stealing a womans house over a $288 debt is wrong!


Do you think a city is entitled to a home if the owner doesn't pay their property taxes?


No and that's still a different situation. Property taxes are much higher than 40 dollar per year and no I wouldn't support taking a persons house over failure to pay taxes. Its called wage garnishment as many people have said in this thread and all it takes is a court order. These thieves are trying to steal a house for fractions of a penny on the dollar.

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Response to DragonBorn (Reply #62)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 04:44 PM

67. In most jurisdictions, small claims court is only available to people.

I have no idea if that's true of this jurisdiction, but it's probably not available to the HOA.

You seriously belive this woman should lose her $100,000.00+ house for debt $288?

She lost the house, but got the proceeds of the sale beyond the $288 and the legal fees. She bought it for $93,000 house and she got $88,000. I have no idea if the difference is all fees or if the real estate market in her area is shitty compared to when she bought it.

No and that's still a different situation.

Of course. The money goes to something you like.

Property taxes are much higher than 40 dollar per year

Again, depends on the jurisdiction. It's likely that they're more than $40/year. They will still be a tiny fraction of the value of the house.

no I wouldn't support taking a persons house over failure to pay taxes. Its called wage garnishment as many people have said in this thread and all it takes is a court order.

Then I have terrible news for you. Cities don't do that. They take the property.

Seriously, to get to the point where the HOA can foreclose and sell the house, she has to have ignored a TON of mail, a TON of notices, signs on her property, and at least a process server if not other in-person visits. Is it a happy story? No fucking way. Is she just a old woman who just didn't understand what's going on? Fuck no.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #67)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 05:00 PM

69. An HOA is a corporation

Corporations are able to sue individuals or pursue court action against them. There are other options available to them they just chose the worst option of the bunch.

She lost the house, but got the proceeds of the sale beyond the $288 and the legal fees. She bought it for $93,000 house and she got $88,000. I have no idea if the difference is all fees or if the real estate market in her area is shitty compared to when she bought it.


That is an excellent dodge of my question because yes this woman did lose her house over $288. She no longer has a home, lost five thousands of dollars on the sale based of her purchase price of the home and how much do you want to bet the foreclosure was sold below her actual property value making her lose even more money (because thats what happens in 90% of foreclosures). If her house was say valued at $120k and they sold it for $88k she lost $32k due to this asshattery.

Of course. The money goes to something you like.

No the money goes to a governmental body, not a corporation. That's the difference. And take a look at what the local government goes through when you dont pay your property taxes its a much greater escalation from letters in the mail to a foreclosed house. If the government has to jump through 5 different hoops to take your house a corporation shouldn't be able to do it in one easy step.

Again, depends on the jurisdiction. It's likely that they're more than $40/year. They will still be a tiny fraction of the value of the house.

Unless you live in a unincorporated area in a shack your property taxes will likely be in the hundreds or thousands of dollars annually. Not $40 not frigging even close to $40. And even if you dont pay them the government is not allowed to just snatch your house away.

Then I have terrible news for you. Cities don't do that. They take the property.

Go look up the law because your flat wrong. That is the final option for a government not the first one.

Are you one of those "small government" pulled yourself up by your bootstraps kinda guys?

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Response to DragonBorn (Reply #69)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 05:16 PM

70. Being a corporation means not being able to use small claims court.

At least, not in the jurisdictions I'm aware of. Most small claims require the person to represent themselves. As a non-person, a corporation can't do that. They inherently have to have a representative because a corporation isn't a person.

That is an excellent dodge of my question because yes this woman did lose her house over $288

Your question appeared to be implying the HOA turned an enormous profit and was motivated to foreclose based on that profit. They got no profit.

There still could be something nefarious going on - HOA president could just happen to be the attorney that got hefty fees for bringing the suit. I have no evidence either way.

No the money goes to a governmental body, not a corporation. That's the difference. And take a look at what the local government goes through when you dont pay your property taxes its a much greater escalation from letters in the mail to a foreclosed house.

And the HOA should also have to go through a similar process - they didn't get to just toss off a letter and then foreclose. The foreclosure process is identical (or very similar) regardless if it's a government or a private entity foreclosing.

Unless you live in a unincorporated area in a shack your property taxes will likely be in the hundreds or thousands of dollars annually.

Which is still a tiny fraction of the value of the house. $1k in taxes is about 1% of the value of the house.

And even if you dont pay them the government is not allowed to just snatch your house away.

Neither is the HOA. They'd have to follow the same (or very similar) foreclosure procedures as the government.

Go look up the law because your flat wrong. That is the final option for a government not the first one.

Looking up the law wouldn't help, because any alternatives are not what's codified in the law.

The law says the city can take the house if you don't pay your property taxes. The key word being "can". Lots of cities will attempt to negotiate or otherwise work out the issue in order to avoid depressing property taxes.

How will they do that? Letters and notices sent to the homeowner. How'd the HOA try to avoid foreclosure? Letters and notices sent to the homeowner. She said she threw them away.

Are you one of those "small government" pulled yourself up by your bootstraps kinda guys?

No, but lovely dumb-ass strawman.

She admits she deliberately stopped the HOA from pursuing any alternative - she ignored or threw away their attempts to solve the problem without foreclosure. You are complaining that the HOA did not try to avoid foreclosure when she deliberately blocked their attempts to avoid foreclosure.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #22)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 07:03 PM

83. Penalities and interest should have been enough to rectify the problem imho nt

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Response to snappyturtle (Reply #83)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 08:55 PM

89. She wasn't paying them. How would they get penalties and interest? (nt)

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #89)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 09:00 PM

90. Late payment fees....the HOA obviously expected her to pay, so

the payments, or lack thereof in this case, could accrue penalty and
interests charges.

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Response to snappyturtle (Reply #90)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 10:53 AM

104. And since she was not paying them, those fees an interest would be collected....how?

Slapping fees and interest on an account does not make a check appear.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #104)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 12:49 PM

113. What I'm saying is that instead of taking her home they could

have imposed these fees.

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Response to snappyturtle (Reply #113)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 10:47 PM

118. And what you've failed to explain is how doing that causes her to start paying. (nt)

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #118)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 10:55 PM

120. Well, let me guess....1) Lose home OR 2) pay penalties and interest. eodiscussion

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Response to snappyturtle (Reply #120)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 10:57 PM

121. So....it would have been OK to foreclose if there were penalties and interest involved?

Yet you entered this discussion claiming foreclosure was the wrong way to get her to pay.

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Response to noiretextatique (Reply #18)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 03:06 PM

34. I could be wrong...

...but I don't think the HOA gets to keep all the money from the sale of the home. They can only keep the $288 and the amount that it cost them to take, and sell, the house. The rest of the money goes back to the former owner.

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Response to Captain Stern (Reply #34)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 03:10 PM

38. Doubtful

 

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Response to functioning_cog (Reply #38)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 03:13 PM

41. It actually turns out I was right.

I just read the whole article. The house sold for $93,500 and the woman received $88,000.

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Response to Captain Stern (Reply #41)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 04:48 PM

68. Yes, I was going to add that. From the post, i thought she didn't get a dime

She lost quite a bit though. Doubt this is the end of this. She will probably get it back somehow.

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Response to noiretextatique (Reply #18)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 05:33 PM

73. They don't get her home

the get to sell her home, receive the $288, and she gets the remainder less legal fees / expenses.

The only thing the HOA got out of this whole mess was $288.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #16)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 04:38 PM

65. I read the article, the warning order lawyer warned them she hadn't been notified.

Court summons are hand delivered, and need to be signed.
Official notices are certified mail.
If she wasn't at home, she couldn't have recieved the certified mail, it would have been returned. The stupid thing she did was toss out the HOA notices, but if she assumed she owned her house free and clear and this was like a "normal" city neighborhood where all she had to do was pay taxes and for the services she used, I can see why she thought they were asking for money for a service (the pool) she wasn't using.

In this case, I could see where it would seem like the offers my step-sister in law soliciting the payment of greens fees because the development was built around a nice 18 hole golf course. (She doesn't golf - but they assume her guests might and constantly pester her to think of them...for only an additional $150 a year!)
Now, greens fees would be an addition to her HOA, which is included in an escrow account she had to agree to if she wanted to buy the house, required to pay for her garbage pick-up, fire and ambulance services, taxes, and homeowner's insurance.

The association and the courts apparently didn't even contact her neighbors to see if she was still living there. It appears they assumed that, like most of the elderly people living in that retirement community, she had just died or "moved" (I guess that means "moved into an assisted living facility").

Records hadn't been checked to see if she had been declared dead and the property passed into trust.

This appears that the homeowner's association did not do their own due dilligence before proceeding on the assumption that they were foreclosing on an abandoned property.


Haele

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 02:46 PM

19. HOA Dues and Disclosures

Lets not debate whether this women understood or did not understand the notices. The Association forclosed on her property for one very simple reason: She owned the property free and clear. She had no mortgages and her Real Estate Taxes are current. if she had a mortgage on the property then the HOA would not have forclosed because they would be responsible for the payment of the mortgage as a junior or subordinate lien holder. This was a calculated move by the Association. They now own a property that they can sell for value and do what they want with the proceeds. Although I believe that this is a deplorable act it is a perfectly legal way for the association to recover its monies. HOA boards are run mostly by frustrated power hungry people who like to make other people miserable.

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Response to bpj62 (Reply #19)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 02:54 PM

24. Thank you! It is calculated...and deplorable

Like so many "legal" things...it is not right.

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Response to bpj62 (Reply #19)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 03:25 PM

47. "Frustrated power hungry people"

Yep. Describes our HOA president perfectly. He was also president of the PTO for years, until someone pointed out the term limits clause written into the PTO charter. He's now installed himself as the school's Girl Scout liaison, where he's driven off at least two leaders with his demands for leader meetings ("to plan the work the girls need to do this year," never mind the girl-driven nature of the program) and his plans to have the girls do a bunch of landscaping work at the school as a "service project."

I can't stand him. He's a bully, and I can't move away from here fast enough.

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Response to bpj62 (Reply #19)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 09:42 AM

95. BS!

the HOA is a business. It doesn't matter if there's a mortgage, a tax lien, whatever.

If fees go unpaid, the property is liened, and then foreclosed if the lien is not satisfied. There are very specific procedures to follow. Contract law is the oldest form of law there is and it is well-understood and constantly used.

"They now own a property that they can sell for value and do what they want with the proceeds." Absolutely untrue! Nor would they have been forced to pay the mortgage. That's what a foreclosure settles. We had a co uple of foreclosures, and it was the Mortgage Company that paid the outstanding condo fees and property taxes and maintenance. The Mortgage Company owns the property until the mortgage is paid off. That's why they say People don't buy houses, Banks do!

If the HOA did NOT follow contract law, the BOARD would be PERSONALLY liable for suits from all the owners who WERE paying their fees.

That's why contracts are important to follow. Don't sign one unless you intend to comply. That's why serving on a board is a responsibility and generally, an unpaid one.

The only contract that's easily broken is the marriage contract, and even then the financial penalties can be very high. It is the chicanery employed by the unfaithful spouse that colors most people's understanding of all law. BUT family law is the messiest, least settled part of it all.

"HOA boards are run mostly by frustrated power hungry people who like to make other people miserable." Only if the people of the HOA are too damn lazy to step up and serve.

I've been serving on the Condo board 11 years, now. We've had our petty tyrants, our totally incompetent, our fuzzy, bleeding hearts and our lazy to the bone members. We've gotten them off the board, and currently have a competent, diligent bunch doing good things and the gratitude we get is only in passing, as a road gets rebuilt, the pool renovated, or some other such thing as we are supposed to do.

We just lost our last incompetent, petty tyrant when the people fought back. Now we have to convince somebody competent to fill the vacancy.

Not everybody can or should serve. I'm protecting my investment in my home. (Frankly, I don't dare quit, at least, not until the roads are completed.)

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Response to bpj62 (Reply #19)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 01:38 PM

146. According to the article

The woman got the sale proceeds after the $288 was taken out.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 02:52 PM

23. HOAs are micro epitomes

 

of good intentions paving the road to hell.

Why people choose to put up with the mini tyrants is beyond me.

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Response to CFLDem (Reply #23)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 02:58 PM

28. i wouldnt even take one of romneys houses

for 300 bucks owed. thats just wrong

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 02:58 PM

27. this is why I truly hate the nazi like beings on HOA's.

HOAs all should be banned.

did any of the HOA morons actually, you know, talk to this woman in person?

I know, how dare they communicate with a "lower life form".

I hate them.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 02:59 PM

29. There must be more to the story.

She read courts summons and just ignored them?

This woman's stupidity is just as much to blame as the overreaching HOA.

And, yes, it is stupid to plunk down cash on a property without knowing all of the obligations you'd have in connection with it, including HOA fees.

ESPECIALLY in a foreign country.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #29)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 03:08 PM

35. It's still immoral what they did. Imagine if you paid cash for a house

 

If the house wasn't in a very well defined subdivision, one might not realize there were HOA dues associated with it.

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Response to functioning_cog (Reply #35)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 03:11 PM

39. Due diligence. Also, the court notices should have been a clue.

Still, it seems that there's something going on. It's really hard to foreclose. Not worth it over $288.

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Response to functioning_cog (Reply #35)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 03:16 PM

116. Imagine if you signed a contract to do work for someone and they refused to pay you.

For six years, you repeatedly sent them letters asking them to pay you for services you rendered, and you kept performing the service because it was a bulk contract and the other clients relied on your to keep performing your service despite you not getting paid to do it by some or just this one person.

Lesson, don't throw away your mail, know what you're signing. When it comes to the stupid tyranical BS I've seen from HoA's, I hate them. But when it comes to dues that were fully disclosed when you bought the property, I have zero sympathy.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #29)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 03:18 PM

44. Disclosure of an HOA, its fees and by laws when a house is sold is mandatory in KY

It would be better just to collect the money owed and be done with it, but unless the HOA was not disclosed to her when she bought the house (it will be on the paperwork; there will at least be a box checked), the HOA is legally within their rights.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 03:13 PM

42. Someone connected to her HOA stands to make some money...

mostly lawyers who would probably be the promoters in the end.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 03:50 PM

54. When you buy a house with a HOA you by law get a

copy of the CC&Rs.
She must have ignored them when she got them. You even have to sign a document at closing showing you received them.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 04:26 PM

60. This one happened several years ago. Travesty.

Michael Clauer is a captain in the Army Reserve who commanded over 100 soldiers in Iraq. But while he was fighting for his country, a different kind of battle was brewing on the home front. Last September, Michael returned to Frisco, Texas, to find that his homeowners' association had foreclosed on his $300,000 house—and sold it for $3,500. This story illustrates the type of legal quagmire that can get out of hand while soldiers are serving abroad and their families are dealing with the stress of their deployment. And fixing the mess isn't easy.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2010/05/soldier-iraq-loses-home-homeowners-association-foreclose

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Response to searchingforlight (Reply #60)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 10:49 AM

103. There is a law to protect homeowners serving in the military.

The HOA violated that law. There will be consequences.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 04:34 PM

64. sad. Hopefully this act will be reversed.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 04:39 PM

66. Perhaps the takeaway here should be always open your mail.

And read it.

Even if she paid cash for the house, wasn't there a realtor or two involved doing paperwork? Wouldn't they have explained this to her?

In six years of getting notices, she ought to have eventually read one and realized that the HOA wasn't just a solicitous social group. Did she likewise throw away the tax bill?

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 05:38 PM

76. I hate HOAs...

I want to side with her on this, and I don't think she should have lost her house. However, if she got repeated notices and court summons but ignored them, it's hard to fully sympathize with her. Like I wish they didn't sell her house, but at the same time, she should have known what would happen. Those HOAs can be ruthless assholes without hearts. People need to stop signing that shit so they can actually be free to do what they want with their property.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 05:46 PM

77. Ignorance and/or stupidity often has consequences .....

Many times they are not pretty. Sometimes like economic Darwinism.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 05:57 PM

78. I'm the vice-president of our HOA

I can't believe no one just didn't walk over and ring her doorbell. Even if she's not home often, surely someone, somewhere spoke to her.

I hope there's more to this story than the news has given us so far. If true, it's a heartlessness I can barely comprehend. To take someone's home -- someone who is a friend and neighbor -- over three hundred bucks? Craziness.

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Response to Nevernose (Reply #78)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 09:57 AM

96. The remedy should have been to place a lein against the house

That way whenever it's sold, the dues would be paid with interest.

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Response to Nevernose (Reply #78)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 11:26 AM

107. I can believe it.

Plenty of HOA's are run by hateful little wannabe dictators who thoroughly enjoy harassing their neighbors and generally making their lives as miserable as possible. I remember when I lived in Texas during a particularly bad drought with severe water restrictions, a bunch of the area HOA's were having a grand time fining people for letting their lawns go brown, at the same time the municipalities were fining people for watering. WTF was an owner supposed to do in that situation?

They probably got a real charge out of foreclosing on this woman.

I lived in a neighborhood with an HOA once. Never again. That HOA wasn't even one of the really nasty ones, but the experience was bad enough to put me off them forever.

I know every HOA isn't like that, and some are run by good people who are wonderful neighbors. Still, the good ones might be taken over by assholes at any time, so the potential is always there for any HOA to become abusive.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 05:58 PM

79. I hate HOA's, but you can't just throw away envelopes imprinted with the words...

"Summons" "Foreclosure" and "official notice from the county court".

You can pick your actions but not your consequences. I also really doubt that anyone with the business acumen to save enough cash to buy a house outright lacks the wits to know that a HOA fee is mandatory.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #79)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 10:22 AM

97. These days I look at them as a necessary evil

Previously I lived in an area without an HOA. My neighbor inherited the home next to me and was a drunk who let the property go to shit. Code enforcement was a joke. He mowed his lawn only once or twice in two years on the rare occasions when I could get code enforcement to compel him to do so. He parked one vehicle on the sidewalk just about every day because he had a junk car in the driveway on cinder blocks. He came home drunk one night and ran into his mailbox and never repaired it. The paint was peeling off his siding and his gutters fell down and stayed that way. Fortunately my company bought my home as part of my relocation package, but I still took a $40,000 loss. The relocation company spent over a year trying to sell the home and I'm sure they lost money on top of what I lost.

I've had one run-in with my HOA and have no love for them, but I would never move into a single family residential neighborhood without one again.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #97)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 11:03 AM

105. I've been lucky... and kind of tolerant too, I suppose.

My neighbor is the source of some consternation here. Their big event is a fireworks party on the 4th. The detrius of the event remains in their yard until roughly the following June 30th, at which point they decide to clean up because they have company coming.

But we're on 5 acre parcels so I remind myself (and Mrs Lumberjack) that we moved to the country for the same reason they did; to be left the fuck alone.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #105)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 11:42 AM

108. I was raised on a farm, so I know all about that

If I lived on an acreage, I'd have a completely different attitude. However, there are good reasons why HOAs exist. One is to maintain common areas and the other is to insure that one bad neighbor doesn't ruin the property values of everyone else.

I moved into my current neighborhood when it was first being developed and our HOA has gone through some growing pains. At first nobody really wanted to serve on the HOA board, and some homeowners were getting elected to board positions to carry out grudges with their neighbors. We have since gone with a professional property management company to do the inspections. The only problem I've had with them is sometimes they try to enforce the letter of the covenants without using common sense.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 06:04 PM

80. We had a similar event in Texas and I do not recall the details, she had some attorneys jump in

And help her, the person who purchased the home apparently still wanted compensation to turn over the home. HOA's could be good but it usually boils down to the crap or noncrap you have serving on the boards. The one I belong to could put the mafia to shame, they don't understand building codes but make decisions without thought. The lawyers handling the legal business climb trees and tell lies when the truth sounds better on the ground. Texas has removed some of the power from HOA's because of their stupid tactics. If a repairman does work on your house and the homeowner stiffs him he can put a mechanics lien on the property but the HOA can seize the property, it does not make sense.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 07:08 PM

85. The HOA could have done more

How hard would it have been to send so done over to make sure she understood her obligations? Or even a phone call?

Yeah, she should have opened her mail but that was not the only option for the HOA to contact her.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 07:30 PM

86. Normally I avoid a HOA like the plague.

However, I did belong to one in California, in an extremely low population area. It was voluntary and open to everyone including renters. No dues. Because the tiny town of a few hundred people had no actual city government, our little HOA served as a sort of unofficial substitute advisory board. By and large it dealt with problems people had with the county if those problems had community consequences. Nobody got paid a dime, not even the town 'mayor'. We basically left individuals alone so long as nobody else was endangered, such as by a meth lab.

Meetings were more like parties unless someone from the county showed up, and then all bets were off. Our members got quite a reputation for defiance. One county supervisor called us a bunch of vigilantes (undeserved in its modern sense), and somebody shouted back, "If you'd send a sheriff in less than 24 hours when we call you, we'd be a lot more agreeable."

Our critical community value proved itself when Union Carbide, the company that blew up half of Bhopal, India, declared its intention of building a facility just barely outside town. They got their permission from the county, but not from us. At the meeting when they showed up to announce their intentions, all hell broke out. Some of the men openly threatened to blow up anything they tried to build. Since I sat on the board and was generally outspoken, I told the Union Carbide people that although I personally could not endorse the threats, I assured them that the guys weren't bluffing. And even if I couldn't blow up anything myself, I'd definitely watch the door for the others.

That was the last we saw of Union Carbide.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 08:38 PM

88. The home owner is responsible for this.

 

She should have consulted her HOA contract that every home owner receives.

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Response to gerogie1 (Reply #88)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 09:37 PM

92. Are you the president of the HOA in question?

What is your involvement with this case?

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 09:33 PM

91. that is so fucked up

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 10:28 AM

98. It would be completely stupid to buy a house where there is no HOA.

Your neighbor would be parking his tractor in the front lawn, putting up a shed, surrounding his property with a concrete wall...and you could do nothing about it. Common area grass would not be cut. Trees would not be removed or planted. You would have to watch your own property value waste away.

Our trustees do a fantastic job, and they don't get paid a dime. We put liens on homeowners who don't pay their fees. They can't sell their homes until the back fees are fully paid up. I would also have no problem with seizing the home of someone who was way behind and had been given a lot of warnings. If you own a home, you have responsibilities.

The HOA doesn't get to keep the property and its value. They just sell it, take what they are owed, and give the rest to the (former) homeowner.

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Response to gulliver (Reply #98)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 10:46 AM

102. You may be stunned to know that people have survived without HOAs for

thousands of years. Really. And yet folks live productive and satisfactory lives, in their own homes, cutting their own lawns, planting their own trees, maintaining their property values all on their own. Imagine that.

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Response to Sheldon Cooper (Reply #102)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 12:12 PM

111. You can say the same about flush toilets

That doesn't mean shitting in a bucket is a great idea.

Just sayin'

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Response to gulliver (Reply #98)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 11:19 AM

106. I'm willing to bet most housing stock in this country isn't under HOA's.

I've owned three houses, none in HOA's, and never had issues or gave a crap about grass too high or someone parking something somewhere. I've sold my previous two houses for more than I bought them, and life goes on, despite an ugly house across the street, an RV in the driveway, or an untrimmed tree next door. People know bad neighborhoods when they see them, someone's garish paint color or weeds aren't going to make that much of a difference if the other houses are fairly well kept--and most people give a shit about their houses everywhere I've lived.

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Response to gulliver (Reply #98)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 10:55 PM

119. You're really out of touch with the average American, aren't you?

 

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Response to Vashta Nerada (Reply #119)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 12:51 AM

124. In what way?

It seems to me like the average American would like to own a home, raise their kids, etc. If so, then they probably want some stability. They don't want to worry that the biggest single investment they make is going to be vulnerable to other people's whims. They don't want to worry that the grass by the turnaround is not going to be mowed or that the retention pond will drain away. That's what HOAs do. They keep their neighborhoods in good working order.

Do I think the average American wants that? Yup.

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Response to gulliver (Reply #124)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 01:11 AM

125. "It would be completely stupid to buy a house where there is no HOA."

 

Most people here don't live in areas with HOAs. Hell, this is a blue collar city I live in. No one could even afford mortgage payments and insane HOA fees/month.

I would never purchase a home that made me pay HOA fees. It's almost like paying rent. I don't want some association telling me what I can/cannot do with my own house and yard.

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Response to Vashta Nerada (Reply #125)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 01:18 AM

127. But without HOAs its chaos!!!!!

Middle class families can't be trusted the take care of their lawns and put up their own sheds.



Just looking at that picture makes me want to puke.

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Response to gulliver (Reply #124)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 10:05 AM

136. Heh. You really are out of touch with how most of America lives.

You keep coming up with these classic lines. The grass by the turnaround? The retention pond? Do you realize that in non-HOA neighborhoods, any such turnarounds or retention ponds (if they even exist) belong to specific people or entities? And those people/entities are responsible for maintenance of their property? They are not communally owned. And I would venture to say that the average American just wants to live in his/her house, without interference by a group of busybodies with nothing better to do with their time than run around and measure the grass to see if their neighbor is mowing often enough. Those folks really need to get a life.

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Response to Sheldon Cooper (Reply #136)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 11:13 AM

137. School me on your qualifications to judge.

Really, I live in the suburbs and practically everyone uses a HOA. I have lived in trailers (park owners make the rules unilaterally). I've lived in apartments (owners make the rules). I've lived in small houses without HOAs. Now that I know what HOAs do, I wish we had had them. They protect the neighborhood from irresponsible owners, a point you seem to avoid and cast as mere nosiness.

I'm thinking you are not taking the issue seriously or have very little experience in life.

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Response to gulliver (Reply #137)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 11:51 AM

139. Well let's see...

I'm 55 years old, and I've lived in every sort of domicile that you can imagine. House, apartment, owner, renter, trailer park, etc. Amazingly, not a SINGLE ONE was ruled by an HOA. And yet the grass still got cut, snow was shoveled, no one had their 55 Chevy up on blocks in the front yard, and all the while there was nary a retention pond in sight.

HOAs simply are not necessary, except for Nosy Nates who are too worried about what their neighbors are doing on their own property and woe be unto those next door who aren't living according to the Nates' own bizarre codes of conduct. To argue that someone should lose their home over petty rules infractions is astonishing. What a cruel outlook on the world, but more power to you if that's how you feel. You can sleep soundly knowing that you'll never see me pulling up next door in a moving truck.

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Response to gulliver (Reply #98)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 01:16 AM

126. You're right.

Got my tractor and Ford LTD apart on my lawn as we speak.

What a load of fucking bullshit. I guess if you're happy with the home right next to yours looking exactly like your house that's your thing. Luckily I wasn't raised in the boring suburbs.

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Response to gulliver (Reply #98)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 02:28 AM

128. Then please don't move in next to me.

I've been gimped up all summer, and out of work. But this is NH, and we make do. When the neighbor wants my lawn mowed, he mows the part that bothers him. When it came to the annual lawn mowing/junk relocation/winter storage project, I swapped labor with one of my racing buddies and spewed aluminium shavings all over the driveway port-matching his Victor Jr./Brodix setup ( 'cuz I can run an air grinder sitting down) while Artie toted, hauled, and mowed. All the scrap wood went in neighbors firewood production queue. And I live on the 1 street in town with a sidewalk!

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Response to gulliver (Reply #98)

Mon Nov 18, 2013, 05:09 PM

157. "zoning" is a pretty good substitute for a HOA.

Don't like something? Take it up with city hall.

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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Sat Nov 16, 2013, 11:14 PM

122. I'd like to think that they would do the right thing...

And get her her house back, however similar has happened before.

A bank forclosed on a house, and they cleared everything out from the house. Family pictures, furniture, clothing, appliances, important papers, everything. The items were either sold or destroyed. But oops, the guys they sent to clean out the house? They got the wrong place.

Bank refused to replace, return, or provide reimbursement for the lost items, saying that they require receipts to show that that the owner of the house actually owned the items she said she did. Which is kind of hard to do since they were with the boxes of important papers, which they made sure to destroy.


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Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Sun Nov 17, 2013, 12:50 PM

142. that's why I'll never buy a house

I've seen to many mortgages and reading them, a default can be declared on just about anything.

No one is guaranteed their current income for the next 20 years, either. The whole idea is insanity.

The idea that we should take out huge loans up front and then pay for a thing rather than just save up for it and then buy it when we have the money. Now extended to cars and college tuition.

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