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Underfunded U.S. homeowner
associations get heavy

Reuters, by Michelle Conlin

Original Article

Posted By:Pluperfect, 1/8/2014 5:57:32 AM

For six years, Ingrid Boak, who travels a lot for work as a racehorse trainer, ignored mail from her homeowner association. Boak, of Lexington, Kentucky, says the letters were requests for $48 in annual fees for upkeep of the tidy neighborhood of one-story brick homes. Because she didn´t use the clubhouse or pool, or participate in social activities sponsored by the association, she didn´t think she needed to pay. Last September, while she was away, a neighbor called to tell her about a handwritten sign tacked to her front door. It said her house had been sold. Masterson Station Neighborhood Association had


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Reply 1 - Posted by: Country Boy, 1/8/2014 6:37:13 AM     (No. 9683811)

DW´s niece bought a house in a "community" 10 years ago. Many of the house are now empty, and she is huge underwater with her mortgage. She told me a few weeks ago the water bill was $25/month 10 years ago, now $140. Guess the Homeowners Association needs a new well.

Dangerous stuff for your finances.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: kayjaymac, 1/8/2014 6:48:59 AM     (No. 9683823)

I´m sorry, but she had to know about the association fee when she bought the house. $48 a year?

It stinks, but you have to open your mail and pay your $4 a month, Ingrid.

That said, we´ve lived in an association once, and won´t ever again, God willing.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: Spidey, 1/8/2014 6:51:33 AM     (No. 9683827)

I´m sure there´s neighborhoods in Detroit that could use these people wisdom and guidance.´Sir,your roof is about to fall in,it must be repaired in 30 days,or you´ll get a $25 fine."

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Reply 4 - Posted by: StormCnter, 1/8/2014 6:55:18 AM     (No. 9683830)

My son-in-law served on the board of his homeowner´s association, because everyone was unhappy with how the fees weren´t being spent on maintaing walking trails and so forth, but simply sitting in the bank drawing interest. His experience was so awful that he vows "never again".

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Reply 5 - Posted by: Periwinkel, 1/8/2014 6:56:54 AM     (No. 9683834)

The most interesting quote: "..Even though these board members oversee what are often multi-million-dollar operations, they require no licensing or training to do their jobs."

Not trained!? Hell´s Bells. You can´t get anyone to serve period. I have seen several condo associations (operating under the same laws as neighborhood associations) taken over by the state because no one will serve on the Board...and they were million-dollar operations. Sometimes people are really stupid and they won´t read the documents they receive at closing.

Sign me: Condo Association Board Member for six more months.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: JimS, 1/8/2014 7:18:52 AM     (No. 9683853)

I am not defending Ingrid Boak´s failure to pay her homeoociation fees.
But, really, seize and sell her $120K house over $288?
And another guy had his $350K house seized and auctioned over $900 in late fees?
I can say with absolute certainty that if this were done to me, I would firebomb the houses of those responsible, while the owners were in residence and their doors and windows Super-Glued shut

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Reply 7 - Posted by: lazyman, 1/8/2014 7:25:28 AM     (No. 9683856)

I think if you don´t have kids in school you should stop paying your property tax.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: god of irony, 1/8/2014 7:52:35 AM     (No. 9683887)

It seems to me that foreclosure is cruel and unusual punishment. Why not just put a lien on the property?

#7 do you interact with your community? Do you have a police, fire, doctors, store clerks, or businesses that have employees that need to be educated? Did other taxpayers without kids pay taxes for you to attend school?

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Reply 9 - Posted by: chumley, 1/8/2014 8:13:52 AM     (No. 9683906)

I have a friend who lives in such a place. I would rather live under a bridge than surrender my sovereignty to some petty tyrant.
Giving up your freedom never ends well. Don´t do it.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: Gorzabozo, 1/8/2014 8:26:50 AM     (No. 9683920)

Quote from "The Patriot" with Mel Gibson: "Why trade one tyrant 3,000 miles away for 3,000 tyrants one mile away"?

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Reply 11 - Posted by: NorthernDog, 1/8/2014 8:59:25 AM     (No. 9683971)

It seems rater extreme to sell her house over a couple hundred dollars. Perhaps there is more to the story. However, after living in one HOA neighborhood I would never do it again. There are some people who quickly turn into a little Il Duce the moment they get some power over others.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: preciosodrogas, 1/8/2014 8:59:58 AM     (No. 9683972)

Can´t just slap on a lien, the assoc. needs cash flow. Much of this could be solved with an automatic payment system from the owner´s bank account. I saw enough of these assoc.s to never want to be involved, but they do need cash flow given the maintenance costs they incur monthly and are obligated to pay.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: SoCalGal, 1/8/2014 9:02:38 AM     (No. 9683979)

The homeowner association obligation is fully described in the documents that purchasers must be given and sign that they have been given at the time they purchase any unit in a planned unit community in California.

The notion that one does not owe them if one does not use a pool or a community center has nothing to do with whether one pays one´s monthly fees. It also does not matter if one is "away" part of the year.

The fees usually cover far more than the amenities. In our condo association, they pay for insurance on our unit (except contents), building maintenance, maintenance of all common areas (everything that is not within one´s four walls), and reserves for major repairs/replacements such as roofs.

This woman´s launching into a rant about East Germany is absurd, and intended for effect. Poor ms. She should have read her documents, abided by them, and paid her fees.

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Reply 14 - Posted by: SoCalGal, 1/8/2014 9:07:27 AM     (No. 9683984)

PS. Those documents include the information that a unit can be sold if homeowner fees are not paid. The article says she received 30 notices.

Foreclosure is a long and arduous process that is not undertaken lightly nor is it easy to do. This woman had to have been a real scofflaw (her attitude tells us that) to get to this point. And I doubt that she has told the whole story. Just the part that makes her look like a victim and the HOA look like ogres.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: earlybird, 1/8/2014 9:25:11 AM     (No. 9684006)

Here is the article to read. It includes many of the details that are missing from this one:


One nugget from this is that she admits she didn´t open her mail - at least the part that notified her about what was happening (the posted article says she was sent 30 notices).

Boak acknowledged that she did not open letters or respond to the attempts to reach her by mail, but said no one served her with a notice in person or received a signature from her acknowledging that she knew her home would be sold.

Foreclosure is foreclosure. Personal service is not the norm. And she´d have been sent notice. She just didn´t open it.

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Reply 16 - Posted by: Emerson, 1/8/2014 9:30:34 AM     (No. 9684013)

More from the article linked in #15:

She said she was not aware that attorneys appointed by the court sent her notices to warn her that the association had filed a notice of lien on the property for $884 in unpaid dues and assessments in the county clerk´s office in April 2012. And Boak said that because she was working out of town she did not respond to certified mail notices. She said she never saw correspondence that the case had gone to court or that the court had approved that the home be sold at a master commissioner´s sale to satisfy the judgment against her.

And she didn´t appeal the sale.

This is a 15 Minutes kind of a deal, it appears.

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Reply 17 - Posted by: flybynight, 1/8/2014 9:34:56 AM     (No. 9684020)

I lived in one of these HOA neighborhoods for ten long years, and you can count me solidly in the never-again camp. Bunch of nosy busy-bodies bent on forcing their own silly ideas on those stupid enough to buy there. it was hunky-dory for neighbor A to let his chained-up Collie bark all day and all night. it was just lovely of neighbor B to call the city inspectors whining about a quarter acre of daisies he couldn´t even see. (The city guy loved it. so there!) It was just fine for neighbor C to run his leafblower at 0730 every freaking morning. I didn´t complain, I meekly paid my stupid dues for amenities I never used! but Lord I was glad to get shut of that little fiefdom! Caveat emptor!!!

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Reply 18 - Posted by: FL_Absentee_Voter, 1/8/2014 9:50:30 AM     (No. 9684054)

I live in a rural area but with an elected "Community Planning Group" chartered with promoting sensible growth of the community. To the chairman of the group, that included a 3-year battle over the height of a steeple on a proposed church. "I can´t accept more than 50 feet" was the money quote. And the church finally gave in.

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Reply 19 - Posted by: StormCnter, 1/8/2014 10:08:57 AM     (No. 9684086)

#18, our small rural town also has experience with community planners and the newly arrived. I´ll match your "50-foot steeple" with one of our planners who wanted no gated walls that were not "Colleyville pink brick" and another who thought the minimum size of a second building on a residential lot had to be more than 1200 sft, because "that´s just not large enough for servants´ quarters".

I have to qualify that each of those comments came from former residents of Dallas, who were having trouble adjusting to a little farm community.

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Reply 20 - Posted by: mickturn, 1/8/2014 11:05:22 AM     (No. 9684197)

...and they wonder why some people involved with this heavy handed thugisms have issues with their neighbors and eventually are forced to leave town...

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Reply 21 - Posted by: zephyrgirl, 1/8/2014 1:12:46 PM     (No. 9684423)

I was persuaded to join an HOA board once. Never again. I still can´t decide who´s worse - the homeowners who didn´t pick up after their dogs, let their houses go to seed, and parked all kinds of junk on the common property, or the board that wanted to exempt themselves from the rules while sticking it to everyone else.

After six months, I said, "a pox on all of you," and quit.

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Reply 22 - Posted by: thewarden, 1/8/2014 6:40:10 PM     (No. 9684952)

Me, too. I was on the HOA board for about a year but quit when we were videotaped and threatened by an angry homeowner. I´d had enough. I don´t need that kind of nonsense. Our board actually runs the HOA quite well and are accountable and reasonable. It really does keep the neighborhood decent. Of course there are losers who take it too seriously but overall it is a plus. In CA, HOAs are extremely regulated by the state (like our elections have to be monitored by outside companies we have to hire!) and don´t get away with anything--liens are useless here as HOAs are always the last to get paid. We could never have foreclosed on anyone--trust me. And lastly, if you don´t like the idea, live elsewhere. Duh!

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Reply 23 - Posted by: Coy860, 1/8/2014 6:56:22 PM     (No. 9684989)

I once made the mistake of buying in a HOA controlled subdivision. The Mayor of the town lived across the street and parked his trailer and lawn mower in the street most days and every night so it was the first thing I saw in the morning when I went out to get the newspaper. Next door to him, the owner parked his car, to which a boat and motor sat on a trailer, directly across from my driveway. (Backing my car out was a nightmare). HOA would not do anything about enforcing their "no night parking on the street" rules. I was out of there in 8 months.

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The Week, by Stassa Edwards    Original Article
Posted By: MissMolly- 3/21/2014 4:29:41 AM     Post Reply
W hen news broke that respected fashion designer L´Wren Scott had passed away on Monday, The New York Times noted her suicide with the regrettable headline "Mick Jagger´s Girlfriend Found Dead." The Times wasn´t alone in its faux pas; the Associated Press dutifully tweeted, "BREAKING: Law enforcement: Mick Jagger´ [sic] girlfriend, L´Wren Scott, found dead in NYC of possible suicide." Though the AP managed to slip Scott´s name in the headline of the report, both news organizations seemed to agree: Scott´s death was newsworthy only because of her romantic association with a legendary rock and roller. Editors at neither The New York

Without facts on the missing airliner,
the media make stuff up

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Washington Post, by Eugene Robinson    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 3/21/2014 4:56:42 AM     Post Reply
Let me go out on a limb: The Malaysian airliner did not get sucked into a black hole, vanish over the Indian Ocean equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle or crash-land on the spooky island from “Lost.” Those “theories” were actually discussed on CNN this week. Host Don Lemon dismissed them as “preposterous” before asking one of his assembled “expert” guests — there were six of them waiting expectantly in their boxes on the screen — whether, you know, such ideas really were so preposterous. At which point the nonstop coverage of this tragedy entered the Twilight Zone. The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines

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