The main purpose of this blog has nothing to do with just ‘letting off steam.’ It’s to try to educate homeowners on the kind of power Homeowners Associations have. I get tons of email from people around the country who ask, “Can they really do that to me?”
The answer is, “Yes, they can. They are a completely unregulated power that has nothing to do with neighborhood improvement. It’s a warped process of trying to funnel your money to favored attorneys, collection agencies, brothers-in-law in the lawn maintenance business, and sometimes a little bribery and kickbacks. It’s about the money, it’s always about the money.”
Homeowners just have a tough time believing that…until it happens to them.
Here’s another sad story, one of thousands and thousands across the country. We get so much junk mail each day, we throw 90% of our mail out without even looking at it. A Texas woman did that. And she just got her home swiped by the Canyon Gate at Northpointe Homeowners Association. She thinks she can fight the seizure and auctioning of her home.
Sadly, she probably won’t win.
(link to ABC13 news story on woman’s loss of home)
The worst part is that these homes are foreclosed for small amounts of money, and quite often the investor who buys at auction makes a windfall. There’s no minimum bid required, and no regulation as to the amount of the debt and whether or not the calculations are accurate.
How does that protect property values? It just creates low comparables that affect appraised values of resales. And it creates bad publicity and a poor reputation for the ‘hood.
In this case, the owner knew she had not paid, though. I can’t figure out how she missed all the notices. Apparently nobody ever bothered to pick up the phone and call her. That might have averted the foreclosure sale. Guess they didn’t want to do that.
Why not just file an HOA lien and be done with it? There are contractors who file mechanic’s liens for much larger amounts, and they cannot collect until the house is sold – and even then, only if there’s money left after paying other creditors.