There’s no question that Florida Homeowner Associations have suffered in the housing downturn. There’s no question it has impacted just about everyone. But some HOAs have found ways to take the most outrageous actions against a few homeowners to siphon off money and ownership rights of the few to help pay the expenses of the majority. Welcome to the kind of “democracy” practiced by the Bridgewater Community Association in Wesley Chapel, Florida.
Joanne McCarn says she missed an annual dues payment of $225 when her mother died. She was willing to make that up, but then she discovered the amount the HOA wanted was more than ten times the amount owed. She balked. She moved out, and put in a tenant to help make the mortgage payments.
Another reported HOA Embezzlement (one of tens of thousounds of such cases) and this one is almost amusing. Police in West Melbourne, Florida arrested 67 year old Sandra Blumberg. She was the treasurer for Hunter’s Creek Homeowner Association in West Melbourne.
Police say Mrs. Blumberg wrote checks to herself from neighborhood HOA funds in an effort to recover money she had lost on Lotto Scratch-Off tickets.
Lovely, isn’t it?
Mrs. Blumberg must have thought she deserved the extra money for all the hard work she did for her neighbors. HOA officials, in case you don’t know, are routinely instructed by HOA officials never to talk to the media. Makes you wonder why.
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An amazingly ignorant story was posted by reporter Jeff Skrzypek of WPTV this month. It noted that Homeowner Associations in Florida were crippled by the housing crisis. He did have the class to acknowledge that developers were also impacted.
Then, the reporter interviewed whiny homeowners in Lake Worth, Florida who pay their dues each month but just don’t see the neighborhood improving because so many foreclosed homes are driving down prices, and those homes don’t contribute to maintainance of the common areas.