Tag Archives: Florida

Outrage in Florida HOA

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.

The Bridgewater HOA told her she had to pay a $500 fee to the HOA before they would give her permission to rent. But the dispute escalated. The HOA didn’t foreclose on the home, but it evicted McCarn’s tenant and then moved in a tenant of their choice.

McCarn says it’s impossibly wrong. The HOA doesn’t own the house, McCarn does. But without going to court the HOA has essentially seized the home. They’ve appropriated the income stream from their replacement tenant. And they’ve done the same kind of thing to six other homeowners at Bridgewater.

Even lawyers who customarily support HOA actions against homeowners who get behind on their dues, says this kind of action is without precedent and is not something the law allows.

Perhaps so. But as growing numbers of these stories emerge, it builds the feeling among many people that the basic structure of the American HOA is fundamentally corrupt and totally outside the U.S. Constitution. They’re beyong the law.


Ward Lucas
Author of
Neighbors At War: The Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association

HOA Embezzlement Suspect Did it for Lotto Tickets?

Writing Checks

Writing Checks 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.

Stupid Reporters, but They’ll Learn

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.

Besides, they complain, the developer can’t sell 9 of the 60 homes there, so he’s decided to rent them out instead of selling them and turning control of the HOA over to the residents.

The average thumb sucking dullard could figure a few things out, here. Housing prices have nose-dived in Homeowners Associations because home buyers are getting smart. They’re figuring out that the worst investment in the world is an HOA home where the dues aren’t being paid. Yes, the local swimming pool is covered with green grunge, but that won’t change until every home is occupied and all dues are being paid again. That could take years.

And that rotten developer! What if he just turned those homes over to the bank? That’s nine more foreclosures in a neighborhood that’s already going through its death throes. He’s actually keeping that housing development on life support, probably at enormous personal expense.

Then the idiot homeowner complained that she thought she was moving into an ownership community? Wake up and smell the coffee. Pass a state law that says no HOA resident is allowed to rent out his home. Then you’ll see how low housing prices really can go!

One more thing. Homes inside Homeowner Associations take a faster dive in value than any other kind of housing. So much for the promise of protecting the equity of your home.

I just had an idea. What if all those weepy homeowners quit talking to reporters and walked around the neighborhood voluntarily cleaning things up. Nah, come to think of it, that doesn’t happen in Homeowner Associations. They’ll wait until they can appoint a cleanup committee.

Ward Lucas
Author of
Neighbors At War: The Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association