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(The Consumerist)   Woman refuses to join HOA. So naturally, they are allowed to take her house and sell it   (consumerist.com) divider line 338
    More: Asinine, HOA, refuses  
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16965 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Nov 2013 at 4:01 PM (41 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-11-19 03:56:24 PM
That's why you have a lawyer representing you when buying a house.
 
2013-11-19 04:04:15 PM
$45,000 loss over a $288 HOA bill. This is why you never ever join a HOA neighborhood.
 
2013-11-19 04:05:04 PM

Treygreen13: $45,000 loss over a $288 HOA bill. This is why you never ever join a HOA neighborhood.


This is why you read your goddamned mail.
 
2013-11-19 04:05:18 PM
I think it's just a matter of time before some HOA steals someones house and the guy who gets screwed decides to shoot the HOA leaders.
 
2013-11-19 04:05:55 PM
""I didn't know it was mandatory to join this...homeowners'," she says...

The previous homeowners should have told her and probably should not have been able to sell to her unless she joined the HOA.
 
2013-11-19 04:06:00 PM
If I've learned anything from this site over the years, it's that homeowners' associations are evil and to be avoided. Sometimes you don't have a choice, though: the home of your dreams or basic neighborhood amenities require it.

No, you do have a choice.  You have the choice to not purchase "the home of your dreams".

If you refuse to join an HOA and the home of your dreams is in the HOA, then how is it the home of your dreams anyway?
 
2013-11-19 04:06:42 PM

kronicfeld: Treygreen13: $45,000 loss over a $288 HOA bill. This is why you never ever join a HOA neighborhood.

This is why you read your goddamned mail sales terms.


FTFY
 
2013-11-19 04:07:09 PM

Treygreen13


$45,000 loss over a $288 HOA bill. This is why you never ever join a HOA neighborhood. should actually read the legal documents that you sign when buying a house and make sure you read mail before throwing it away.
 
2013-11-19 04:07:11 PM

Treygreen13: $45,000 loss over a $288 HOA bill. This is why you never ever join a HOA neighborhood.


FTA She paid $125,000 cash up front for the house in 2007, and that's about what the house should have sold for today.

Hmmm.... I think I'll need to see your source on that assertion.  I'm pretty sure the housing market isn't back 100% to pre-crash values

/Would never buy into an HOA neighborhood
 
2013-11-19 04:07:11 PM
HOAs are teh debil. Buy or build a home out in the puckerbrush and live free.

Fark those crones.
 
2013-11-19 04:07:24 PM
I'm trying to figure out if there's any  good reason why it should even be legally possible to seize assets orders of magnitude out of proportion to a debt, and I'm coming up empty.
 
2013-11-19 04:07:38 PM
Did the HOA sneak up on her and establish squatter's rights in the 'hood? If you don't wanna pay an HOA, don't move in where there's an HOA.

And srsly, $48 a year? Lots of HOAs charge more than that per week.
 
2013-11-19 04:07:49 PM
She should have read the HOA agreement she signed.
 
2013-11-19 04:07:58 PM

JuggleGeek: I think it's just a matter of time before some HOA steals someones house and the guy who gets screwed decides to shoot the HOA leaders.


As an object lesson to all HOAs everywhere.
 
2013-11-19 04:08:46 PM

Rapmaster2000: If I've learned anything from this site over the years, it's that homeowners' associations are evil and to be avoided. Sometimes you don't have a choice, though: the home of your dreams or basic neighborhood amenities require it.

No, you do have a choice.  You have the choice to not purchase "the home of your dreams".

If you refuse to join an HOA and the home of your dreams is in the HOA, then how is it the home of your dreams anyway?


Didn't you know? If it's really the home of your dreams, you have a  right to have it.
 
2013-11-19 04:08:54 PM

JuggleGeek: I think it's just a matter of time before some HOA steals someones house and the guy who gets screwed decides to shoot the HOA leaders.


We're talking about America. It has probably already happened. More than once...
 
2013-11-19 04:09:21 PM
As a Canadian, can somebody ELI5, what the flock a HOA is? I mean I get the jist of it,but what does an HOA actually do?
 
2013-11-19 04:09:58 PM
We've foreclosed on people who haven't paid their HOA dues.   It's not a matter of "joining" the HOA.   Her house was already subject to the HOA, she just refused to pay her bills.

Amusingly the guy we foreclosed on never paid his taxes either.    We had to pay off his taxes when we foreclosed.    So the guy ignores the county tax authority, he ignores our bills for six years, he ignores the notices posted on his property, he ignores the process server serving him with the foreclosure papers.   He ignores the notice for his right to cure after the sale.

Then a year afterwards he comes by wants to know how he can settle with is and get the property back.    After a brief investigation, the general sense of the ENTIRE HOA MEMBERSHIP was to tell him to take a hike.
 
2013-11-19 04:09:58 PM
I don't even get how HOAs are legal, honestly. How the hell do my neighbors have the right to say what I can or can't do with my house, so long as it isn't lowering property values?
 
2013-11-19 04:10:56 PM
This has nothing to do with her "not joining the HOA." She "joined" the HOA when the bought the house, but was too dumb to realize it and didn't pay the bill. She admitted she saw the HOA bills and chose not to pay them.

Not that she deserved to lose the house, but goddamn. How can someone buy a house and still be this stupid?
 
WGJ
2013-11-19 04:11:07 PM
I cannot figure out for the life of me how HOAs are even legal. They aren't government agencies that collect taxes so they would have actual control of your property, they're just a goddamn group that's gotten too powerful. Kinda like a bridge club that decided to fark over their neighbors.
 
2013-11-19 04:11:27 PM
Stories like this are exactly why we refuse to buy in a condo or neighborhood with an HOA.  I don't give a shiat if my neighbor wants to park a boat in their driveway/yard, what color curtains they have, or want to work on their car.  We like having the freedom to choose.  My friends in HOA's are always getting complaints, tickets, etc...  and they don't even know any of their neighbors.  It's just an excuse to hide in your house and biatch about others...
Guess what?  We know all of our neighbors and handle things (fence repair, branches overhanging the property line) by talking about it and working together.    Loud party?  No problem, because we're all invited/warned in the neighborhood...
 
2013-11-19 04:11:34 PM

AnonymooseFarker: As a Canadian, can somebody ELI5, what the flock a HOA is? I mean I get the jist of it,but what does an HOA actually do?


It's highly variable, but they're generally responsible for the maintenance of common areas and the enforcement of various building/decoration rules for the neighborhood.

I have a condo, and the condo association is basically what maintains the exterior and common areas of the building.  They also organize a few events throughout the year and do some other things (like tax appeals for the entire building, etc.).
 
2013-11-19 04:11:59 PM
From the linked article:
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...

Nathan Billings, an attorney for the Masterson Station Neighborhood Association, said the association did not know anyone lived at the house. The court appointed a "warning order attorney," whose job it is to make an effort to track down defendants in debt cases.

The warning order attorney also tried reaching Boak by certified mail, but the letter was returned.


So, alternately headline would be "woman appears out of nowhere claiming to own abandoned property, despite never responding to repeated court summons."
 
2013-11-19 04:12:01 PM

Ilmarinen: Rapmaster2000: If I've learned anything from this site over the years, it's that homeowners' associations are evil and to be avoided. Sometimes you don't have a choice, though: the home of your dreams or basic neighborhood amenities require it.

No, you do have a choice.  You have the choice to not purchase "the home of your dreams".

If you refuse to join an HOA and the home of your dreams is in the HOA, then how is it the home of your dreams anyway?

Didn't you know? If it's really the home of your dreams, you have a  right to have it.


Don't even get me started on "the home of your dreams"?  Who says that?  Barbie has a dream home... and a dream townhouse and a dream Corvette.  Adults shouldn't have "dream long-term debt obligations".
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-11-19 04:12:34 PM
We're missing the bigger picture: should people featured in Consumerist articles be allowed to own property?
 
2013-11-19 04:13:23 PM
Whether or not HOAs are retarded is completely irrelevant.  What *is* relevant is that people who buy houses should be aware of what that home ownership entails....

As a general rule....

You'll have to pay property taxes.  The amount can (and will) go up.  And no, you can't do anything about it.  Failure to pay any amount of back taxes can/will result in the city taking your house.
You'll have to conform to a ton of laws, state laws, local laws, city laws, that will dictate all sorts of things from if you can build a deck to what color you can paint.
If you have a mortgage, you'll have even more things you need to do (like pay the mortgage/maintain insurance or whatever else you agree).
You'll probably be locked into only a small selection of utility providers.
You'll also be assuming any outstanding liens against the house (title insurance)
If there is an HOA, you'll be subject to very similar laws that govern most local governments.  They'll have fees/shared areas/regulations on what you can and can't do to your house.  Like the local government, they can assess fees against you and can eventually take your house for not paying.
You're also (often) considered responsible for things that happen on your property or at your house.

Owning a house isn't for everyone....but come'on, it's almost certainly the biggest purchase you'll ever make in your entire life.  Spend more time looking into it than you would watching a season of American Idol....
 
2013-11-19 04:13:34 PM

NateAsbestos: I don't even get how HOAs are legal, honestly. How the hell do my neighbors have the right to say what I can or can't do with my house, so long as it isn't lowering property values?


Contract law. Which can run with the land.

Most HOA enforcements are extension of already existing city regulations, just with a private entity tasked with enforcement rather than city employees.

Which is why cities don't mind HOAs.
 
2013-11-19 04:13:38 PM
Sure, there are horror stories about the HOA, but you'd be glad it has legal status when the guy next to you decides to put a mobile home in the front yard to house 20 of his relatives.

My own HOA works just fine thank you.  At first they had a list of "acceptable" paint colors, which quickly got changed to "anything in the official Sherwin Williams" catalog, which prevents people from putting up something neon pink or black, but pretty much anything else goes.
 
2013-11-19 04:13:58 PM

AnonymooseFarker: As a Canadian, can somebody ELI5, what the flock a HOA is? I mean I get the jist of it,but what does an HOA actually do?


HOA = Home Owner's Association.
 
2013-11-19 04:14:01 PM

WGJ: I cannot figure out for the life of me how HOAs are even legal. They aren't government agencies that collect taxes so they would have actual control of your property, they're just a goddamn group that's gotten too powerful. Kinda like a bridge club that decided to fark over their neighbors.


I was wondering about this too.  What gives them legal rights over property that isn't theirs?
 
2013-11-19 04:14:37 PM
It's remarkable how fast democracy becomes fascist or communist tyranny when the people with the money are in the "majority".

Has anybody dared to tell the GOP and Tihadis they're not the majority any more? They must have figured it out for themselves or they wouldn't be playing the old Jim Crow "Block the Vote" game.

The only thing worse than HOAs is HMOs. Notice how a bootstrap turns into a whip so easily if you lengthen its reach.
 
2013-11-19 04:14:42 PM

Voiceofreason01: The previous homeowners should have told her and probably should not have been able to sell to her unless she joined the HOA.


It was 100% emblazoned on her closing documents and the regional sales contract itself. Not to mention  the MLS listing. She was willfully ignorant.
 
2013-11-19 04:15:06 PM
If HOA membership is required in the deed, is there a way to get it removed?

Could you go to closing with the seller, and say 'I want this portion requiring HOA membership removed.'?  Can they do it? or does the HOA have rights to fight it?

Call out the Fark legal team!
 
2013-11-19 04:16:16 PM
Often it isn't possible to get all the amenities you want without an HOA.   The developer puts in a neighbor hood with common resources, someone has to pay for their upkeep.    In my Virginia, house, we pay very small dues because we hardly have any common areas.      In NC, I have a 3000' runway, all the neighborhood roads, the boat slips, a tram down the hill, a boat launching ramp, etc... that comes with my lots.

As stated, if you can't deal with this little piece of cooperative living, go buy somewhere else.
Not all HOA's exist solely to be NAZIs over your garbage cans or paint colors (amusingly the next community over is like this, and any time someone tries to get activist in our neighborhood, they usually get shouted down at the meetings with the "If we wanted to live in Reston, we'd move to Reston" mantra).
 
2013-11-19 04:16:21 PM

Arkanaut: WGJ: I cannot figure out for the life of me how HOAs are even legal. They aren't government agencies that collect taxes so they would have actual control of your property, they're just a goddamn group that's gotten too powerful. Kinda like a bridge club that decided to fark over their neighbors.

I was wondering about this too.  What gives them legal rights over property that isn't theirs?


The rights were given by the homeowner and it includes an agreement to only sell/transfer ownership to another person who also agrees to the terms of the HOA.

In other words, the seller was legally bound to only sell to someone who would join the HOA.  The buyer knew this (it was certainly disclosed) at the time.  When she bought the place, she joined the HOA and agreed to those terms.

At some point, the owners all agreed.
 
2013-11-19 04:16:23 PM

Theaetetus: From the linked article:
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...

Nathan Billings, an attorney for the Masterson Station Neighborhood Association, said the association did not know anyone lived at the house. The court appointed a "warning order attorney," whose job it is to make an effort to track down defendants in debt cases.

The warning order attorney also tried reaching Boak by certified mail, but the letter was returned.

So, alternately headline would be "woman appears out of nowhere claiming to own abandoned property, despite never responding to repeated court summons."


Many people ignore certified mail because who is at home to receive mail in the middle of the day? And with most post offices closed or only open for a few hours on Saturday.....

Which is why when I was doing that kind of thing we exceeded state law and sent copies regular mail.

Gee, they actually read the letters then. laws that call for certified should also say "and regular mail"
 
2013-11-19 04:16:53 PM

Tricky Chicken: If HOA membership is required in the deed, is there a way to get it removed?


Yes, it is possible. However, because everyone's membership is a condition of all of the deeds in the development, it would be necessary to obtain the agreement of every homeowner.
 
2013-11-19 04:17:12 PM

Arkanaut: WGJ: I cannot figure out for the life of me how HOAs are even legal. They aren't government agencies that collect taxes so they would have actual control of your property, they're just a goddamn group that's gotten too powerful. Kinda like a bridge club that decided to fark over their neighbors.

I was wondering about this too.  What gives them legal rights over property that isn't theirs?


A prior owner of the property signed a contract agreeing to abide by the HOA rules. The terms also stated that the contract would be binding on any future purchasers. This lady would have seen it in the closing documents and agreed to it as part of the sale.
Accordingly, the contract she agreed to gives them legal rights over property that isn't theirs, just like any other contract that includes such provisions.
 
2013-11-19 04:17:56 PM

Tricky Chicken: If HOA membership is required in the deed, is there a way to get it removed?

Could you go to closing with the seller, and say 'I want this portion requiring HOA membership removed.'?  Can they do it? or does the HOA have rights to fight it?

Call out the Fark legal team!



You can't remove it. It must legally be disclosed and you either sign it or go buy another house
 
2013-11-19 04:18:07 PM
If you have ever lived next to a house where the owner stores abandoned cars and boats in their front yard, you might realize why someone would purchase a home in a HOA.  Sometimes you want rules in place just in case your neighbors turn out to be inconsiderate asses. If you don't want those rules, don't buy into a HOA neighborhood. Or participate in your HOA and have an influence.
 
2013-11-19 04:18:15 PM

AnonymooseFarker: As a Canadian, can somebody ELI5, what the flock a HOA is? I mean I get the jist of it,but what does an HOA actually do?


A Home Owner's Association is a legal entity which as an equity interest in your home.  When building a housing development, many developers establish a HOA.  This creates a central board which regulates certain aspects of living in the area -- what color you can paint your house, if you are allowed to fix a car in your driveway, how often you have to take care of your grass, etc.  They also provide for common areas (pools, flower gardens at the entrance, playgrounds, etc.) and in some areas provide for snow removal or garbage service.

The deeds to the property are limited in that in order to hold a deed, you must belong to the HOA.  They HOA is allowed to charge fees for their services and if you don't pay the fees, they're allowed to foreclose on your house (sell it, keep their component, and then give you the balance).
 
2013-11-19 04:18:53 PM

kronicfeld: Tricky Chicken: If HOA membership is required in the deed, is there a way to get it removed?

Yes, it is possible. However, because everyone's membership is a condition of all of the deeds in the development, it would be necessary to obtain the agreement of every homeowner.


Most HOAs probably have dissolution clauses. But there wouldn't be any way to unilaterally withdraw from a HOA.
 
2013-11-19 04:19:16 PM

kronicfeld: Tricky Chicken: If HOA membership is required in the deed, is there a way to get it removed?

Yes, it is possible. However, because everyone's membership is a condition of all of the deeds in the development, it would be necessary to obtain the agreement of every homeowner.


ok I guess you can but only as a neighborhood. I thought she meant as a buyer
 
2013-11-19 04:19:24 PM
When does having an HOA start to have a diminishing return? I would think with all these suburban nightmare stories, people would wise up and buy in neighborhoods that don't have HOAs, driving the price down.
 
2013-11-19 04:19:49 PM

WGJ: I cannot figure out for the life of me how HOAs are even legal. They aren't government agencies that collect taxes so they would have actual control of your property, they're just a goddamn group that's gotten too powerful. Kinda like a bridge club that decided to fark over their neighbors.


How are they legal?  Basic contract law?  They only have the power that they're given by the homeowners who establish them.
 
2013-11-19 04:20:00 PM

AnonymooseFarker: As a Canadian, can somebody ELI5, what the flock a HOA is? I mean I get the jist of it,but what does an HOA actually do?


Take your money, boss everyone around, answer to nobody but themselves and refuse to let you do anything creative to the exterior of your home.

Oh, and take your money.
 
2013-11-19 04:20:19 PM

Tricky Chicken: If HOA membership is required in the deed, is there a way to get it removed?

Could you go to closing with the seller, and say 'I want this portion requiring HOA membership removed.'?  Can they do it? or does the HOA have rights to fight it?

Call out the Fark legal team!


Depends on the CC&Rs. The usual answer is no, if you don't want the HOA then no home for you.

But a few have the ability for 75% of the homeowners to dissolve an HOA after a period of time.
 
2013-11-19 04:20:30 PM

ecmoRandomNumbers: with all these suburban nightmare stories


One "nightmare story" to nine hundred ninety-nine non-stories.
 
2013-11-19 04:21:18 PM
Just bought a house. Only thing we told the realtor was NO HOA. She even came back with a few options that had HOA but only for shared water and still was a BIG NO.

I realize that in large parts of the country you cant find a house not part of a HOA but I will not live under the thumb of a bunch of busy bodies looking for grass thats too tall, weird house colors etc. The city is bad enough without another layer of assholes in which to have to carve out your life.

.9 acres neighbors are far enough away and loving it. The ones we have met seem cool.
 
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