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(Chron)   Homeowner's association sells woman's $250,000 home without her knowledge for not paying the $420 "assessment fee"... Tony Soprano not available for comment   ( divider line
    More: Asinine  
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30593 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Apr 2005 at 9:12 PM (12 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

260 Comments     (+0 »)

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2005-04-29 10:51:47 AM  
The joke is on them when we send them the foreclosure notice and inform them that someone has bought their house and if they do not redeem the property in the next 6 months, we will file an eviction in the local Justice of the Peace court and ask the sheriff to kick them out.

I've always wondered, what does it feel like to have a career that causes pain and suffering? Do the bullcrank justifications for your actions come to you day by day or all at once?
2005-04-29 10:53:16 AM  
banger --
"Most people who seem to hold this opinion typically don't own a home they care about."

Ahh, but I do, I also rent out two others. You see, I know my neighbors. We help with each other's houses. Oh my god, I even helped one fix his car and get it off his lawn. What a farking concept.

Don't get so attached to your stuff that you think you have the right to tell other people what they have to do with theirs. If I had to live next to a guy like you, I'd do everything within my power to it as miserable as possible for you.
2005-04-29 10:58:37 AM  
HOAs=pinko Commies. Got it.
2005-04-29 11:00:16 AM  
people like Bugsi and Lawdude kill me.

There is a degree of personal responsibility here, true enough. However, this situation is an expensive lesson to learn. I don't think that anyone would or perhaps, should, condone the selling of this person's home. I agree that she should have responded to the mailing (if she received it) but it seems that for $480 someone should have had a degree of common sense and asked to have this taken care of another way. Once again, perhaps arbitration would have worked.

People work too hard to buy homes for them to be taken away for less than $400.

Common sense should have prevailed.
2005-04-29 11:02:33 AM  
Ni Svoeit Rsusai, (respelled to avoid filter) you had more property rights than the sorry schmoes saddled with a HOA. In grade school, we were all taught that this is a free country. Too bad that's bullshiat. Property rights are among the most basic possible, yet they are run roughshod upon every day here. If any group deserves to be lined up and shot, it is nosy nimbys who want to tell us what we can and can't do on our own property.
2005-04-29 11:02:47 AM  
DrZombie: The most beautiful places to live in this country have no home-owners association.

Someone once said that if you're thinking about a condo, look at their list of rules. Lots of rules means they've had lots of problems and problem residents.
2005-04-29 11:06:06 AM  
2005-04-28 09:48:50 PM jayhawk88

How the hell does something like this go to "We sold your house at a foreclosure auction" without at least making a stop at small claims court? If it's a contract between the homeowner and the HOA, they could take the homeowner to court to get their dues.

I imagine it's because Texas is a Non-Judicial Foreclosure State. In other words, unlike in some states, in the State of Texas (I'm inferring), a court order is not required for the property to be sold at a foreclosure auction. Many states have non-judicial foreclosure, but some states (for instance New York) have never had a foreclosure under their non-judicial foreclosure laws, so all foreclosures have service of process, a hearing and a court order.
2005-04-29 11:20:07 AM  
Omega Ohm

If I had to live next to a guy like you, I'd do everything within my power to it as miserable as possible for you.

What's so funny about this statement is I'm not one of those people you're so worried about. In fact, I'm probably one of the ones the HOA nazi's would be worried about. I got asked a couple of times last summer to take better care of my lawn. I really don't give a shiat about grass and weeds. I'd rather work on one of my vintage Vespas in my garage. My point is simply that there are times when HOAs are beneficial. My neighbors are all very nice. To the right of me is a school board member / preacher, the other side are a couple of research chemists from Italy who are working at a children's hospital on a cure for cancer, and another is a Hispanic couple who practice immigration law and provide defence for many of our local migrant workers. Yes, I know my neighbors. Heck, we stand around in the street chatting 'till it's dark every other night. Everyone gets along. (It's a small neighborhood...) Our HOA doesn't have to enforce the bylaws because we don't need to. They're just there to provide some relief if some complete asshat moves in.
2005-04-29 11:23:06 AM  
I got asked a couple of times last summer to take better care of my lawn.

(I will have to admit the lawn was looking pretty bad...)
2005-04-29 11:34:54 AM  
Fark paying dues. I would have never bought my house if there was a home owners association. I can cut MY grass. I can fix MY roof. Paying "dues" for these amenities sounds like rent on top of my 30 year mortgage, property tax, school tax... blah, blah, blah.

It's my house. If I want to put my trash can on the left side of my driveway insted of the right side I'm gonna do just that.

CRAP! That reminds me... today is trash day.
2005-04-29 11:36:12 AM  
The problem is that these places buy up all the homes in an area. It isn't my fault that the rest of the real estate in the region is too expensive. I consider it unfair that any business can buy up so many homes in one area.

Screw these conformist organizations.
2005-04-29 11:40:31 AM  

I imagine it's because Texas is a Non-Judicial Foreclosure State.

A little googling and it appears that Texas has both Judicial and Non-Judicial foreclosures. The way "non-judicial" seems to work there is that there's a clause in your mortgage that pre-authorizes the lender to go ahead and sell your house if you go into default. However, they still have to do it at a public, courthouse auction. I'd assume that mortgage companies always put that clause in, because they can. But I'm not sure that HOA's can do that.

While this is kinda harsh, shenanagins still applies. The story said she's been renovating and showed up one day to see a note that said the house had been auctioned off 7 months earlier??!!! I don't think so:
a) Pretend you were the winning bidder. You now own a $250,000 house. Aren't you gonna go buy earlier than seven months and maybe change the locks or something? You are NOT going to just let it sit there.
b) Did she own it outright or did she have a mortgage? I would expect that the mortgage company got some notification or payoff from the auction proceeds, and if she was mailing in mortgage checks they'd send them back.

My crystal ball says she told the HOA to FOAD. They started foreclosure. They probably had to serve the mortgage company, who said, no, we're not going to be second in line to you bozo HOA. Perhaps she was even late on mortgage, too. WE'RE foreclosing with our non-judicial clause. (I will defer to a Texan who knows how it really happens down there, though.)
2005-04-29 11:41:12 AM  
There is nothing more unamerican than HAs ( homeowners' associations ). The unmittigated gall of these lonely housewives who must nitpick an entire neighborhood to get their jollies is out of control. How dare these people tell others, and have authority to enforce, how to live. If you think this is just a suburban yuppie scum trend, think again. These slime are entering every neighborhood and your days as a slob are numbered. At least mine are.
2005-04-29 11:52:57 AM  
Your papers, please.
2005-04-29 11:53:40 AM  
One reason I would never move to a neighborhood with a homeowners association. It is freaking insanely crazy, if someone doesn't like you they will screw you in it. All hail the Yard Nazi's!!!!!
2005-04-29 12:12:15 PM  
The ironic thing is that in most areas where there is no HOA, you still have the same general rules about keeping your grass short, not playing loud music, and not having junk cars on your lawn. Except it's done through zoning, and most communities are too overworked to bother with you unless it gets really bad or lots of people complain.

Oh yeah, and they can only fine you and not take your house away.

/shopping for a house in the city for this very reason.
2005-04-29 12:14:22 PM  
Okay, maybe that's not exactly ironic. A little tired today...
2005-04-29 12:30:41 PM  
Yeah, like I need some busy bodies telling me what color to paint my house, when to cut the grass, how to raise the hydrochronic in the greenhouse...

2005-04-29 12:33:30 PM  

There is absolutely nothing good about homeowner associations. If I had a button I could press to destroy them all, I'd press it. It's just a bunch of weak, ineffective people who get their kicks out of controlling peoples lives, and were too stupid to even be teachers.

I second that and up the ante to include the on-site "managers" of apartment complexes. farking moronic, low-life, uneducated, otherwise-unemployable power-tripping tyrants. And here I thought that once I settle down and buy a house I won't have to deal with this type of shiat! Sounds like there's very little difference between HOAs and apartment managers.

/Being a good tenant isn't enough.
//I don't kiss anyone's ass.
///You see what it gets me? Bleh!
2005-04-29 12:33:32 PM  
Neighborhoods, unlike the universe, shouldn't be beige.

You have four color choices for your new home, beige, dark beige, light beige, or white.
2005-04-29 12:39:45 PM  
A few years ago in the Phoenix metro area (I forget which city exactly) we had a similar situation. This one had something to do with disagreements over special assessments that targeted this guy in particular over some sort of non-compliance with regs. In that case the situatiuon was finally resolved when the guy whose home had been sold walked into the home owners' association meeting and filled several of the members full of lead. As I recall at least one person died, and the guy is now on death row. We still have HOAs pulling the same stunts.
2005-04-29 12:42:48 PM  
Homeowners associations are the modern home of the fourth reich. The people who ascend to the lofty heights of "community governance" often also have fascist tendancies. My friends neighborhood had a guy put up a shed in his back yard. The sheds were legal, and he stuccoed it and made it look just like his house- It looked great. Unfortunately, a member of odessa noticed that his house was made of concrete block, but he used wood frame to build the shed. This is against the COVENANT!!! Despite the fact that there was no way to tell that the shed wasn't concrete, the spy had taken pictures during construction! So of course he had to tear it down. Heil Hitler!
2005-04-29 12:55:18 PM  
Obvious ripoff.

Why would they post a freaking note that said..
Hey.. "you were foreclosed 7 months ago"

which just HAPPENS to be one month after whe can buy it back?

come on.
2005-04-29 12:59:00 PM  
imcguyver: Foreclosures in Houston, bling bling...I don't see her house for sale though.

Houston is not in Houston county. Most of it is in Harris county which lists 2770 current foreclosures.
2005-04-29 01:10:52 PM  
HOAs should do no more than keep the common areas looking decent, maybe hire security. They should have no say in what you can or cannot do with your property; if they think your property poses a hazard, they may call the Public Health Department or anyone else who actually has the right to investigate and resolve such problems.

If you don't pay your dues, they may fine you or take you to court to recover them. Hell, they could add late fees if they like. To believe that someone would declare bankruptcy in the middle of a 20 year mortgage just to get out of paying a few hundred dollars worth of dues is even more ludicrous than the notion that anyone has the right to tell me what color I can paint my own god damned house.

Jesus jumping Christ with a... cigar in his mouth, either corporate personhood needs to go, or everyone (meta-human or no) should be compelled to respect the civil liberties of others, with very few exceptions. Our government better represents corporations than it does us, and that's not only wrong, it guarantees that every time corporate rights conflict with ours, we lose the offending right. What the government takes away, it rarely gives back.
2005-04-29 01:11:32 PM  
Nutsac_Jim: ripoff

I'll grant you, that does smell kind of fishy. I'm convinced that we're not getting the full story, but I suspect the lady's been working the system. Heck, if she's a real estate agent and planned to sell the place, she darn well better have known to disclose HOA fees and such!

Keep in mind that you can NOT initiate homeowner's insurance on a property where you're evicting the occupant. So buying an occupied foreclosure can be very risky. You've got someone living there who is very unhappy and might want to take it out on you.

There are two ways to deal with it. IMO the best way is to be as sympathetic as possible, see if there's anything you can do to help them move, perhaps give them some cash for leaving quietly. Another way is to have Deputy and a locksmith show up and set their stuff out on the curb. Simply leaving a handwritten note might be counterproductive.
2005-04-29 01:46:43 PM  
what are you talking about. These arent renters. It was her house.

I doubt we are getting the info.. perhaps there WAS a hoa disagreenment. So all of a sudden you just take the house?

come on. If there wasn't any shenanigans, the HOA would
have said.. hey.. you need to pay yoru bill. Decent people would do this. If there are scammies on the board, then
they probably paid a brother attourney for forclose, and another relative will buy it at auction. Instant free cash.
2005-04-29 02:03:31 PM  
don't know if anyone is going to actually read this or not, but do you have to join a HOA? I mean I am all for neighborhood watches and the like but really is joining a HOA required to move into a home?

/buying house in near future
2005-04-29 02:03:39 PM  

Actually people do paint their houses lots of colors in some of the most expensive real estate around. Lots of people like authentic victorian paint schemes on their Victorian. And that means anywhere from 4 to 8 colors. Including purples, pinks, blues, muaves and so on. Also Victorian style gardens look like someone planted a jungle.

Anyways, what a house is painted like has zero to do with its value. Doesn't matter if it's white or hot pink. Indeed in some cases the more different the better but on the whole it makes no difference. Nor does the length of the grass. What does effect things is the condition of the ouse, how it was built, when, what type of house it is, also things like the general crime rate in the neighborhood, quality of schools and so on. But the stuff HOA's go on about? Has zip to do with it.
2005-04-29 02:21:04 PM  
I don't know if anyone has mentioned this, but how about a HOA which HIRES ANOTHER COMPANY TO ENFORCE ITS DUTIES!!??!!

That's what my HOA has done. They hired a company called Today Management, and THAT company goes around issuing letters to homeowners, telling them to take care of such important tasks as: mowing lawn, picking up newspapers, raking. And the PRESIDENT of the HOA even got a warning telling him that his garbage can was visible from the street!!! Remember, this is all done with Homeowner dues.

You should have seen the HOA meeting after Today Management signed on. A lot of angry, confused people.

/still don't know about the legality of outsourcing HOA duties to a company run by non-Homeowners. Hell, Today Management's offices are 20 miles from my subdivision.
2005-04-29 02:42:52 PM  

If you are moving into a neighborhood that is controled by a HOA you have 2 choices. Join or find a neighborhood that doesn't have one. I would choose the latter if I was you. If you want the feeling like your investment is truly that... YOURS.
2005-04-29 02:51:01 PM  
My wife is on the all-volunteer board of our neighborhood HOA. The main things it is responsible for include: Maintenance of the private water system, park and lake maintenance, street lights, and signs at the entrance. Occasionally, they have to deal with serious health or safety issues. One time we had a guy burning his garbage in his backyard. Another time, someone's daughter was living in an RV on their front lawn for several months. These people usually get a letter from the association lawyer. Other than that, they pretty much let people do whatever they want.

Our annual dues are low compared to other neighborhoods in the area, and really quite reasonable considering what they cover. But we still have many members that either forget or refuse to pay. Sometimes, those dues go unpaid for several years.

This year, for the first time, the association cracked down on delinquent properties by shutting off and padlocking their water valves 2 months after the payments were due (they got warning in the form of a registered letter after 30 days). Amazingly, all the people either paid their dues or arranged payment plans within a week.
2005-04-29 02:52:30 PM  
Nutsac_Jim: It was her house.

If I buy her house at an auction, it is no longer her house. It's mine. You're right, she's not a renter. I don't know what her status is in TX (squatter?), but the eviction process probably applies. It does in my state.

And yes, there's absolutely shenanigans! I would not be surprised to hear there was a feud between her and the HOA board. They probably wanted her out of there or wanted to screw with her. You're right, a calm, sensible HOA would pick up the freakin phone to her. Much cheaper than getting your lawyer to start up F/C.

I would think that getting her house for pennies on the dollar is unlikely. These auctions are public, and I would expect they are very well-attended in Houston. Around here, the County Commissioners do an outstanding job of communicating what's being auctioned. Bidding is so competitive that the joke is that to make money on selling your house, get foreclosed on. Perhaps not so much in TX.

jimmyjackfunk: do you have to join a HOA?

Normally, yes. When people say HOA, they usually mean it's in the deed, like a condo association. I live in a neighborhood that has an HOA that might actually be called optional, since they have no rules nor means to enforce the rules or the $25/year dues. It has a picnic and the occasional newsletter reminding people of city leash laws, etc. Quite benign. Arguably not really an HOA.
2005-04-29 03:04:27 PM  
don't know if anyone is going to actually read this or not, but do you have to join a HOA? I mean I am all for neighborhood watches and the like but really is joining a HOA required to move into a home?

/buying house in near future

I learned that it can depend on the type of HOA. Some have the power to enforce with a lien if they have a concommitant responsibility to perform a municipal service, like run a stormwater pond or fix street lights. Generally the more services performed by the government the less likely the HOA has quasi-gov'tal powers. I would avoid all private subdivisions, Planned Unit Developments and of course, Condos.

Make your realtor send you the Deed restrictions of the neighborhood before you make an offer on a house. A mandatory HOA fee will (almost) always be referenced there.
2005-04-29 03:15:54 PM  
*wishes I hadz photochopz*

[image from too old to be available]


[image from too old to be available]
2005-04-29 03:19:14 PM  

I, in no way said that you shouldn't paint a house particular colour. There's a little town in FL named Seaside where all the houses are beautiful pastel colours. Pinks, purples, greens, blues, you name it... In fact, a neighborhood within that town is named "Watercolours". It's one of the prettiest (and expensive) commuinities on the Panhandle.

Anyway, what a house is painted like has zero to do with its value.

Theoretically, you're right. A homeowner can repaint until their heart's content. However, in practice you're wrong.

There was a community down the road from me that, essentially, tried to duplicate the colour scheme of the houses in Seaside. Here, it was hideous and the houses didn't sell. One by one, they repainted them more toned-down colours (notice I didn't say beige) and the houses started selling like hotcakes.

Also, just try selling a purple and mauve house stuck in the middle of a bunch of red brick with white accented houses and tell me that it doesn't have an effect on it's value. Try selling your house that's next to the purple and mauve house and tell me it doesn't have an effect on your price.
2005-04-29 03:31:50 PM  
Octoslash ... professional management is the default. Self-managed HOAs are in the minority.

Example: when we moved into our newly-built neighborhood, 60% of the dues went to paying the management company, whose only actual responsibility was to collect said dues, but who took it upon themselves to treat the homeowners like a bunch of unruly public-housing tenants. The other 40% went to a landscaping company that they were buddy-buddy with and charged about 3x the going rate. As soon as the homeowner board was elected we fired 'em all.
2005-04-29 03:36:26 PM  

Tack on a "non-payment fee" and sell the bill to a credit agency. It would have been so easy to get the money they were owed if they'd tried. Rather, they chose to fark her over.
2005-04-29 03:41:16 PM  
After reading this whole thread, I think we don't have these in Canada. Yay.

Instead, we have city bylaws, neighbour dispute resolution arbitration in our city too. There are occasionally restrictive covenants on properties, but the only ones of those I've seen were about fencing types... all the fences in the neigbourhood had to be constructed in a similarish way.
2005-04-29 03:55:50 PM  
What a bunch of douchebags.

Here's their website
2005-04-29 04:42:05 PM  
I read the FarQ, don't understand the
"ni vosiet russai" filter
2005-04-29 05:05:04 PM  
My neighborhood is part of a HOA, and I can see where everyone gets the idea that they are evil. I am very poor with managing my physical mail. I do all my bill payments through my online bank, and have for many years. If I don't realize I owe you money, if you don't call me, there is a slim chance I'll know.

Every year it's the same with my HOA. For starters, of course I check my mail every day. The HOA always *calls* and says I am going to collections because I have failed to pay my stupid fee. So I pay it on the spot. No biggie. I don't ever recall seeing a letter, and I always ask them to just call me, but they insist on handling it in letters. I always have to pay some stupid fee for being late too.

But, heres how it works for me. If I wash my car, and toss my hose in a pile next to the house, I get a letter: "Please properly store water hose on side of house". If I take the trash out and forget to bring the can back into the garage "Please do not leave garbage containers in public view outside of collection days". "Please weed and feed your lawn". This is my first home...ever. I'm a computer geek, and know very little about lawn care. I pay a crew to come mow etc, but until I got that letter, I had never even heard of weed and feed. In fact I had to ask a friend, thinking 'weed' and 'feed' were two seperate things I needed to do. Of course the weed and feed sure did make the lawn look nice =)

Anyhow, for me they can be annoying, but they aren't exactly oppressive. Maybe I haven't violated the rules bad enough to face their wrath.

I will say when my wife and I moved in, it was easily the most money we had ever paid for anything. Getting blinds for the house was nearly $3000, and we didn't immediately have the funds. The first 2 weeks or so I just took a large blanket and draped it across the bedroom window to keep the construction guys building the house next door from having a peep-show. Within the first week and a half or so I got a letter saying "Please remove sheets from windows". That was my first encounter. It kind of irritated me.
2005-04-29 05:14:28 PM  
I don't mind our HOA. We pay about $180 a year for some very minimal common maintenance, lighting and the regs keep any potential asshats from damaging our property values. Fine by me.

This is my second HOA in the US and I've never had a single problem yet. I don't doubt there are some wacky, asinine HOAs but it's unfair to say they all suck because a few morans go nuts.
2005-04-29 05:48:19 PM  
HA's are necessary, especially in places like Houston where so many "omportant" and utterly self-absorbed people live.

I lived in a very high-end, non-HA Houston neighborhood next to the son of the owner of one of the largest automibile dealer chains in the US. My neighbors teen sons by his second wife (or her first brood or something like that, never could quite figure it out) set up a stereo shop in the driveway doing installs nights and week ends, held mid-night basketball tournaments, he did on-going car repairs in the driveay (despite a five car garage and access to Dads service shop, collected used refrigerators to display in the front yard and kept his string of very loud and smelly hunting dogs in a kennel attached to my privacy fence.

Texans will appreciate his response to my complaints, "Deeew Wut?"

Police dealt with the stereo and Bball noise and the various other disturbances but after that I would never live in a non-HA again. People who want to live like animals can be controlled with the various weapons that most HAs have like fines and forced sales.
2005-04-29 05:53:55 PM  

Get the hell out of my state. We don't want people like you here. We want neighbors who leave us alone unless we need help, and we want to do the same for them. We dont' want some greedy twerp trying to take our property for his personal gain.
2005-04-29 06:07:07 PM  
Couple of questions - What did the house sell for? Most states have laws that say you must try to get "fair value" for seized property. You can't sell a $250,000 house for peanuts. Secondly most states do not allow the people who seize property and then auction it off to keep anything over the amount they were due plus reasonable fees. I doubt the fees to collect a $420 debt amounted to the balance of $250,000 dollars, the excess would have to be turned over to her.

I call shenanigans.
2005-04-29 06:09:08 PM  
From the comments here, most people would rather not live in an HOA environment. I doubt that and HOA adds any value to anybody's property.
I would actually pay MORE for a non-HOA because I value that freedom more. Plus I would rather live near others who value that freedom.
My neighbor had a junky place and cleaned it up. Did my property go up in value as a result? No. Did his? Perhaps. Does it matter? No, because neather of our homes are for sale.
The only time you need your property to be valuable is when it's for sale. The rest of the time you're just paying higher taxes.
2005-04-29 06:19:09 PM  
Personally, I'd rather move in next door to a redneck with three rusting cars in his yard than have to deal with a HOA

I second that. Living next door to a redneck means that I'll be able to buy my home for cheap, and property taxes will stay low once I move in.

Then, when the redneck eventually dies or moves out or goes to jail and misses a bunch of mortgage payments in a row, someone buys their house and fixes it up and the value of MY home skyrockets with no additional investment from me.

Then I sell it for $BIG PROFIT and have a big party with hookers and blow.
2005-04-29 06:49:09 PM  
2005-04-29 03:55:50 PM rocketpants

What a bunch of douchebags.

Here's their website

Apparently that's a different organization that disapproves of the taken measures.
2005-04-29 07:46:44 PM  
You know... most people (especial people who rent), I've thought about buying a "dream house".

A big yard where so I could buy a couple dogs and let them roam around would be cool, and getting a goat or a few sheep to eat the grass would be cool, and maybe a windmill or some solar panels so I could make my own electricity would be cool.

Chickens for eggs would be cool too.

Maybe even a couple outbuildings, so I could set up a studio to work on stuff and build things would be cool.

Come to think of it, planting a bunch of those hedges so they made a maze in the back yard would be really cool, and maybe a pond with some koi-fish.... ooooh, and some nice statues and maybe a gazebo with lots of wind-chimes.

Anyway... never ever ever... not even ONCE, have my daydreams of the perfect house involved a bunch of self-important asshats sticking their fat faces into my personal bussiness in a home that I paid for.

Property vales? Who gives a flying fark about property values?

Newsflash: A home is a place you LIVE... you know, LIVE YOUR LIFE.... who cares what the resale value is?

What are you gonna do? Live your life in a house you don't like, cackling over the ammount of money you can resell it for... and accepting the micromanagement of a bunch of eviiiil soccer-moms-on-a-rampage for you whole misserable existence.... so you can have a few tens of thousand more dollars in the bank when your horrible excuse for a life finally ends?

Pathetic people. Make me sick.
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