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Subject: new episode: HOA Horror Stories (on Youtube)
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Author Messages
WilliamK8
(North Carolina)

Posts:10


06/12/2021 7:18 AM  

check out this quick video which overviews a case in Wilmington, NC - where conflict between an owner and his HOA turned deadly, with a home left literally in flames and an association questioning their choices...

HOA Horror Stories #1
https://youtu.be/PM90HNrXrjg


Thanks to the forum for all the good advice when we were experiencing our own HOA nightmare, which of course inspired the video series.
AugustinD


Posts:1695


06/12/2021 8:00 AM  
Posted By WilliamK8 on 06/12/2021 7:18 AM

check out this quick video [snip] HOA Horror Stories #1 https://youtu.be/PM90HNrXrjg
In my opinion this youtube video repeatedly asserts, in different ways, that covenants are dumb. To me, it demonstrates ignorance of real property law.

The courts for over a hundred years have said covenants are contractual terms. Boards have a legal duty to enforce covenants. To me, whoever scripted this video is saying that contracts cannot legally exist. This is nonsense.

I think the part that has some value starts at about 7:30. For the next few minutes, the video provides some information about the HOA's foreclosure on an apparently mentally ill HOA member's home. In 2010, the man burned his home down, dying in the fire. I think the following is a much comprehensive and even-handed reporting of the facts: https://www.starnewsonline.com/article/NC/20100904/News/605065184/WM.

The situation with this North Carolina HOA member is interesting because it indicates the challenges amateurs, on a HOA board and even with the assistance of an HOA attorney, have in dealing with someone who is mentally ill.

Excerpt from the starnewsonline article:

===
Court documents show [the North Carolina HOA] followed the law and used it to recover unpaid fines. But neighbors said the homeowners association was too hard on Darius, and they weren’t sure he understood his situation.

“Peter isn’t 100 percent there,” said a neighbor, Adam Reebel. “Everybody in the neighborhood is of the opinion they pushed him too hard.“

Quirky handyman or nuisance?

Darius’ neighbors said he kept to himself and tinkered with lawn equipment in his garage.
He would often be seen riding his blue Earth Cruiser on Putnam Drive.

Darius also built a gazebo and made planters from unused plastic drainage pipe.

“He had more stuff than the association really allowed,” said Henry McCallister, Darius’ next-door neighbor.

Darius always offered to help his neighbors if he saw them working outside, said Reebel, who lived near Darius for more than three years.

Darius’ sister, Isabel Curran, is listed as his power of attorney. A man who answered the door at Curran’s listed address said he didn’t have any comment about Darius or his death.

Jennifer Harjo, New Hanover County’s public defender, recently represented Darius in a criminal case that a prosecutor dismissed. She enjoyed her interactions with Darius, and they kept in touch after the court case.

Harjo said Darius complained about [the HOA] and asked for her help in the civil lawsuit, but Harjo couldn’t help him because she represents clients in criminal cases. Darius met with her after the fence and steps he had built were removed from his home after a court ordered them removed.

The steps had lifted Darius to unreachable parts of his house, letting him clean his windows and the outside of his home.

Harjo said Darius had trouble speaking and could be easily intimidated, which frustrated him.

“There was some limitations, deficiencies, that should have been obvious to anybody,” Harjo said, adding Darius didn’t always project pleasantness. “Any intelligent person would recognize it for what it was. It was not evilness, but him not understanding.”

Darius’ troubles started with a notice from [the HOA].

Gary Clemmons, [the HOA’s] attorney, said the notice told Darius to remove the shed, white picket fence and planters. Darius didn’t remove them, so [the HOA] held a hearing in 2006, which would have let Darius explain his decorations and present evidence. Darius didn’t attend.
A state law called the Planned Community Act requires a notice and hearing before a homeowners association board fines a homeowner.

After Darius missed the hearing, [the HOA] began fining him $100 a day for the violations.
When [the HOA] put a lien on his home in December 2008, Darius owed $4,438. [The HOA] filed a civil lawsuit a week later to recover the fines and other costs.

By May 2009, Darius’ tab hit $11,276 despite two payments totaling nearly $50,000. But after each payment, the fines continued, burying Darius. Also that month, a judge ordered Darius to remove the white picket fence, shed and planters and to pay [the HOA].

Darius didn’t pay, and a year later, Darius owed $24,591 before his home was foreclosed to satisfy the court’s judgment. Darius never hired an attorney and argued his own case during court proceedings, Clemmons said.

Henry Herring Jr. bought the home during a public auction earlier this summer for $83,578, according to New Hanover County tax records. The price was less than half the appraised value of $179,233.

Clemmons said he encouraged Darius to get a lawyer throughout the court proceedings, and he said the judge was patient with Darius, explaining procedures and proceedings. In prior criminal cases, Darius was never declared incompetent and was legally presumed to be capable of handling his affairs, he said.

“The court really went out of its way to help Mr. Darius,” Clemmons said. “It’s tragic. I hated that happened.”

The Planned Community Act allows associations to use foreclosures to satisfy homeowners association liens, according to a state House committee’s proposed findings. But the findings note: “The foreclosure statute was never intended for this purpose.“

Last January, state legislators began studying homeowners associations and how they’re governed when the House Select Committee on Homeowners Associations first met.

Legislators found few options for people who want to challenge actions by a homeowners association. The committee’s proposed findings state “the only recourse currently available to homeowners in most cases” is to file a civil lawsuit.

But lawsuits are expensive. The homeowner would have to pay for his attorney, while also paying dues to the homeowners association. Those payments could be used by the association for its attorney.

The committee also found poor accountability and consumer protections. No state agency regulates homeowners associations. The state Attorney General’s office takes complaints about homeowners associations, according to a committee report, but the office can only recommend better education before moving into a community governed by a homeowners association.

Fortin, of the Community Associations Institute, disagreed with the House committee’s findings.
People move into homeowners associations and agree to the covenants, knowing their neighbors face the same rules.

Fees and assessments pay for roads, clubhouses, pools and other neighborhood amenities, Fortin said. If people don’t pay, they hurt the neighborhood.
===

“They’re not robbing or cheating the government or some big corporation,” Fortin said about people who don’t pay fines and dues. “They’re picking the pocket of their neighbors. It’s critical that people be held to their obligation to pay for these expenses.“

Despite that obligation, Fortin said, homeowners associations need to work with homeowners who owe money, especially during the recession.

“An association doesn’t want to foreclose on a property,” Fortin said. “That doesn’t do them much good in this market.”
===
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8620


06/12/2021 8:02 AM  
This should be a "positive" place for HOA leaders to learn & share ideas. I won't view this video unless you can tell me, William, how it is positive message.
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:768


06/12/2021 8:10 AM  
Posted By WilliamK8 on 06/12/2021 7:18 AM

check out this quick video which overviews a case in Wilmington, NC - where conflict between an owner and his HOA turned deadly, with a home left literally in flames and an association questioning their choices...

HOA Horror Stories #1
https://youtu.be/PM90HNrXrjg


Thanks to the forum for all the good advice when we were experiencing our own HOA nightmare, which of course inspired the video series.




There is no doubt that an HOA can be an absolute nightmare for homeowners. However, this video is so one sided and gives absolutely NO details on what really happened that it simply comes across as HOA bashing. There may be some real truth behind the video but it fails to document it well.
WilliamK8
(North Carolina)

Posts:10


06/12/2021 9:15 AM  
I'd say it recounts a story where an abusive HOA decided to begin fining a mentally disabled neighbor at $100 a day, almost as if angling to directly profit from his disability or perhaps even to force him from his home (something I did not allege, in an effort to be fair).

To your question... is what happened in Wilmington positive? No. But is ignoring it because of negative factors a positive thing in itself? Think about all the many many threads here which led to a positive result... by first recounting the negative. It's only meant to highlight the same pattern that has sparked so many topics here: abusive HOA leadership.

To quickly address a couple of other concerns and then I'll just step away. At no place do I believe I asserted that covenants are dumb, I think said just the opposite. ["In the right hands, an HOA can be helpful, supportive and even protective of its residents."] And I would of course have less patience for Darius' defiance were he more of sound mind.

I admittedly do lean heavily toward supporting the dead man here, as everyone involved seemed to agree he had mental issues and communicative difficulties - and so to me, taking advantage of that instead making a more neighborly effort to resolve issues feels like a worse crime than Darius was accused of. Just like cops and prosecutors, HOA leadership has considerable *discretion* to choose which issues to push and how hard and how quickly. Starting fines at $100 a day, to me, seems very much like a bullying tactic, possibly even intended to displace a bothersome neighbor from his home. “Any intelligent person would recognize (Darius' non-compliance) for what it was. It was not evilness, but him not understanding.”

Is everything posted here meant to be HOA-positive? The three who posted negativeely about the video each have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of posts. Are those always positive and fully balanced? Plus, I wonder if the actual members of that fateful association in Wilmington would agree, in retrospect, that they acted reasonably and regret nothing.

Being fairly new at video editing, however, I'm still learning how to be both effective and fair - and I will seriously reconsider flushing out further detail for fairness. Can I ask, which details did I miss that would exculpate the HOA members in this case?

Thanks for watching and listening.

MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10534


06/12/2021 11:12 AM  
It comes down to the basic understanding of HOA's work versus ASSERTION/OPINION on how they work. Did not view the video but from the statement alone of "Mentally handicap person being fine $100 is trying to take advantage of the handicap" is off base/reality. That ASSSUMPTION and ASSERTION alone is showing the lack of knowledge of how fines work.

Fines are nothing more than a PUNITIVE step to correct a violation. It is NOT nor EVER considered a Profit. You break a rule you face the consequence till you resolve the violation. The HOA can choose to fix the violation themselves and send you the bill for it. If you refuse to pay it, they can put a lien on your property for that bill. So I am sure your going to tell me how "unfair" that is yada yada...

Well a HOA is ONLY funded by it's members FOR it's members. The ONLY income it has is collecting dues. It is to collect as much in as it takes to operate and cover it's expenses. Fines or late fees are NOT considered "income". Liens and foreclosures are just "stop the bleeding" steps. Most states are NOT allowed to foreclose for fines. They may be able to lien. However, that is depending on how they apply the dues etc...

An owner in clear violation of the rules how do you recommend correcting? Would you not want fines available? Plus if someone is NOT paying their dues. Do you NOT want legal options to collect??? Well those LEGAL options are to lien or foreclose to collect.

So I don't see a HOA being "abusive" simply because they want/need a violation fixed or dues paid. Tell me how that is beyond comprehension?


Former HOA President
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:768


06/12/2021 11:39 AM  
For starters, if you want to be fair I'd like to see you address two issues from the HOA perspective.

1.) This person was obviously not stupid. His passion of building structures and working on lawn equipment demonstrate that he had a solid grasp on critical thinking skills including the ability to think abstractly. The argument is that he may have been mentally ill. My question is, how does an HOA determine who is mentally ill and what would you expect them to do if they knew for fact he was? In other words, what is your solution to this dilemma? Are you proposing all mentally ill residents get an automatic pass on violations? If not, give your viewers a proposed alternative solution that the HOA could have taken. I would be genuinely interested on how you would have handled this.

2.) This person not only violated the rules he did it in about the most obvious way that could be done. If the HOA turned a blind eye how would they then be able to enforce the rules against anyone? When you selectively enforce rules the entire system falls apart and the HOA could face lawsuits as a result. Your video makes no mention of the fact that the HOA probably felt backed into a corner or that there were long term ramifications on how they treated this person.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:1429


06/12/2021 12:55 PM  
The person that produced this video is likely an anarchist a hater of all authority. JMO.
AugustinD


Posts:1695


06/12/2021 12:57 PM  
Posted By WilliamK8 on 06/12/2021 9:15 AM
At no place do I believe I asserted that covenants are dumb, I think said just the opposite. ["In the right hands, an HOA can be helpful, supportive and even protective of its residents."]
To me, the overall message is that covenants are dumb.

I admittedly do lean heavily toward supporting the dead man here, as everyone involved seemed to agree he had mental issues and communicative difficulties - and so to me, taking advantage of that instead making a more neighborly effort to resolve issues feels like a worse crime than Darius was accused of.
-- It seems clear that none of this man's mental issues rose to the level of his lacking 'legal capacity.' This is the threshold he would need to maybe achieve some kind of disability-related, special accommodation by the Board. Maybe.

-- His sister had "power-of-attorney." I bet this was a very limited power-of-attorney. E.g. the power-of-attorney paperwork may only have permitted the sister to pay bills. I am betting she begged him to just comply with the covenants. He said "No." I imagine the sister paid $50,000 (as reported in the article) of the bills and then either said enough, or the money ran out. I expect the sister explained to her brother what was going on.

-- If a person refuses to have a guardian appointed for him- or herself, and a court is unlikely to appoint one*, a HOA Board is stuck with dealing someone who, to many, may not be all there. The Board has an obligation to treat such a person no differently from all other HOA members.

-- How do you think the Board should have handled this? Keep in mind that its failure to enforce the covenants means it holds the HOA out to liability to those who want to sue both the HOA and the offending member to enforce the covenants.

-- From the article, "Darius’ troubles started with a notice from Planters Walk.
Gary Clemmons, Planters Walk’s attorney, said the notice told Darius to remove the shed, white picket fence and planters. Darius didn’t remove them, so Planters Walk held a hearing in 2006, which would have let Darius explain his decorations and present evidence. Darius didn’t attend. ... After Darius missed the hearing, Planters Walk began fining him $100 a day for the violations."

-- What should the Board have done? If the Board had offered a second chance at a hearing, then it would have to offer everyone a second chance at a hearing. You do realize these folks are volunteers, right? You do realize that every person who buys into a HOA has been given notice that the HOA is run by a board of directors. Nearly always, these directors are volunteers?

-- I think you should create a video explaining how you think the Board should have handled this, including providing your explanations of why the board should ignore certain covenants (meaning, let's face it, that you do not believe in contracts).


*And I believe courts do not take lightly taking away someone's independence and usual rights. Why? Because the next person who has a guardian appointed for him or her might be you or me.
AugustinD


Posts:1695


06/12/2021 1:17 PM  
Posted By WilliamK8 on 06/12/2021 9:15 AM

Being fairly new at video editing, however, I'm still learning how to be both effective and fair - and I will seriously reconsider flushing out further detail for fairness. Can I ask, which details did I miss that would exculpate the HOA members in this case?
That's admirable of you to ask. Though I am not persuaded the HOA directors need exculpating. I would report pretty much what the article I linked reported.

If you want to be a journalist, maybe reproduce some of the responses here, from experienced, long-serving directors, about how a Board should respond in a situation like this.

I thought the HOA attorney's comments were interesting. I thought he came off well, in a manner that seemed honest, genuinely sympathetic, but on the side of the covenants. I do not know if it was an act, but if it was, I think it was good public relations work on the HOA attorney's part.


Ditto what JohnT38 asked.
MaxB4


Posts:1395


06/12/2021 2:04 PM  
Based on enough years of experience, I don't believe any set of volunteer directors should ever be allowed to lien one's property with the ability to foreclose on fines they impose upon a homeowner. Fortunately California does not allow that nonsense.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11539


06/12/2021 2:10 PM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 06/12/2021 2:04 PM
Based on enough years of experience, I don't believe any set of volunteer directors should ever be allowed to lien one's property with the ability to foreclose on fines they impose upon a homeowner. Fortunately California does not allow that nonsense.



I agree as the fining can be capricious and vindictive.
AugustinD


Posts:1695


06/12/2021 2:30 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 06/12/2021 2:10 PM
I agree as the fining can be capricious and vindictive.
This is true. I wonder if this is why some states' legislatures passed laws that make foreclosing on the basis of fines unlawful.

I think now the OP has something on which he can hang his hat: Foreclosing on the basis of fines is bad. Many state legislatures agree. Here's commentary from some of these state legislatures on the topic.

This California attorney states that it is 'unfortunate' that California HOAs/COAs may not foreclose on the basis of fines: https://hoalaw.tinnellylaw.com/can-the-association-lien-for-fines/
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2475


06/13/2021 5:02 AM  
If you eliminate the option of foreclosure for non-payment of fines, you're left with liens or removing access to amenities. Some states require a minimum debt level before you can lien, many communities have no amenities to withhold. If there are no negative consequences for non-payment of fines, they're worthless and should be done away with altogether. Then what? A Wall of Shame? Ritual shunning?

If a useful tool isn't working properly, fix the tool - you don't chuck it out the window and stand there empty-handed.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2475


06/13/2021 5:30 AM  
Ultimately the problem isn't whether or not to allow foreclosures based on fines. (And from what I can tell, the barriers to a successful foreclosure are already sufficiently high to make it difficult.)

The real problem is poor judgement on the part of HOA boards. As long as we keep pretending that these communities can be run by people with no qualifications other than a pulse and their name on a deed, we will continue to have poor outcomes. And once again we will be shocked - SHOCKED, I say - and after all the hand-wringing and drama, we'll be no closer to a solution that works. You can't fix a problem until you correctly identify it.
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:768


06/13/2021 5:46 AM  
I agree Cathy. Someone once said HOA's are like walking into a Walmart and randomly picking a group of people to share a bank account with.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:4239


06/13/2021 5:54 AM  
I've heard it said it's more like walking into a bar and entering into a partnership with everyone there. Based on my own HOA experience, I find that's a lot truer than people think!
PatJ1
(North Carolina)

Posts:254


06/13/2021 6:12 AM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 06/13/2021 5:30 AM
Ultimately the problem isn't whether or not to allow foreclosures based on fines. (And from what I can tell, the barriers to a successful foreclosure are already sufficiently high to make it difficult.)

The real problem is poor judgement on the part of HOA boards. As long as we keep pretending that these communities can be run by people with no qualifications other than a pulse and their name on a deed, we will continue to have poor outcomes. And once again we will be shocked - SHOCKED, I say - and after all the hand-wringing and drama, we'll be no closer to a solution that works. You can't fix a problem until you correctly identify it.




TOTALLY AGREE! Whoever thought that this was a good ought to be shot. The Board even needs to know more than the Property Manager!


Board members are volunteers. Many have no idea what they're doing. Educate them. Don't beat them up.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:4239


06/13/2021 6:19 AM  
I found the video very biased against HOAs. It’s not that mistakes weren’t made in dealing with this guy (once it was known the guy apparently had mental health issues, someone should have had a talk with his sister or perhaps consulted a community mental health center for tips). However, when you use emotionally charged language to make your point, one could argue you don’t have a point to make – or don’t understand or care how to apply critical thinking skills to argue a specific side of an issue without getting personal.

Why do people think HOAs drop down from the sky to inflict chaos and disorder on unsuspecting homeowners, a la War of the Worlds? HOAs, like any group (including your family) consist of PEOPLE, who aren’t perfect. Some do the best they can, some are clueless and some may be sociopaths. I’ve said time and again, if you have a rouge board it’s because the HOMEOWNERS don’t do their job in keeping them in check.

Conversely, I’ve found there are people who are better suited renting than owning a home. It’s not that they’re bad people, it may be they don’t understand or care that homeownership requires more attention than simply renting. Consider all the time you take in finding a home, touring through the prospects, getting approved for a mortgage and then sitting in someone’s office for 45 minutes to an hour signing paper after paper after paper. You do all that, and then seem to treat homeownership like you’re buying groceries.

It comes down to what the one commentator said in the video’s comments section - "Living In a common interest community isn’t for everyone. Read and understand your CC&R’s before you buy the property. RTFR read the F—king rules." To that, I would add hold yourself and your neighbors (including the ones on the HOA board) accountable. You can’t just pay assessments and go about your business and you should be familiar with the rules because they apply to you just as much as the people you don’t know or don’t like.
AugustinD


Posts:1695


06/13/2021 6:41 AM  
One of the week's gems, as far as I am concerned:
Posted By SheliaH on 06/13/2021 6:19 AM
when you use emotionally charged language to make your point, one could argue you don’t have a point to make



For HOA/COA directors, I'll take a group randomly chosen from WalMart customers/cashiers over a group randomly chosen from Fortune 500 CEOs.

AugustinD


Posts:1695


06/13/2021 6:47 AM  
Posted By PatJ1 on 06/13/2021 6:12 AM
Whoever thought that [HOAs with volunteer directors with no qualifications requirement] was a good ought to be shot.
The guilty party appears to me to be City Councils and Mayors all over the country who enacted ordinances requiring that new subdivisions having any common area are required to have a HOA. Of course, city land use departments, government budget considerations and perhaps developers inform the decision-making of said municipal leadership.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2475


06/13/2021 7:15 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 06/13/2021 6:41 AM
One of the week's gems, as far as I am concerned:
Posted By SheliaH on 06/13/2021 6:19 AM
when you use emotionally charged language to make your point, one could argue you don’t have a point to make



For HOA/COA directors, I'll take a group randomly chosen from WalMart customers/cashiers over a group randomly chosen from Fortune 500 CEOs.




I wouldn't choose either (it's the "random" part, not the groups).

The only qualifications for buying a home are having enough money and being able to sign a valid contract. Buyers aren't required to show that they have what it takes to be a competent board member or to even understand why this matters - and this is the pool from which board members are chosen by people who mostly don't understand why it's important.

Sheila said a mouthful: people treat buying a home like buying groceries. And HOAs/COAs are so much worse, because you don't only own property, you're also the business partner of a bunch of strangers. I'm surprised things work as well as they do as often as they do.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10534


06/13/2021 7:22 AM  
HOA's were developed by developers to help sell houses/property. The concept was that buyers would be sold on the idea of self management and funding. If the neighborhood was managed and funded by the membership/owners then it would stay "nice" for potential buyers. Fellow owners could keep and enforce "standards" they wanted to enforce. Plus they had to incorporate so they could legally collect funds. Those funds go to the operation/maintenance expenses of the HOA.

The Developer when they own the HOA is responsible for all the expenses. They also install the amenities which later the owner owned HOA will need to fund. So basically the Developer is putting up all the money first and later the owners pick up the ball. The dues you pay during developer is to fund the HOA budget. Money that should be passed along to the owners HOA at transition.

So I say if anyone is to blame in a HOA it's own members.

Former HOA President
MaxB4


Posts:1395


06/13/2021 8:35 AM  
Posted By PatJ1 on 06/13/2021 6:12 AM
Posted By CathyA3 on 06/13/2021 5:30 AM
Ultimately the problem isn't whether or not to allow foreclosures based on fines. (And from what I can tell, the barriers to a successful foreclosure are already sufficiently high to make it difficult.)

The real problem is poor judgement on the part of HOA boards. As long as we keep pretending that these communities can be run by people with no qualifications other than a pulse and their name on a deed, we will continue to have poor outcomes. And once again we will be shocked - SHOCKED, I say - and after all the hand-wringing and drama, we'll be no closer to a solution that works. You can't fix a problem until you correctly identify it.




TOTALLY AGREE! Whoever thought that this was a good ought to be shot. The Board even needs to know more than the Property Manager!




I second that!
MaxB4


Posts:1395


06/13/2021 8:35 AM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 06/13/2021 7:22 AM
HOA's were developed by developers to help sell houses/property. The concept was that buyers would be sold on the idea of self management and funding. If the neighborhood was managed and funded by the membership/owners then it would stay "nice" for potential buyers. Fellow owners could keep and enforce "standards" they wanted to enforce. Plus they had to incorporate so they could legally collect funds. Those funds go to the operation/maintenance expenses of the HOA.

The Developer when they own the HOA is responsible for all the expenses. They also install the amenities which later the owner owned HOA will need to fund. So basically the Developer is putting up all the money first and later the owners pick up the ball. The dues you pay during developer is to fund the HOA budget. Money that should be passed along to the owners HOA at transition.

So I say if anyone is to blame in a HOA it's own members.



Where in the hell did you come up with that nonsense?
BarbaraT1
(Texas)

Posts:571


06/13/2021 9:18 AM  
Posted By MaxB4 on 06/13/2021 8:35 AM
Posted By MelissaP1 on 06/13/2021 7:22 AM
HOA's were developed by developers to help sell houses/property. The concept was that buyers would be sold on the idea of self management and funding. If the neighborhood was managed and funded by the membership/owners then it would stay "nice" for potential buyers. Fellow owners could keep and enforce "standards" they wanted to enforce. Plus they had to incorporate so they could legally collect funds. Those funds go to the operation/maintenance expenses of the HOA.

The Developer when they own the HOA is responsible for all the expenses. They also install the amenities which later the owner owned HOA will need to fund. So basically the Developer is putting up all the money first and later the owners pick up the ball. The dues you pay during developer is to fund the HOA budget. Money that should be passed along to the owners HOA at transition.

So I say if anyone is to blame in a HOA it's own members.



Where in the hell did you come up with that nonsense?





It’s not nonsense. It gets some things wrong but much of what she says is correct. I don’t think buyers are remotely interested in self management but they do like pools and playgrounds, so yes - developers do install those things to help sell.

Assessments do maintain the operation and expenses of the association. Incorporation is necessary (although not to collect assessments).

The developer does pay all expenses at first, and many continue to pay them ( to keep dues artificially low to sell houses but that’s another topic). Dues aren’t paid to the developer of course but to the association.

And absolutely most problems in an association can be blamed on the membership.

Melissa gets picked on a lot here. She doesn’t always give entirely accurate info but her post wasn’t nonsense.
WilliamK8
(North Carolina)

Posts:10


06/13/2021 10:18 AM  
>>>>>Reply from Original Poster>>>>>

Wow, that’s the kind of groupthink that can get a man killed. Ya’ll do recall the mentally ill guy who felt compelled to burn himself alive after being bankrupted and evicted? Almost all of you, even in lengthier responses, never typed out the slightest drop of sympathy for him, his condition or his plight - but instead immediately retreated into only arguing for the legal legitimacy of the HOA’s actions. Yeah, no bias there.

Came here first because I wanted to see reactions from certain HOA types, and man did I get what I kinda expected. Folks here instantly stood up for the HOA **far beyond** any support I observed in local news accounts, or in quotes from actual neighbors who lived there, or the lawyers involved. Guess some folks here just absolutely know better than anyone. [Said neighbor, Adam Reebel… “Everybody in the neighborhood is of the opinion they pushed him too hard.“]

I was called an anarchist and worst a journalist. Maybe the Halloween-themed satirical opening should have tipped some people off that it’s not gonna be a news report, but meant instead to entertainingly recount a very sad incident and to spotlight a larger problem - how HOAs have little oversight and badly need reform. I was labeled as someone ignorant about HOAs and biased against them, and who hates all authority. Guess what, I’m running to serve on my 2nd HOA board now. I believe in HOAs, and I do believe they should sometimes have the right to force a sale in certain situations. I’ve also always thought they don’t get much gratitude for lots of hard work, but that many of the personality types drawn to running are ultimately just parking nazis.

Everyone agreed the man was mentally ill (and who could have possibly envisioned that after being bankrupted and evicted, that someone like that might do something rash?). Yet in here his condition is minimalized, even questioned as fake, even with a completely-presumed narrative built around his sister paying the fines and controlling his money, even speculating on the type POA involved - all of it to bend over backwards defending some pretty heartless decisions while avoiding even a hint of a hint of humanity. No one really argued that maybe they should have tried harder or been more patient. Or maybe started out with smaller fines?

And should they have kept collecting those fines even after he removed the offending additions? How about after he paid them $50K, should they have really liened his property for that remaining $25K? And to quibble over whether that’s technically called a profit is disingenuous. Hey, the video wasn’t titled “All HOAs Are Horrors” - it quite specifically recounts one bad incident (of which this forum has tons of non-fatal abuse stories) where HOA amateurs or d0uche bags alike spoil the whole apple barrel (they probably do the same at HOA forums) so that’s what I chose to spotlight. And like most news accounts of unjustified police shootings typically include the obligatory point that it doesn’t reflect all cops everywhere, I offered the same caveat… that not all HOAs or HOA members are bad. That would be a very nutty position. Just like abolishing all contracts would be completely daft. But a sincere thanks to those here who did acknowledge just how badly HOAs can misbehave and how they do seriously lack oversight, and who didn't jump on the bandwagon.

I’m most amused by those who emphatically made a point of *not* watching the video but clownishly felt comfortable telling you everything wrong with it, ignoring the dead man’s mental status while clinging wholeheartedly to the legitimacy of this HOA's choices. In German, I think that’s pronounced /lock-step/. Using tactics like pretending leniency offered to one must always be offered to all, well that just doesn’t track with every HOA I’ve ever witnessed. Exceptions are made, sometimes quite unfairly and sometimes out of plain ole thoughtfulness, and I’d bet such instances quite rarely ever lead to lawsuits.

As for being too HOA-negative… where was your decency amidst a clear bias to be so darn pro-HOA. It’s kinda telling how, with few exceptions, the crazier and crazier arguments here came from those with higher and higher overall post counts. Who’d have thought there might be a correlation there… that people who spends just oodles and oodles of their time in an online forum might be kinda silly.
AugustinD


Posts:1695


06/13/2021 11:09 AM  
Posted By WilliamK8 on 06/13/2021 10:18 AM

Everyone agreed the man was mentally ill (and who could have possibly envisioned that after being bankrupted and evicted, that someone like that might do something rash?). Yet in here his condition is minimalized, even questioned as fake, even with a completely-presumed narrative built around his sister paying the fines and controlling his money, even speculating on the type POA involved - all of it to bend over backwards defending some pretty heartless decisions while avoiding even a hint of a hint of humanity. No one really argued that maybe they should have tried harder or been more patient. Or maybe started out with smaller fines?
Sure, I agree the man was mentally ill. For goodness sake, he burned himself down in his home, I believe because he did not want the HOA to have the home. Which by the way, did what to the guy who had bought the home at auction? Have you sympathy for the purchaser's financial loss (unless there was insurance)?

Humanity. Hmm. Lots of folks are dying nationwide and worldwide. I cannot afford to help all of them. To whom do I give my time and effort? You're saying that, if I lived in this HOA, I should give my time and effort to folks like this gentleman, whom the court will not declare incompetent, hence the guy can just go on making irrational decisions? Hmm.

People did in fact address the board trying harder and being more patient.

I get that you want all human suffering to stop. There are no easily implementable solutions.

Say, what's wrong with being called a journalist?


MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10534


06/13/2021 11:21 AM  
Sympathy does not amount to a hill of beans when you owe money. Especially IF you have the money to pay. I can't feel sorry for anyone who does something out of "principle". It's the "principle" that sends you to the grave...

BTW: The HOA would NEVER end up with that home or anyone else's. A HOA foreclosure a HOA never ever wants to really own the home. It's all about collecting and stopping the bleeding. Foreclosure lets it so that a new owner can come in and pick up the dues. So there was no real harm done to the HOA by burning a house down. Except making an empty lot and/or having the power to make them rebuild on it.

Former HOA President
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11539


06/13/2021 12:05 PM  
I fail to see how the BOD did not realize they had a "crazy" on their hands and try to be a bit more understanding/sympathetic instead of relentlessly pursuing him.
AugustinD


Posts:1695


06/13/2021 12:05 PM  
[Said neighbor, Adam Reebel… “Everybody in the neighborhood is of the opinion they pushed him too hard.“]
So the neighbors felt this way all the way from 2006, when after Darius's failure to attend a hearing, the HOA started fining Darius $100 per day, to December, 2008, when the HOA put a lien on Darius's home for about $4500, with the HOA filing suit one week later, to May 2009, when Darius's bill hit $11,300, through about May 2010, when Darius owed $25,000 and the HOA foreclosed on his home.

That's at least three annual elections that went by. If the entire membership felt the Board was pushing Darius too hard, why didn't the membership elect directors who would back off Darius? Did the membership even attempt recalls of the directors?

I cannot drum up any respect for an entire neighborhood who felt the board was doing something seriously wrong; being the entire neighborhood, had the legal ability to correct the wrong and do so easily; and did not.
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