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Wat?

Postby StlSluggers » Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:20 am

NPR.com wrote:Not So Neighborly Associations Foreclosing On Homes

Capt. Mike Clauer was serving in Iraq last year as company commander of an Army National Guard unit assigned to escort convoys.
...
He was halfway through his deployment when he got a bolt from the blue — a frantic phone call from his wife, May, back in Texas.

"She was bawling on the phone and was telling me that the HOA [homeowners association] had foreclosed on our house, and it was sold
," he says.
...
Clauer had a hard time understanding what his wife was saying. His $300,000 house was already completely paid for. Could it be possible that their home was foreclosed on and sold because his wife had missed two payments of their HOA dues?

In many states it is not difficult for an HOA to foreclose on a member's home for past dues even if the amount owed is just a few hundred dollars.
...
But by the time he got back to Texas, it was too late. The Clauers' four-bedroom, 3,500-square-foot home had been sold on the courthouse steps for just $3,500 — enough to cover outstanding HOA dues and legal costs.

The new owner quickly sold it for $135,000 and netted a tidy profit.

...
"The fact of the matter is, the laws of the state of Texas allow the homeowners association to file assessment liens on properties who haven't paid their assessments, and they also allow foreclosure on those liens," says Patrick Whitaker, who represents the HOA.
...
And in 33 states, an HOA does not need to go before a judge to collect on the liens.

It's called nonjudicial foreclosure, and in practice it means a house can be sold on the courthouse steps with no judge or arbitrator involved. In Texas the process period is a mere 27 days — the shortest of any state.


David Kahne, a Houston lawyer who advises homeowners, says that in Texas, the law is so weighted in favor of HOAs, he advises people that instead of hiring him, they should call their association and beg for mercy.

"I suggest you call the association and cry," he says.
...
With the recession, foreclosure filings for delinquent HOA assessments in Texas have increased from about 1 percent of all home foreclosures to more than 10 percent currently, according to the industry.
...
Over the past 20 years, HOAs have exploded across Texas. While there are 1,100 municipalities, there are now 30,000 HOAs. And these associations have far more power to take away a citizen's home than any city or county in Texas.
...
There have been complaints that some members of HOA boards have bought HOA-foreclosed properties for a pittance, and then sold them for a hefty profit.

In Texas, there are no laws to prevent this. Carona says the best way to address this apparent conflict of interest is not by passing new state laws but by letting the HOAs handle it internally through modification of the association's constitution.

...
Republican state Rep. Burt Solomons from North Texas has been trying in vain to pass HOA reform legislation. He says during state legislative hearings there was no shortage of outraged homeowners, but he acknowledges that the HOAs, their property management companies and their lawyers fought back effectively.
...
In theory, HOAs are only supposed to foreclose for nonpayment of dues. But Solomons says that through a loophole in Texas law, in practice, HOAs can foreclose for nonpayment of HOA fines, too.
...
As for Clauer, he's gone from fighting in Iraq to fighting his HOA in Texas. And if he weren't in the military, Clauer would have no legal recourse at this point.

But in a spasm of gratitude in 2003, Congress passed the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which was supposed to prevent nonjudicial foreclosures against military personnel fighting overseas.

Sounds like the law will be in this guy's favor... but damn! :-o
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Re: Wat?

Postby Art Vandelay » Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:42 am

Reason number 4,080 that I will neve join an HOA.
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Re: Wat?

Postby A Fleshner Fantasy » Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:43 am

Art Vandelay wrote:Reason number 4,080 that I will neve join an HOA.


What was the previous one? :-b

I can only count 4,078 other reasons.
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Re: Wat?

Postby Art Vandelay » Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:50 am

Paying for snow removal.
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Re: Wat?

Postby A Fleshner Fantasy » Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:13 am

bingo
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Re: Wat?

Postby StlSluggers » Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:37 am

My HOA is good, but there might be some reasons for that. First, it's basically powerless to enforce its rules. Second, we're unincorporated and have to fund many of the services the city or county would normally provide. The HOA is a good mediator for that process. The only thing they've done that's truly bothered me is not send out our pool passes - for three years in a row.
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Re: Wat?

Postby joejlitz » Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:34 am

Texas law = :-t

I'm very :-C about this.
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