My wife and I made an offer on a property in a self-managed Virginia community of single-family homes. Our offer hinged, in part, on the sales agent’s assurance that maintenance of the community’s private roads was totally covered by current homeowner’s association annual dues of $1,000 per lot. However, we just received the HOA’s disclosure letter stating that the board is studying a road engineer’s report for possible dues increases and special assessments.
Friends who live in the community tell us the licensed engineer’s 75-page report recommends major road repairs, which could immediately boost dues to $3,500 per lot per year for the next 10 years. If true, this would kill the deal for us.
Our problem is that we can’t get more good information about the situation. Past board meeting minutes from the disclosure packet show that the board hired the engineer, but there’s no mention of the report. And this year’s approved budget (also in the disclosure packet) includes no planned expenditures for road maintenance. We hear that the board didn’t distribute the engineer’s report and has been holding it for almost two months. According to our friends, the board is looking for ways to quietly bury the engineer’s recommendations and arbitrarily defer all major repairs regardless of validity so as to avoid a dues increase. Such a ploy, if true, also would tend to make us walk. Read more:
Nevada is just one of a number of states that is experiencing losses in property sale values as a result of homeowner association foreclosures, according to a recent report by the Nevada Association of Realtors. Statutes in Nevada allow HOAs to foreclose on homeowners for not paying their association dues.
HOA liens are given the higher priority over first mortgage holders, so their debt is first, paid off and then the lender and homeowner are taken out of the equation. As a result, many people are able to get foreclosed homes at auction for a fraction of the price by paying back HOA dues compared to what homes were initially worth. Further, all remaining debt is erased, and borrowers can be stuck paying back mortgages for houses they no longer possess.
Homeowners association foreclosures are a controversial subject in Nevada. According to a report by the Nevada Department of Business and Industry, 77 percent of Nevada residents surveyed oppose HOAs ability to foreclose on homes because of unpaid dues. Eighty-two percent believe that debt to lenders should be paid before debt to HOAs. Read more:
DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. — Whether you love or hate your homeowner’s association (HOA), you know that when the dues are due, you have to pay. But how much do you know about how that money gets spent?
A group of homeowners in Douglasville, Ga. said they’ve been trying for years to answer that question. They said that for years their dues have been going up with little explanation why. They asked to see their bank statements and receipts for spending but the board, through its attorney, repeatedly said no.
Four years ago, Iva Wilmott said he was hired by HOA treasurer Kevin Sanders to fix a fence for the neighborhood and paint some of Sander’s personal furniture. He said both jobs were paid with one check from the HOA account.
“I didn’t feel too good about it but he paid me, so I said okay,” said Wilmott.
Wilmott reported it to a friend he knew in the neighborhood but didn’t tell law enforcement. When concerns started to grow on other issues, the story of the “check” surfaced.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office agreed to look into it and subpoenaed 5 years of bank records to help in the case. In his interview, Sanders told Detective Skinner he paid cash for the personal projects and adamantly denied doing anything wrong.
In the recorded interview, you can hear Skinner ask, “Has there ever been any time, any occasion with the HOA account, where you have siphoned money to, let’s say, $5 or more off the account?” Sanders responds, “No.” “No circumstances whatsoever?” the detective asks again. Sanders repeats his answer, “No.”
Sanders goes on to tell the detective why he believes the allegation was made. He claimed a homeowner, Sherry Adams, was disgruntled over her HOA dues and wanted to get him removed from the board, believing that would absolve her responsibility to pay. Read more: