A Double Whammy of Absurdities

First,  I thought the story about the woman in a suburb of Dallas who was told she had to get rid of the tree stump in her front yard was the most absurd news item I read this week. According to the report, the stump has been in her yard for about 15 years and the city just now cited her for it.  The stump is huge. In fact, her son carved part of it into a seat where she can sit and watch the birds and the rabbits who frequently visit. It is a special place for her but apparently, the city does not care. There is an ordinance against having a dead tree stump on private property.

Could we all say “private property?”

As absurd as that is, however, it pales next to the story about a Homeowners Association in Texas that foreclosed on the home of a soldier  because he was late in paying his dues. The soldier was serving in Iraq at the time and apparently his wife did not open the mail that had the notices that the HOA payment  was overdue. The dues were $977 and the HOA sent several notices that were not responded to. So they foreclosed on the house and sold it at auction for $3, 201 to a man who later sold it for $135,000.

The house was originally purchased for $315,000.

Those who support the Texas law that allows foreclosures for non payment of HOA dues say that foreclosing is the only way that HOAs can compel people to pay the annual dues and abide by the other rules.

That reasoning is so absurd the person who drafted it ought to be tarred and feathered.

What do you think?

9 thoughts on “A Double Whammy of Absurdities”

  1. Seems to be a Texas thing.
    Just kidding! Absurd like these laws.
    Maybe we could send the paid up HOA members to take the soldiers place?

  2. Numerous cities now force the homebuilders to setup the HOA. Numerous legal firms are happy to do so (copying city law and calling them the HOA by-laws – isn’t copying published work without citing the originator an issue?). The cities don’t want to do the work anymore so they just outsource it someone else and if you get stuck with a ridiculous board or legal firm enforcing laws – you are up a creek with them taunting you with the paddles.

    And then my favorite is that in some situations – say building a shed – you have to go through both the HOA and city becaue of how the HOA by-laws are written and then city code (and yes, even if the city says ‘OK’ – the HOA can say ‘Not OK’ and then you have to go fight).

    The soldier should get his house back an the seller should have to refund the sale and just be out his auction money and the lady should get to keep her chair.

  3. Our HOA used to put a lien on the property for non-payment of dues, but apparently that wasn’t legal, so they stopped it.

    Where we live now, dues are optional (but you can’t get a community fishing license without being a member, so hubster was quick to ante up)

  4. Thanks for explaining some of the inner workings of the HOA, Matt. Very enlightening.

    Terry, apparently the laws governing HOAs are different in every state. Glad you are in a state that doesn’t have such severe laws.

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