Monday, December 24, 2012

Man's rough month includes homeowners association fight | Local News - KMBC Home

Man's rough month includes homeowners association fight | Local News - KMBC Home: KANSAS CITY, Mo. —Just days before Christmas and days after the death of his granddaughter, a Johnson County man had his bank account seized by his homeowners association for being behind on his dues.

We're broke," said Sam Marsala. "We're terribly in the hole. That's all I can say."

According to court records, Marsala's bank account was garnished five days ago. He said he thinks he owes his homes association about $4,300 in back dues, money it uses to maintain the swimming pool, landscaping and trash pickup.

"I'm not going to deny that I owe them some money," he said.

Marsala said he's an electrical engineer, but his business in the solar industry hasn't been very good for several years. He's also taking care of his granddaughter, Fiona, who was born two years ago with a rare, terminal form of epilepsy.
So much for the quaint notion that HOA private government is less impersonal and bureaucratic and fosters community. HOAs want their money just as much as the county tax assessor --- regardless of whether it's Christmas or the Fourth of July.


Epiphany said...

It is very sad his granddaughter passed. It is sad he struggles financially. That said, this article makes the HOA sound like ogres. To be $4,300 behind in his dues means he was likely 5 - 6+ years in arrears. He has a phone. He could have called to make arrangements. He could have told them the issues he was having in his life. The Board would have worked with him had he made the calls. HOA dues are like every other bill you owe - electric bill, groceries. You call and make arrangements or you risk bad credit, foreclosures, garnishing, liens, etc. Make the call. It is very simple. The HOA provides a service. You don't have to live in a neighborhood with a HOA. You could pay your own trash service. Live with your neighbors home painted neon orange. This man knew for YEARS he owed the HOA and never called to make arrangements. You don't chalk up $4,300 over night. Dues are likely $500 - $600 per year. The HOA Board is run by volunteers. Other neighbors that are elected by their neighbors to ensure the neighborhood trash is collected, lawns are mowed, people don't make odd choices with their lawns and homes (painting them neon orange - yes, it happens). This man is not a victim of the HOA Board. He is responsible for his choices. He chose not to contact his creditors (for years) when he knew he was struggling to pay his bills. He chose to not make arrangements. He chose to not go to court. He chose to not tell anyone his granddaughter was dying. I can feel sad that he granddaughter died. However, I have zero sympathy and much annoyance for people that refuse to take responsibility for the condition of their lives and blame others. This man is not a victim. He chose his path.

Mike Reardon said...

A blistering comment on the Neighborly Compassion we have for each other,when we are in each others pockets in HOA land.