Residents were sent new coupon books in November with new banking information.  Residents Arthur and Billie Cook insist that they were out of the country and did not get theirs, therefore their payments were rejected.  Please note that the HOA cannot respond to the resident’s inquiry once it is in the attorney’s hands.  

By:  Billie Cook

Residents of the Woodlands:

We are Section 1 residents who have lived here almost 30 years. Why do we pay our monthly homeowner’s assessment to the WHOA who then takes our money and spits in our face?

We tried to keep the following situation low key, but when we received another attorney’s letter, that made our blood boil.

In the past, if you ever had a problem with anything, you could talk to someone and resolve the issues. Not now. That is why we decided to make it public and send a letter to the Attorney General’s office and let them look at this outrageous behavior from a Homeowners Association.

Due to travel, we often paid our assessment, $134.00, each month online. This year while we were overseas, both our January and February payments were rejected by their site. Unbeknownst to us, they had changed banks and closed their previous account. Thus we could not pay.

For almost 30 years in the same house, in good standing, we were flabbergasted upon our return Feb 28, to find an Attorney’s threatening recovery letter. We telephoned immediately and could only reach a machine. It took three days for a callback and the caller could not advise us.

Immediately we paid the past due Jan and Feb and sent them a letter advising them.

Now they are hounding us for attorney’s fees and late notices. Plus, adding insult to injury, they have not applied our payment to Jan and Feb taking out attorney’s fees instead.

The following letter was sent to Alan Sloane, Patti Fox and Sara Jane Rose, however, we have received no reply.

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To date we have been charged $75.00 in late fees. $311.00 in Attorney fees including two certified letters. We have paid all of our dues, although they have taken the attorney fee out of the dues and now want to charge more late fees…. and the meter keeps running.

How many other residents have had this heavy-handed rulings from OUR so-called Association?

If you have had a bad experience with them, or their attorneys contact:

Pam Bondi
Florida Attorney General
Tallahassee FL 32399
Please send a copy to me

Our letters to the board remain unanswered two months later with no apologies nor acknowledgement.

Billie and Arthur Cook



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4 Responses to "Residents Air Frustration With Lack of Communication and Excessive Fees"

  1. You won’t hear from the Board, or probably the attorney, until they are ready to take you to court or foreclosure. This tactic has played out all over the US in homeowners associations. If you do a Google search, you’ll find thousands of these stories with very few homeowner winners.

    The BOD is following the advice of the attorney, at the cost of their common sense, the harmony of the community and bad media coverage. As the only winner, the attorney could care less about your life or a neighborly community when he makes his bank deposits.

    This website caught the attention of the author of “Privatopia”, which is never a good thing from the BOD’s point of view.

    Keep making noise. Don’t let them just run all over you.

  2. Well, here goes my two cents and yes, hindsight is, well, you know…
    First thing that comes to my mind is if these residents had been going to the regular meetings, if there was indeed regular meetings, they would have heard about the dues increase at the budget meeting, right? Again, I am assuming there was this discussion and there was a budget meeting which there should have been. Then, they would have known how much to pay ahead or in advance before leaving for their most pleasureable trip abroad. Then, there would have been no surprises on their return. Ignorance is no excuse for failure is what I’m thinking. Maybe as we get older though we don’t think as much as we used to? It happens, I’m sure. I am really sorry to hear of this situation and I would hope that the board might make an exception here an get the word out next year to all residents when they make an increase of dues decision again. I assume no newsletter was sent out either from the headlines of a story I see here on this web site. I love this web site by the way. Kudos to the owner and keep up the good work! I’ve gotten into a similar situation like this in the past myself and was outsmarted. Your site gives me new inspiration and motivation. Thanks!

    Editor: There were no dues increase as far as I know. However, when new payment booklets were sent out to residents there was new banking information. The homeowners contend that they knew nothing about the new banking information. Whether they were out of of the country, or disregarded the new booklet, I don’t know. I also don’t know if a separate letter went out to all homeowners advising them of new banking information so that those that don’t use the coupon books and use online banking could be advised.

  3. After another review of the facts the Board determined that placing the account with the attorney was proper, and asked the owner to reconsider and pay all maintenance fees, legal fees, and costs.

    The owner changed her mind and has since paid all maintenance and legal fees that were demanded by the Board and required by law.

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