From posting a list of homeowners delinquent on their maintenance fees to restricting their access to complex amenities, members of one Florida community draw a line in the sand as foreclosure woes abound.
By Dan Fitzpatrick of The Wall Street Journal
Few things agitate Sid Schulman, who often shoots the breeze with other retirees and flirts with female friends at their condominium complex in Lauderhill, Fla.
But it galls him when neighbors stop paying their mortgages and maintenance fees and leave the cost of community upkeep to others. (Bing:
What's the average cost of homeowner-association fees?)
"I am paying for these guys," says the 75-year-old, sitting poolside, a diamond stud in his left ear.
In 2009, he took matters into his own hands. Near the mailbox of each condo building, he posted a list of residents who were delinquent on their maintenance fees, with the message "Pay up or move out" in English and in Spanish. He also tried, unsuccessfully, to get the cable company to cut off service to nonpayers.
The public shaming angered some of those named.
"You know where I live - come and tell me that to me face," says Lorena Garcia, 36, who lost her job and ability to pay.
What's your home worth?
The storm that struck the housing market has strewn many casualties: lenders, builders, real-estate agents and mortgage-bond investors. Add to the list the comity of certain communities where residents live close together, some of them paying their mortgages and homeowners-association fees and some not.
As banks slow foreclosures amid concerns about sloppy record-keeping, some delinquent homeowners get to stay put even longer without paying. The delays are inflaming some neighbors who consider that unfair.