financialcounselor

Seniors Shocked with $10,000 Property Liens

In Uncategorized on July 23, 2012 at 11:25 pm
As you might imagine, I hear from a lot of people who have been taken advantage of financially. Scammed, ripped off, conned, hustled, whatever you want to call it. Now, I never like to hear about people getting taken for their hard earned money, but the thing that really breaks my heart is when the victim is a senior citizen.
I don’t know what kind of degenerate would specifically target elderly people, but apparently there’s a major scam going on in Florida ripping off seniors.
I spoke to a lady named Virginia, who told me how she’d bought a condo in a newly built development for seniors in Florida about a year ago. Six months after she’d plunked down fifty grand–almost all her savings–as a down payment to buy the condo, Virginia was notified out of the blue by the condo development’s homeowner’s association that she was $3,000 in arrears on her association fees. She was also notified that $7,000 in legal fees had been assessed to her, and so the homeowner’s association had placed a $10,000 lien on her condo.
Obviously I asked her, “Virginia, why weren’t you paying the association fees?”
“They never told me how much they were,” she replied. “That was one thing I was confused about when I bought it.”
Turns out, the association fee is $300 per month. Six months’ worth of those fees is only $1,800. Another $1,200 in penalties were assessed, bringing the total owed to $3,000 plus the $7,000 in legal fees to equal the $10,000 lien now on her property.
Now, here’s how you know this isn’t just an isolated case of a person being careless or neglecting her bills. Virginia told me that half the seniors who’d bought in to the development were in the same boat as she, with $10,000 liens on their properties also. You’re not going to convince me that all those people in that same condo development just happened to all be negligent in the same financial responsibility.
So please take this as an example, if you’re going into some financial transaction and any detail of it is unclear or doesn’t make sense, do not go through with it until everything is as clear to you as the sky on a fine spring day.
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