The schemes fraudsters use to dupe property owners out of their hard earned money seem to get stranger and creepier! On February 8, a television station in Kansas City, Missouri, FOX4, reported on a homeowners’ association scam involving a quiet neighborhood in Northland Missouri.
The station reported that for years, people living in the Summerfield subdivision ignored the invoices that arrived in the mail demanding payment to a homeowners’ association. Summerfield has no owners’ association! “Summerfield Homeowners’ Association” has no board and provides no services, but someone in its behalf mailed invoices and later filed liens against the neighborhood homes.
One homeowner reported that when he moved into the neighborhood in late 2017, he was told that there was no owners’ association and no monthly assessments. But just before Christmas, a $445 lien was filed against his home as well as thirty other homes in the neighborhood.
The liens made reference to a telephone number for a company that manages the association, Column’s Park, LLC, but the man who answered the telephone at that number, according to the news report, was “some random guy” who said the number had belonged to him for five years and had nothing to do with Summerfield subdivision. The man purported told callers to let everyone in the subdivision know that he had not caused the problem, and that he was convinced it was a scam. He was apparently weary of fielding the telephone calls of the frustrated homeowners.
Unable to resolve the conundrum themselves, the neighbors called FOX4 Problem Solvers for help. The television station traced the liens to two individuals, one residing in a federal prison, convicted on an earlier charge of mortgage fraud. This convict apparently came up with a new idea for duping consumers out of money. The other individual said she believed the subdivision should have an owners’ association to pay for the upkeep of a neighborhood drainage basin. The connection between the two individuals was unclear.
The owners finally took action by hiring an attorney to assist them in eradicating the liens. What a story! Hopefully, we won’t see this one in South Carolina.