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Old 09-11-2002, 08:17 PM   #1
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Tattoo HB User
Post I could wind up homeless.

I don't know why I am putting this here, but I have to vent. I own a fully paid for condominium in Atlanta Ga. A few years ago, our Homeowners Association changed Management Companies and a few months after the change, I started receiving bills saying that I owed $100.00. It didn't say for what. I made numerous calls to the new management company to see what they had missed because they should have received my monthly Association fees. They didn't know what the error was and had taken the records from the old company and started with those records. We fired that old company because of Accounting problems. The new company refused to find what the error was and still insisted I owed 100.00. I had my record of payments to the Association. Instead of going through the records themselves, they gave them to the Association's atty to go through them. That turned into an Atty bill of over $4000.00 to find a 100.00 error. In Georgia, the law gives Homeowner's Associations the same rights as a mortgagor. It also requires me to have to pay their Atty fees. They wanted all of it at one time. I didn't have $4000.00 to pay their bill with. I got an Atty to protect me. In court, the other side did not show any records, my atty didn't show any records, and I had really paid the fees, but because of that stupid law, the Judge gave them all they asked for that came to a total of over $4000.00 for their atty fees, over $4000.000 for my atty fees and in order to save my condo, I had to file bankruptcy. the bankruptcy atty charged me $1,500 to file. That comes to nearly $10,000! That thing mushroomed! Filing bankruptcy was the only way I could get them to accept monthly payments. I have been making payments to the court for over 2 years now. In March, I got a good job and moved out of state. I started making payments to the Association again since I was working again. I did owe them some Association fees from last year, but I also was paying the court for something I really did not owe. Three months into my new job, I lost my job. My manager is no longer the manager of the dept. There was a lot of politics involved and part of the dept was reorganized. Anyway, this same Homeowner's Association wants to remove my Bankruptcy Protection and sell my condo on the courthouse steps so they can collect $2000.00 that they say I owe from last year. No details, no itemized bill, just a figure, just like last time. They have me scheduled for a hearing next Tuesday to try and remove my protection. They have placed a lien on my condo and can sell it to whoever wants to buy it in order to collect $2000.00! The stupid state of Georgia gives them this right! The entire condo is paid for. There is no mortgage and it is in my name. I started paying the taxes before I started paying the Association when I got this new job. Also, I will have to prove to the court that I can make my monthly Asociation Fees to the Association, but without a job, I can't guarrantee that. My lease here is up on the 25th of this month, my unemployment will not cover rent much less a payment to the Association, food etc. If they sell my condo on the courthouse steps, I will not have any place to go. I am so lost. I moved away from my family so get away from them. They really scare me with the amount of power they have. There are too many docs in my family and not the first one has ever asked me anything about my epilepsy, learned anything about it. That includes my father who probably caused the epilepsy in the first place since he didn't get my temp down when I was an infant. He, my brother, my Uncles and one cousin are docs. They still think epilepsy is mental illness and one of those uncles is a shrink! They would have me locked up. I fully believe that. My General Surgeon brother told me to get a job at a Psychiatric Unit. If I cannot pay for my own needs, it wouldn't be hard to find another idiot judge who would agree with them simply because they are docs! I am scared to death! I can share this with you, but not to any of my family. I live alone with my cats and a dog. We may have no place to go after that stupid Association and the Stupid state of Georgia get through. Tuesday is only a formality. Thanks for letting me vent. I do not feel any better. Tattoo

[This message has been edited by Tattoo (edited 09-11-2002).]

 
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Old 09-12-2002, 03:31 PM   #2
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I do not know what in the world I could say to you to make you feel any better about this situation! I am so sorry that this has happened to you. This just angers me so the way people treat others. No wonder the world has gone to he@@ in a hand basket. You are in my thoughts & prayers and surely something will work out for you. I know that when I lost my job due to seizures (wich is supposed to be illeagal) I was sick about loosing everything! It did take me some time to pull myself together & I learned that I just had to take one day at a time & eventually things turned out better than I could have ever imagined! I know that your situation is totally different & your home has been placed in a total strangers hands & in their eyes they are basically looking at another peice of paper that has been sent across their desk. These people need to realize that these are Human Beings & families that they are considering throwing out on the street over a few measly little $$$! It just makes NO sence to me what so ever! I am so sorry & please feel free to vent all you want! Even though this is the E board we are all friends here & we know eachother better here than on any other board & we want to be here for you!
(((((((((((((((((((tatoo)))))))))))))))) ))))
A big hug for you!
Thinking about you!
http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif Kim

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Yesterday is the past, tomorrow is the future, today is a GIFT, that it is why it is called the present.
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Old 09-12-2002, 04:36 PM   #3
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Thank you so much for your concern. It does help. Please keep me in your prayers. I did some checking, and have decided a course of action although it may not protect my home. Since the original suit filed against me did not include a debt owed (because there wasn't one)and was only attorney fees and court costs ( in other words, The other side's bill) then there was no reason to even bring suit. there has to be a debt owed ti start with. No documents were ever presented in court to show that there was an original debt. I want to sue my Atty, the Management company, the Homeowners association as well as the stupid judge who did not require fair and usual court proceedings. When I was lookng for an atty to represent me then, I met an atty who told me to keep good records and that he would represent me free if they bothered me again. Trouble is that I do owe them now. The suit wouldbe for the original suit. I kept his card and emailed him the document that I wrote up with the details of the original case. I called 3 times today, but can't reach him. If I can reach him and if he will take the case, I will sue. That doesn't stop Tuesday's proceedings unless I can reach him and get that underway prior to Tuesday. Even so, a counter suit probably will not stop Tuesday's proceedings. I also sent every County Commissioner where the propery is a copy of that same document. They will not at all care, but I had told the President of the Association that I would go Public so I did. At this point, I do not know what will happen, but I am havng a real hard time with this. My family knows nothing abt this and do not know abt this board, so I feel safe here. I will not inform them either. As I said they are waiting for me to fail. True! My mother was an alcoholic and since she is no longer living, the sickness that goes with Alcoholism and affects the family has caused the family members to place me in the spot they had placed her. Talking about family dynamics here. They are waiting for the "new alcoholic" to fail. I do not drink at all so don't get the ides that I am an alcoholic. I can't stand the stuff. Anyway, keep me in your prayers and thank you for the support. I do not know how any of this will turn out nor where I will live. I will not move home! That's the man that allowed me to get epilepsy in the first place. He also is the man who beat the s### out me too many times. I'll stay on the street first! Tattoo

 
Old 09-12-2002, 05:03 PM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2002
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OK....This is just a quick thought. Here in Oklahoma we have a guy at one of our local news channels that LOVES to see situations like yours. He investigates things & airs all the dirty laundry of companies on the 5 & 10 o'clock news. He really gets down & dirty with people & almost allways the outcome is in favor of the "under dog". He defends people who do not have the sources to defend themselves! He has been a great help to many people. I just wonder if it would do any good to call you news channels & see if there is anyone there that is willing to try to help you. We actually called this guy once. We took our cat in to the vet to get de clawed & thie original was out of town on the day she was to do the surgery. So, another "fill-in" vet did the procedure. (I was unaware of this until after the fact) This woman butchered my poor kitty's feet & she tried to blame it on me & said that i did not take proper care of him when I brought him home. The cost went from $60 to $375 for all of the extra care & meds he needed. We refused to pay & they tried to sue us. OHHHH......& they charged us for nutering him as well & that was never even done! Anyway, my husband called this Brad Edwards In Your Corner (the news guy) & the day after our story aried we not only were forgin of the $375 bill they were trying to sue us for but we received a full refund. I hope you are able to find someone to help you & you will stay in my prayers. I talked to the lady who is in charge of our prayer group & have put you on our prayer list. Keep us posted & vent all you want! Do not hold it in! I know a little of how you feel about your family! I come here when I have a problem because my friends here care more about me than my family does! So do not feel bad about that! Somehow, someway, everything will be ok in the long run Sweetie! It might get pretty bumpy along the way but I know you are going to make!
http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif Kim
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......and that's all I have to say about that.......

 
Old 09-12-2002, 05:53 PM   #5
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Dear Tattoo,

I am so sorry to hear of all the stress you have been and are still going through. I am afraid I can't really give you any helpful advice. Things are so different in England there seems to be alot more help and understanding of Epilepsy and the problems it can cause. I am very lucky because all of my family have been very supportive and attended every appointment with me to learn more. All I can offer is a listening ear and if you ever need to scream and shout about it I will be hear to listen. Much love to you

Lulabell

 
Old 09-12-2002, 10:33 PM   #6
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J'S MUM HB User
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I am sorry to hear what you are going through ,and I hope everything will work out for you .
I wanted to let you know that your advice for my 5yr old girl has been invaluable .
This is the best advice I have been given since she was diagnose nearly a year ago.
Your knowledge is brilliant and you are a great asset to a forum like this , especially to people like myself that don't know much .

You are in my prayers
Cheryl .

 
Old 09-13-2002, 08:28 AM   #7
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Sweetheart,

First, I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers; that you will be guided to take the right action and that someone/thing will come along to assist you.

Tattoo, you have been SUCH a help to most everyone on this board. Your advise has never failed and you have always done what you could to cheer us up when we've been down. Do not EVER think that we are not here for you WHENEVER! you need us.

I have to agree with 'K'. GO PUBLIC! There is nothing so much a shady sneak fears as the light. Call your local TV station and newspaper, preferably the biggest, and tell them about what's happening. Not to be a cynic, but by the time they finish, they will have just enough time to air for the 'November Sweeps', which is in THEIR best interest. Also, consider calling one of the network news magazines. This is a problem that may be affecting homeowners nationwide. I, for one, had NO IDEA, that all of this could happen. It is positively mind-boggling to think that you could lose a fully paid for home over $100?!? Again, not to be cynical, but once the story aired, you would be positively FLOODED with offers from lawyers to work pro bono (for the publicity of course).

The whole thing seems shady to me. If you can stand it, try to find out if any of your fellow homeowners had or are having a similar problem. Is it only women? Women and minorities? You need to see if there is any discernable pattern (as a starting point to gain the interest of the media). Are there plans to change the zoning on the property?

Down here in New Orleans there is a HUGE battle going on about locating a Wal-Mart in the 'Garden District'. Residents are claiming that it cannot be done because of residential and zoning laws. It just seems to me that there may be more going on than meets the eye and you need help finding out what it is.

You know that you already have both my sympathy and my love. Meanwhile, the best that I can offer you is my prayers. I know that some cruising these boards would find that both inappropriate and ineffectual. However, as a Christain, I can only offer to you what has sustained ME so MANY times in the past and present, and I trust you will accept in the spirit in which it is offered.

Take care, and May God's grace be with you http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif


[This message has been edited by emeraldbee (edited 09-13-2002).]

 
Old 09-13-2002, 10:59 AM   #8
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Tattoo HB User
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Hello. Thank you s much for your concern, prayers, and support. It really does help, but I am losing faith fast. Do not be concerned at all abt mentioning your Higher Power. I will not compromise my beliefs either, but I am losing faith. I also have lost faith in our legal system. thank you for all of your prayers. Would you believe that I have actually applied for a position to work in an Epi Center? Based on what I have learned through all of my travels, I will not hold my breath for that job either. I finally reached that attorney. He won't take the case. I have been on the phone all morning and have been referred from one to another. Most say the case isn't BIG enough. Remember that the original case was a suit for only 4,000 (the other side's fees)and the Firm that represented the Association was a large corporate Firm. How big does a case have to be for an attorney to begin to care about the people? Many are referring me to the Bar Association which is no better than finding a good Epileptologist from the AMA or other organization where the only criteria is to pay their dues and join. I see no difference in how they actually work. I got that atty that 'reprsented' me from the Atlanta Bar Association. No thanks! I have a call in to another I was again referred to, but since this one has just set up his own practice, that basially means he needs business. It also means he will not be willing to go up against a judge he may have to face later on. In the real world, the People do not have a chance. I think those of us who visit this board are very much aware of this fact. At some point, our prioities have to change, but I do not see that happening. Thanks for listening to this. I am soooo lost! Tattoo

 
Old 09-15-2002, 06:59 PM   #9
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My atty called Sat night, and I was so shocked to hear how he talked to me. He said, "Do you mind if I tell the other side that you are bipolar?" I thought, What? I was livid. I am not biploar. I have epilepsy and that's all. I was extremely upset and scared to death. He also said other very derrogatory remarks such as, "I think you are dumber than most people." I couldn't believe it! Since Tuesday is just around the corner, I wasn't sure how to handle it. I wanted to Fire him! I thought about it and based on his conduct, I didn't trust him to go into court and really protect me. I told him so and he said, "I don't doubt it based on your personality." Will the persecution never end? I felt like one of those people who were stoned and persecuted in the long ago past. That past is not supposed to be the present! I thought about it, cried about it, and decided that I do not intend to be a victim any more. I called him back and Fired him! Now I have to either get this to happen Tuesday put off or represent myself. I am not an attorney by any stretch of the imagination, but I will call the court Monday and see what I have to do. I have notified via fax the other side that my attorney is no longer representing me. This is the biggest mess! Keep me in your prayers. Thanks. Tattoo

[This message has been edited by Tattoo (edited 09-16-2002).]

 
Old 09-16-2002, 07:43 AM   #10
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emeraldbee HB User
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Tattoo,

I have a couple of friends that are attorneys (amazing ain't it) and have always provided good advice. I hope you won't mind that I call them today, but do to the time constraints I don't have time to get back to the boards before I get to them. Trust that I will use as little identifiable information as possible to maintain your confidentiality. For one thing I don't know the name of the condos, so that's a start. They have always given me good advice and I'll see if I can get the name of an Atlanta attorney. Actually, one of them lives in Atlanta, but she is more of a 'friend of a friend'. Meanwhile, I'm off to work where the majority of my resources and references are. I'll get back to you ASAP.

Keep the faith and remember. God never allows more to befall us than we can bear. http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif

 
Old 09-16-2002, 01:18 PM   #11
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Emeraldbee, Thank you so much, and I do not at all mind your sharing any of this. In fact, I have posted it on one of the Legal websites. One attorney told me to make noise, so I did. I contacted the Court and told them of the change in attorneys, but due to the time involved in that process, it is impossible. My attorney whom I terminated called early this morning and based on the time etc, he will have to remain my atty. I think he understands my concerns. I have heard from the other side today via email that they will not agree to any continuence so the same atty will be there in my stead. What I really want is to sue the ones who started this. The Ga HB 1775 was amended in 1998 and this case was 2000. That amended law was not at all considered. I really want to counter sue. Most atty's say it is not big enough, but either we have laws that mean something, or we do not. If you know of any atty who really wants the laws upheld and is an advocate for the People, that would be wonderful. Heck, I even sent my story to the State Senator in my District. Thank you for any help you can give me. Until someone finally stands up and says "Enough", things will not change. That goes for most circumstances as we can attest. Tattoo

[This message has been edited by Tattoo (edited 09-16-2002).]

 
Old 09-16-2002, 09:07 PM   #12
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emeraldbee HB User
Thumbs up

Happy to hear that things are looking up a little. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you, but here goes.

Atlanta is on maternity leave and NOLA did not return my call. However, I WAS able to get some information that might help. Someone that I know, who owns a condo, suggested the following, if not already done.

1) File an injunction to stop the sale, ASAP. I guess in your case that means in the morning/this morning?
2) Appeal the ruling and
3) Contact 'Fair Housing'. (I know that they also have a website.) They will have their own lawyers dedicated to causes like yours.

It's good to see that your lawyer had a flash of common sense (or common decency). Although, I still don't see what your diagnosis has to do with this case, or as they say down here "the price of tea in China".

Try not to let yourself get stressed as we know the effects stress can have. Take care and keep the faith.

http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif


 
Old 09-16-2002, 10:33 PM   #13
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Thank you, EmeraldBee. I won't know the Court's decision until tomorrow, Tuesday. I asked the atty if they wold sell my condo tomorrow if I lost. He didn't answer that. He says the equity COULD be in my favor, and it should be. He adds that it "Depends on the judge." Are there rules or are there not? He kept pressing me to commit to payments that were over and above the normal Association fee to begin payng their amt they say I owe. Some of that is more ATTORNEY'S FEES! They are terrible about just giving a number rather an itemized bill. I feel like I'm dealing with the Mafia! Based on the regular payment to the Association, plus the overage anount, plus the payment to the Bankruptcy Court, it totals just all my unemployment allows me. I am paying for meds out of pocket and if I took the COBRA offered from my job, the cost is more than the meds. Forget about paying rent and buying meds. If they only knew the harm they have caused. I fully believe they know but do not care. I really want to sue them! I won't know until tomorrow if my landlord here will let me sign a shorter lease just so I have a place to stay, but even if he does, paying for it is a different story. I rather doubt he will allow me to do what I asked. Thank you for the info re the injunction to stop the sale. Since I do not know when that will be or if it will be, I will keep that in mind. Wouldn't the Court's decision carry more weight than my injunction? From everything I have seen, the People really do not seem to matter much. I will go ahead and send my story to the Housing Dept. Thank you for you help. I have been scared before, but my world is upside down. Tattoo

 
Old 09-18-2002, 10:54 AM   #14
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Ksavage HB User
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I was just thinking about you Tatoo & was wondering what in the world happened yesterday! Please send us an update as soon as you have the time. Still thinking & praying for you.
I hope you have some good news to report!
http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif Kim

------------------
Yesterday is the past, tomorrow is the future, today is a GIFT, that it is why it is called the present.
__________________
......and that's all I have to say about that.......

 
Old 09-18-2002, 01:59 PM   #15
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Thank you all for your concern. The prayers helped! On Tuesday, the Judge did not allow the HOA to have their way! My Condo is still mine, but the Judge upped my payments to the Court $100.00 which in essence is a payment plan to repay what I actually do owe for last year. I never doubted the fact that I do owe some for last year, but what I do not owe was the bill for that original case in 2000 that started this. Of course, they had to add their atty fees which all boils down to the establishment of a payment plan through the Court System which cost me more in atty fees and placed much more stress on me when it could have been handled in a much different manner. I still want to sue the HOA and my other atty for the original suit which should not have taken place. There were others whose records were handled by that same Firm that ran up the $4000.00 bill so there are probably others who would want to sue as well. Until someone does, ther blatant disregard for ther law will continue. What now remains is a place to move to and a job all within a week's time. I can resign my lease here where I am, but my unemployment will not cover rent much less what the Court wants. I do not want to move back to Atlanta, and the move would cost me more. You know, I may have mentioned this in one of my other posts, but I know of no one else who lives in that condo Complex who has epilepsy. I do know of a with man a mental health illness in my building. I endured the discriminatory comments from neighbors regarding my memory, and I have been witness to the same type of comments made about my neighbor. For the HOA to go to such extremes to only accomplish a payment plan and for the same extremes to be taken that amounted to that $4000.00 auditing bill of theirs in the first place, I have wondered if my epilpesy is really a pivotal factor in their choices as to how these matters are handled. That's one way to get rid of me. Take my property. I really do want to file suit against them for all of the trouble they have caused me and to recover damages. I doubt seriously if the other neighbors there know that the Georgia Condo Act was amended in 1998 which limits the atty fees to no more than the actual debt owed, HB1775! Time is the factor now and of course, a job. So, please continue the prayers, but one thing has been handled. Once those two other matters are settled, I do want to find an atty who is willing to take my case. Most say it isn't big enought as I may have mentioned. I do apologize for the length of this. Thank you so much for your support. I really do appreciate it. Tattoo

 
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