A homeowner's association, or HOA, has the potential to be such a nightmare that multiple AskReddit threads deal with horrible HOA stories. Though some go beyond the realm of nightmares into outright ghoulish.
Take, for example, the story of 82-year-old widow Marie Riggins, who may lose her home after her HOA in Inglewood, California, demanded $38,000 in back payments that she reportedly fell behind on in 2017.
Riggins and her husband moved into their home in Inglewood in 1986. But in the last 10 years, Riggins lost her husband to pancreatic cancer and was forced to file for bankruptcy.
Now the HOA wants her home.
Riggins, who continues to work in bookkeeping at the age of 82, says she doesn't believe she owes anywhere close to the $38,000 the HOA is alleging.
"There's no way in the world that I would owe $38,000... that meant I never paid my property dues."
Riggins also said she'd be hard-pressed to "stand around here and let them take the home that I worked hard for."
"I have spent too much money to just say, 'OK here take it.' … And there's no way in the world I can get out of here in a month. Where am I supposed to go?"
"I'm trying to pay them to get my title back because I don't plan to move from here. My husband died here. It makes me sick. I said they're going to have to kill me, it's that bad."
Her home, which now sits across from a newly built stadium, is worth much more than Riggins and her husband paid for it in 1986—close to one million dollars.
Many people pointed out the role of HOAs in gentrification, where people of color are forced out of neighborhoods after property values increase.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help Riggins both stay in her home as well as pay legal fees to keep her home from foreclosure.
The GoFundMe has raised about $60,000 out of the $250,000 needed.