PhotoWhat happens when a bank forecloses on a property that's in a homeowners association? The Eatons Ferry Estates Property Owners Association, in Littleton, N.C., is wrestling with that very issue.

American Home Mortgage foreclosed on a property in our HOA that had a lien against it for 2011 dues and penalties,” an association officer told “They have ignored our request for payment of the lien and the penalties that continue to accumulate since they took possession of the property. We have contacted them and they requested we fax the documentation. This has been done three times and they continue not to act on the account. Current balance is $600.”

This is a growing problem in large condo developments, where many units are in foreclosures. Though legally obligated as owners to keep up the assessment payments, many lenders don't.

Case of mistaken identity

Increasingly we are hearing from travelers who say they no longer use third-party travel booking sites and now book directly with the hotel or airline. Or at least, they try to.

I thought that I was booking my rooms at the Washington Hotel in Washington D.C. directly on the Internet,” said Alice, of Alabaster, Ala. “But I found out that I booked through TravelNow, which is a subsidiary of Expedia. There is nothing that tells you that you are not booking through the hotel. While at the hotel I ask the front desk agent about my discount. She said that I booked through Expedia and there was nothing she could do about the discount I was promised.”

Alice, and other travelers like her, need to make sure they are clicking on the hotel's link when they do a Google search. Travel sites often purchase sponsored links, which appear at the top of the page. Make sure you read more than the first link that pops up.

Happy behind the wheel

We get lots of complaints from consumers who are unhappy with their automobile purchase. We're delighted when we hear from one who's happy – especially since he had misgivings about it to start with.

“A few months ago I bought a 2011 Misubishi Eclipse Spyder,” David, of South Daytona, Fla., told “I was committed to purchase a Nissan 370Z when I first saw the Spyder. The styling was great, but I test drove it only because the Spyder was $8000 less than the 370Z and it came with an additional $2000 rebate. I agonized over the decision because I really wanted the Nissan and I didn't know anything about Mitsubishi cars. In the end, for the $10,000 price difference, I just couldn't pass on the Spyder. Overall, I'm very pleased with the Spyder. You need only to hit a bump in the road or cross a rail road track to feel how well built this car is. On the negative side, if I was asked to make improvements to this car I'd suggest higher quality leather seats and an improved turning radius. If I need to make a U-turn I look for a K-Mart parking lot.”

David said the car gets decent gas mileage and the monthly insurance premium is $60 less than the Nissan.

Expensive junk mail

Greg, of Colorado Springs, Colo., is getting some unwanted mail. What's new about that? Because he's being charged for it.

“We started receiving some silly newsletter from Progressive Business Publications not even related to my industry, then they wanted to charge exorbitant prices for their worthless publication,” Greg said. “I contacted them and told them to discontinue sending it, We do not like it, nor want it. We will not pay for it. They informed me I had to pay or they would ruin my company's credit rating. I agreed to pay and told them to stop sending the worthless paper to me.”

Greg may not realize it, but he's getting the newsletter because of a negative option marketing transaction. Likely, a telemarketer talked to someone in his company and used that conversation as an excuse to execute a “sale.” Greg should report it to Colorado Attorney General John Suthers.   

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