STRAWN, Texas — Story after story of homeowners' association nightmares inspired more than 40 reform bills at the State Capitol during the legislative session this year.
While it looks like very few of those measures will actually become law, homeowner complaints continue — and here's the the latest from Possum Kingdom Lake.
When raging wildfires destroyed 54 homes in the Possum Kingdom Lake residential area known as Sportsman's World last month, one of those houses belonged to Jim Brumbelow.
Now, more than a month later — as he surveys what's left of his world — the 77-year-old cancer survivor faces new challenges in his life.
"I guess my whole life is invested here," Brumbelow said. "Everything I own here, materially, is gone, and I know it doesn't mean a damn thing to you, but it's hard to look at."
He's not only navigating the agony of his material loss, he's having to deal with the threat of being sued.
The recreational vehicle and camper he is living and working out of until his home can be rebuilt is violating Article 8, Section 3(e) of the Sportsman's World Property Owners Association covenant, according to a letter Brumbelow received from a Dallas law firm.
"If you do not move the vehicles immediately, the Association is expected to file suit," the letter reads, hitting him with attorneys fees and seeking injunctive relief.
The Association is on record, however, saying it is "sorry that he lost his house."
"There's nothing I can do but move this camper," Brumbelow said. "It's that or go fight them in court — and the nice thing is, I have to pay their attorneys' fees."
What's more, Brumbelow says the property owners' association will not let him rebuild his house — exactly as it was — until he submits detailed plans.
The Association says it has offered Brumbelow several alternatives for off-site storage of his camper and RV.
He has declined.
But for now, Brumbelow says his loss is too painful, the emotions too raw, for him to get too far removed from the past.
"My children and my grandchildren all come here for special occasions," Brumbelow said. "This is really hard."