Article Courtesy of The Ocala Star
By Austin L. Miller
Published May 16, 2010
Barring a miracle, an 85-year-old woman will be
evicted Monday from the villa she has lived in at On Top of the World
for the past 20 years.
Berg's failure to pay homeowner's association fees led to foreclosure
of the property, which has been sold. She is under court order to
evacuate and is receiving assistance with relocation.
Berg moved into the villa in 1989, the monthly homeowner's association
fee was $115. Since then, the cost has gone up to $397 a month. With
fees and other court costs included, she wound up owing about $8,000.
Wolfkill, with the Fifth Circuit Guardian Corp., told the Star-Banner
that Berg had paid the HOA fees up to two years ago.
R. Colen of Largo, an attorney who represents On Top of
The World, told the Star-Banner in a telephone interview
Friday that the OTOW Owners Association tried to work with
Berg, but was unsuccessful. He said the association's job
is not to put people out, but to try to persuade them to
pay. If they don't pay the fees, he said, everyone suffers
because others would have to pay more and maintenance
home, in the 9000 block of Southwest 83rd Avenue, was
assessed at $50,837, according to the Marion County
Property Appraiser's Office website. It was offered for
public sale to the highest bidder on April 20, and was
purchased for $100.
Berg, 85, left, talks with Olivia Baird, Berg's private guardian.
documents show the buyer was Danny Robertson, an associate in the law firm
of David E. Midgett.
said the association got a judgment against Berg and that prior to the
foreclosure sale, Midgett called him and agreed to purchase the property.
could not be reached for comment.
woman at the law office directed all inquires to Berg's attorney, Kathy
Ackerman, who also is executive director of the Fifth Circuit Guardianship
Wednesday, Wolfkill's agency was granted emergency guardianship of Berg. It
was discovered, however, that she did not meet one of three criteria and her
case was turned over to private guardianship.
said that, to be eligible for her agency's services, the client must:
no friends or family;
no money to pay for care; and
mentally unable to care for herself.
said she could not reveal which category was at issue for Berg.
said the guardianship program receives funding from the state Department of
Elder Affairs, United Way and private donations. Her agency helps a number
of people in similar circumstances.
said the staff is looking into Berg's case to see if they can get her home
was a co-owner on the property, Aung Thein, 87, who lives in New York and is
a part-time professor at a college. Officials trying to contact him have
reportedly occasionally visits Berg, who is a widow.
who is from Germany, has a master's degree in health sciences and teaches
yoga. Her only income is Social Security.
Friday, officials from the private guardianship and the Fifth Circuit
Guardianship Corp. took her to visit assisted living facilities.
she does not find a place to live by Monday, a Marion County Sheriff's
official said they will not put her things out on the curb.
agency would be charged with evicting Berg if she does not comply with the
court order. But sheriff's Chief Tom Wilder said because of her age, and his
agency's community policing philosophy, they will assist her in finding a
place to live.
said the Sheriff's Office's mission is to ensure that she is taken care off.
going to work with her to make it amenable to both parties," he said.
told the Star-Banner that she does not want to leave her two-bedroom,
two-bath home, and that she has no family or friends in the U.S. to help