Devery and Tina Hale (copy)

Devery and Tina Hale stand outside the home in Irmo they have fought in court for four years to keep. A Florida-based company, Regime Solutions, bought the Hales' home out from under them for about $3,000 at auction after their homeowners association foreclosed over $250 in unpaid fees. Jessica Holdman/Staff

There is a simpler way to correct the HOA foreclosure problem. Before explaining, I would ask readers to answer what happens to your car if you do not pay your auto loan, or to your house if you do not pay property taxes, or to your bank account if you do not pay income taxes?

When the county forecloses for not paying property taxes, the first mortgage goes away.

Do the same thing when an HOA forecloses and the banks will step in, pay the HOA and add it to the debt.

I live in a gated community and our dues pay for all roads, street lights, retention ponds, storm drains and landscaping of several hundred acres.

Our storm drain system covers more than 2,000 acres and we still pay a stormwater tax. This takes the financial burden off the city and county, but we still have the same property tax rates.

I also serve as the general manager of our community and see the issue from both sides. Master-in-Equity Judge Mikell Scarborough took it on himself to correct the situation in one of the two cases in our neighborhood over the past eight years. Legislators should listen to his viewpoint.

JOHN WATKINS

General manager

Dunes West

Col. Vanderhorst Circle

Mount Pleasant

Helping hands

On Dec. 24, I was walking on King Street in downtown Charleston when I fell. Not feeling much pain, I tried to get up but started screaming when I realized a bone had broken through the skin and that my wrist was at a 90-degree angle to my arm.

I was immediately surrounded by a group of people who took charge, calling 911, contacting my husband, calming me down, bringing a clean cloth to cover the injury.

They even washed off my bracelet and watch so I wouldn’t have to see the blood. I believe one of the women was a retired nurse and one of the men was a pathologist.

I do not know who those people were, but I will forever be thankful to them for their kindness and grace. I don’t know how to thank them except to hope they read this and know how grateful I am.

ROBERTA TROSS COOK

East 89th Street

New York

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Arts matter

In a Dec. 23 Post and Courier letter to the editor, a local citizen protested a temporary increase in property taxes to support school operations.

As a solution, the writer proposed that tuition/fees be charged for special classes like dance, music, theatre and the arts.

Indeed, the arts are special, as in extraordinary and significant and leading to memorable, inclusive and empowering learning experiences that can turn a student around.

I once interviewed a dyslexic, middle-age woman whose disability led to her failing school, followed by years of depression and chronic illnesses.

There were no tax funds to support teaching dyslexic students like her. This woman recounted feeling great joy whenever a teacher got what made her special. Such teachers saw that the arts transformed her, tapping into her natural and powerful ways of being a learner and creative human being.

To defund the arts in schools is to minimize their vital importance as being merely “special” instead of necessary. To make arts education available to only families able to afford tuition for these experiences is to position privilege over possibility in our schools. We can and must do better than that.

MERRIE KOESTER

Allgood Road

Charleston