A MOTHER-of-four was shocked to learn her home had been sold from under her feet, leaving her and her children with few safe housing options.
Monica Villela was one of many residents who lived within the radius of the Green Valley Ranch Homeowners Association outside of Denver.
Nearly a quarter of the U.S. population belongs to a community association such as an HOA.
While the main goals of neighborhood groups are to maintain the aesthetics of the community and ensure the safety of residents, few people know how much Legal force They have.
The Green Valley Ranch HOA has developed a reputation for issuing severe fines and foreclosures when homeowners default on their payments, as reported by Bloomberg.
Only a few states have laws that prevent HOAs from foreclosing on their residents.
Monica Villela was one of the unfortunate homeowners who faced foreclosure initiated by her HOA.
She claims she was not warned and found out her home was sold by meeting the new owner in her driveway.
Villela was on her way to pick up her children from school last February when a stranger approached her and introduced himself as the new homeowner.
The Villela’s owed about $8,000 in HOA fines, a high price for a large family that only has a single income.
The charges were filed for minor violations, including dead tree branches and leaving trash cans on the curb.
Vilella never expected that her HOA would put her home up for foreclosure over seemingly minor violations.
The new buyer, a real estate investor, allowed Viella to stay in her home through the end of the school year as long as she paid him rent.
He also offered to sell the property back to her for around $25,000.
Villela and her family are not the only residents whose homes have been sold underfoot.
According to an investigation by , the HOA had approved at least 60 foreclosures in the first three months of 2022 Denverite.
In a statement released last March, Green Valley Ranch’s board defended its practices.
“The fact that a foreclosure is filed does not mean that someone will lose their home. In most cases, payment plans are active or are completed without further legal action,” the statement said.
The Colorado Attorney General’s Office investigated the HOA but found no evidence of wrongdoing.
Vilella has received support from the Community Economic Defense Project, which helps Denver area residents experiencing economic hardship.
The organization is trying to negotiate a deal to buy back her home.
Meanwhile, Villela has no choice but to live as a squatter in the house that once belonged to her.
Most of the furniture has been removed, a constant reminder of the frustrating foreclosure experience.
Her children live with their mother-in-law and sleep in the basement.
“I want to keep fighting,” she said. “I say I’ll buy a necklace right now and lock my hands on the door.”
The US Sun has reached out to the Green Valley Ranch HOA for comment.