AUSTIN (KXAN) - How would you like to lose your $250,000 home over not payingyour homeowner's dues?
It is a closer reality for Mark Lyne, an insurance agent, inWilliamson County. Lyne received a letter last week from hisHomeowners Association in the Woods of Brushy Creek subdivision inNorthwest Williamson County, that said the HOA intends to forecloseif he does not pay his $1,267 fine.
"So they're going to come and take our $250,000 asset so theycan get their $1200," said Lyne.
Lyne, who lost his job in 2005, has admittedly faced financialdifficulty. He admits not paying his dues because of other choicesin his life.
"When you’re faced with paying your property tax, and yourinsurance, and your water and your electric bill, versus paying theHOA assessment," Lyne said. "HOA typically falls at a lowerpriority."
He said he was surprised to see the notice in the mail. Headmits he should have paid his dues, but does not see the logic intaking away his house. Lyne said that is the last thing neighborsshould do in a down economy.
"How is putting a family out for $1,200 preserving acommunity?" Lyne asked.
Adam Pugh, a lawyer for the Woods of Brushy Creek HOA, begs todiffer.
"One of the ways people are able to preserve the value of theirhome in a declining market is to enforce the restrictions," saidPugh.
Pugh said the association has sent Lyne and at least seven otherhomeowners letters describing their levels of delinquency.
"It's this type of action that we have to use to get people'sattention," he said.
The deed restrictions and bylaws for the homeowners associationclearly state the association has the right to foreclose should ahomeowner not pay on time. In the subdivision, at least eighthomeowners had liens placed on their properties in October 2008,and five homeowners had liens placed earlier this week, accordingto Williamson County records. A lien is the step before an intentto foreclose letter.
"This neighborhood in particular is just chock full of peoplethat pay they are dues on time in the full amount every singletime," said Pugh. "It's a very small group causing a large problem.If the dues are not paid, then certain services can't be providedfor everyone."
Another homeowner in the neighborhood thought the intent toforeclose letter to different neighbors may be a bit harsh,especially when times are tight.
"I think everybody has to give a little right now," said SueMann, a homeowner in the Woods of Brushy Creek subdivision. "Evenstores have reduced their prices and things," she said. "Idon’t think it’s time to take the one most importantthing away from someone which is their home."
Lyne, meanwhile, said he has plans to pay his dues, but stilldoes not believe "sabre-rattling" letters with the intent forecloseare valid remedies to improve the neighborhood.
"Search your soul. Search your heart. Is it the right thing todo?" said Lyne. "It got my attention, but it's also not right."
Emergency agencies from all over Hays County will be out in full force Friday at Dripping Springs Middle School as they take a new training approach to protect the lives of children.
Ten-year-old Cameron Ferweda is a fan of action-adventure books. Of writing them, that is.
The state's chief financial officer says a booming Texas economy has created an extra $2.5 billion in unspent revenue.
An armed robbery in South Austin set off a search for two men with guns early Friday morning.
Two school buses and a car crashed on eastbound Parmer Lane near Ranch Road 620 on Friday morning but there were no reports of injuries.
Ikea has officially declared a war against loneliness during the holiday season.