Troubleshooter: HOA fees


"That's the most surprising thing," she said. "I've heard of people being taken to court, you know, either forgetting or not paying or avoiding. But, the thing of it is, we've attempted to pay these people three times."

It all started in November, 2008 when Hosford moved into her brand new Creedmoor home.

"We were told that come January 2009, that our dues would be due for the 2009 year. What we did was we arranged for the bank to send the management company a check for $275 for our homeowner's dues," she said.

Hosford showed ABC11 a copy of the check her bank sent in December 2008 to HOA company Charleston Management. But a month after it was mailed, Hosford says the check was sent back to her. That's when she called Charleston management.

"They asked for the lot number and the subdivision. We gave that to them. They said that you didn't have any dues owed at that time," she recalled.

Hosford thought all was fine, until she got a letter from an attorney's office in May.

"The letter just said that we owe, that they were trying to collect the $275 plus $40 in late fees plus $75 in legal fees. I immediately tried to contact the homeowners association's management company, Charleston Management, and I couldn't get any response out of them," said Hosford.

So Hosford says she called the attorney's office.

"She said to well send me another check. So we sent another check and that check was for $275," Hosford recalled.

But Hosford says that check was never cashed either.

"I actually sent another check to Charleston Management directly and attached a letter to it - stapled it three times across the top and said, 'This is the third time I've tried to pay you guys for these fees, please accept this check for full payment for all dues owe for 2009,'" said Hosford.

Finally, in September of 2009, the third check cleared Hosford's bank and she thought the matter was closed.

That's until seven months later, when she got an unexpected knock on the door.

"The sheriff knocked on the door with an attempt to foreclosure, a petition to foreclose on our home for $442," she recalled. "We looked at it and it was a homeowner's association, and we were like 'what in this world?'"

Hosford was facing foreclosure on her home over the late fees and attorney fees associated with not paying her dues on time. She said she could have paid the fees to avoid court, but instead hired an attorney, and was set to put up a fight at the foreclosure hearing in two weeks.

"That's why I'm fighting this. Because look at the other people who have just paid these things and kept going. As I can see in my fees, they've jumped up 600 dollars. Who is profiting by that? The management company and the attorney's office," she said.

Hosford called ABC11 Troubleshooter Diane Wilson and we called Charleston Management Company. A rep said he had no comment since the matter was in litigation and it was going to court. But days later, he changed his tune and said an anonymous donor paid the debt and there is no balance on Hosford's account.

"I'm happy this is over. I've been fighting this for almost a year now," said Hosford.

She says she is working with legislators to put laws in place to prevent this type of situation from happening to other homeowners, as she says she feels many would have just paid the fees and not fought it.

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