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Posted: 6:22 p.m. Friday, March 1, 2013
By Andrew Doud
MINT HILL, N.C. —
A bill making its way through the house would make it illegal for a homeowners association to foreclose on a house. A Mint Hill woman says a home improvement project almost cost her everything. Rossana Wilfong showed Eyewitness News a three-ring binder filled with legal documents dating back to 2009. Wilfong moved into her Mint Hill home in 2002 and noticed she had drainage issues in her front and back yard. In 2005, after several unsuccessful attempts to come up with a solution, a landscaper recommended she install what is call a French drain. It solved one problem and began another. Her HOA told her it was against policy, so she paid to take it out, thinking it would solve the problem. But in 2009, the HOA took out a lien on her house and in January 2011 foreclosed on it. "I don't think the HOA should be allowed to foreclose on your home," Wilfong said. In this case, a judge agreed with her, finding that she did not violate any HOA rules. The win cost her tens of thousands of dollars. She is now $60,000 in debt. Wilfong said to install and take out the drain was $13,000. The rest of her debt is legal fees. "Being on a fixed income, I could not afford to lose the amount of money that I did lose," Wilfong said. A new bill in the house is working to make sure something like this can't happen. Rep. Rodney Moore said during a phone interview, "I just don't feel like neighbors should have that type of authority of their neighbors." House Bill 175 would prevent HOAs from having the ability to foreclose on a home. But for Wilfong, the fight continues to try to win back the money she lost. "Just trying to get back to where I once was financially. That's the greatest hardship," she said.
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