Riding enforces foreclosure law
Resident's home sold when he didn't pay HOA dues
Article Courtesy of Loudoun Times-Mirror
|By Scott Cissel
A resident of South Riding has received
a temporary restraining order against the investment group that purchased
his home when the homeowner's association auctioned the house after he
failed to pay monthly service fees.
"He told us that we were the first," said Shourds.
"They have gone beyond what the homeowner's association is supposed to be," he added. "They should be the voice of the people in the neighborhood."
Orlando said he did not want to comment on the matter when called for this story. He forwarded questions to South Riding's legal counsel, Juan Cardenas, who could not be reached before deadline.
Loudoun County Circuit Court Judge Thomas D. Horne ruled in an emergency hearing in September that it was not clear that the Shourds had received adequate notice of the sale and set a Nov. 1 trial date.
"This is a rebuttable presumption," said Horne, "that the letters properly addressed and stamped were received by the plaintiffs."
Court records show that the public sale of the Shourds' home was advertised in a local paper and sold to a Fairfax investment group on July 30. South Riding Proprietary contends in its filing that it sent an accelerated assessment of $859 for the entire year to the Shourds as early as March, after the couple had failed to pay fees for January and February. Records show that a response was requested within 30 days or South Riding would pursue a non-judicial foreclosure.
South Riding presented evidence that the Shourds signed a certified mail receipt of notification on March 21.
Records also show that the Shourds had about $43,000 equity in the house when it was sold. Disbursement of the money is yet to be determined, pending the outcome of the trial.
Virginia law requires that the cost of the sale covers legal fees incurred against the proprietary during the foreclosure.
According to the U.S. Postal Service, the Shourd's mail was held from June 29 through Aug. 30 after a postal carrier found their mailbox filled with mail and returned it to the post office, where it was marked "moved left no address" and returned to the senders.
John Shourds said his mailbox is small and becomes filled quickly, and claimed he had not been away from the home for an extended period of time.
In a statement by Chantilly Postal Manager Judy L. Cundiff included in court records, Cundiff said that the Shourds mail was held for a month and should not have been labeled "moved left no address" because they were still residents of the property.
Jennifer Shourds said Paul Orlando thought they had "abandoned" their property.
"They could have taken some steps -- like pick up the phone and call me," said her husband, "or walk up to my door."