NEW SMYRNA,Fla. — A Port Orange family will be kicked out of their home after it was sold at auction over a $1,900 debt.
Homeowner Katelyn Annis says it’s not fair.
“It's not their home, this is our home.”
Annis, her husband and children will be kicked out of their house in a matter of days.
The Waters Edge Homeowners Association foreclosed and sold the family’s home at an auction to collect $1,900 in overdue fees, plus a few thousand dollars in legal costs.
Annis claims they were never told about the auction.
“I feel so let down by the HOA, by our neighbors, by the board,” she said.
She and her husband knew the association filed a lien to collect two-year-old association dues, but after losing their jobs, Annis said they had to delay paying.
“Literally, it was either my power bill or the HOA and my power for my children comes first, “said Annis.
They owned the home outright, there was no mortgage but it sold cheap. That's because the assessed value of the home is far greater, a suggested selling price could be $300,000.
But at auction, investors paid just $175,000.
After the HOA collects its lien, the couple will recover $170,000. That’s far less than its value, so they lost a home and nearly $100,000 to cover a $5,000 lien.
“This is not OK. You just can't literally do this to people,” she said.
In Florida and 30 other states, HOA's can foreclose to collect, but legal experts say many homeowners don't realize an HOA has that power.
“It is surprising to most people. The average person on the street would say no they can't take your home, but they can,” said real estate attorney Karen Wonsetler.
Annis and their attorney have filed to vacate the sale, but that's a long shot. “I don't know what we'll do, we will literally be homeless.”
The HOA attorney and the buyer had no comment.
It’s recommended by experts that homeowners ask for a payment plan to freeze the case and avoid foreclosure.