Until HOAs get massive financial fines for screwing over on-duty service members, this kind of crime will never stop. The federal law is incredibly clear…you can’t foreclose on a member of the U.S. Armed Services if he is on active duty and cannot appear in court.
Yet the Monte Viejo Community Association in San Antonio, Texas felt they were above the law. In 2011, they simply reached out and snatched the home of U.S. Navy Petty Officer Richard Miller. He was stationed in Japan at the time. In a case eerily similar to the confiscation of another Texas serviceman’s home, Miller’s wife kept all of his mail for him to read when he was home for the holidays. Miller says he never got any mail from his HOA, and thus didn’t know his dues were not being paid.
Miller’s dues were only 200 bucks a year. The HOA jacked that up to more than $15,000 and then liened and foreclosed on Miller’s home.
The good news is that Miller has a pro-bono attorney who’s fighting for his rights. There’s a hint that the Monte Viego board knows how badly they messed up because they’re finally communicating with Miller.