DENVER — A small group of protesters gathered outside the Green Valley Ranch Metropolitan District’s office on Friday afternoon to protest recent foreclosures initiated by the Master Homeowners Association of Green Valley Ranch.
Since the beginning of the year, the City of Denver reported about half of foreclosures throughout the city were initiated by the Master Homeowners Association of Green Valley Ranch.
More than 50 families have reported that their homes are now in foreclosure due to unpaid fines to the HOA.
“The first fine was like $180 or something like that. Then it ended up being $2,000. Now, today it’s $9,000,” said homeowner Michael Washington.
Washington has lived in Green Valley Ranch since 1996. He says fines for broken blinds and weeds in his yard led to the HOA initiating foreclosure proceedings on his property, despite fixing the issues.
“I got it all done, fixed and replaced everything within three days. But when I called them to say, "It’s done, go check it out," they never got back with me,” Washington said. “I want to keep my house, you know, they’re not gonna take my $400,000 house for $9,000 in fines.”
Washington, who attended the protest, says he did not realize so many of his neighbors were facing foreclosure over HOA fines too.
Some of the organizers of Friday’s protest do not have homes in foreclosure but say they wanted to stand up for their neighbors and ensure that this issue is not forgotten.
“There's no reason for people to lose their homes over oil stains or weeds or dumb stuff,” neighbor Linda Wilson said. “We didn't even realize that was a power the HOA had, that the HOA could do that. So we want a moratorium to stop the foreclosures while people figure this out.”
The HOA sent a statement to Denver7, which reads in part:
“The South GVR Board is made up of volunteers legally required to uphold the covenants of our community. The South GVR HOA is one of the largest in Denver with over 4600 homes. The number of foreclosure filings is less than 1% which is similar to or below other HOA’s in Colorado. The fact of a foreclosure filing does not mean someone loses their home. A majority of the cases are in active payment plans or closed without further legal action. Less than half of the filings reported are currently going through the Court process to determine next steps, which could also resolve in payment plans, not a judgment of foreclosure. GVR assists in resolving these cases in a number of ways.”
The statement also said the Master Homeowners Association of Green Valley Ranch sends multiple written notifications regarding fines, offers payment plans and has a written fine reduction policy.