GYPSUM, Colo. (CBS4) - Home owners associations are common in our Colorado communities, but many people don't realize just how much power they wield. Randy Eisenhart says his half a million dollar home was foreclosed on over a couple hundred dollars due to his HOA.
CBS4 met with Eisenhart during a busy morning inside the warehouse at American Stone in Gypsum where he has chiseled out a thriving small business.
"Been in gypsum since 2005," Eisenhart told CBS4.
And he's called the home he built on Grundel Way in the Chatfield Corners neighborhood his dream house-turned nightmare now.
"I didn't understand that this could happen to me had I known anything about what they could do with the power of the HOA as I would've absolutely paid the lien," Eisenhart said.
This all started in 2016 when Eisenhart says he refused to pay a $110 HOA due over another $100 charge the HOA demanded for a trash can.
The Chatfield Corners Owners Association filed a lien on his house, the fees started stacking up and Eisenhart tells CBS4 he never received any notices about what the HOA was in the process of doing. Then, just before Christmas he got a major surprise.
Eisenhart says he had no idea his home was being foreclosed on until he came home to an eviction notice posted on his front door on Dec. 3 of 2017.
"I had no idea that they could even do that to you," Eisenhart said.
According to Eisenhart, his home was sold at auction to another person, something that is perfectly legal under Colorado law for an HOA to do when an owner fails to pay. He has claimed in court he was never served and is fighting the service.
Other paperwork about the foreclosure was allegedly sent by mistake to his old postal box, something he hadn't checked in "years."
The HOA, their legal council and board members all promised to provide a statement, but did not return calls and emails for several weeks before this story went to air.
Eisenhart says his attorney bills and judgments against him forced him to file for bankruptcy. He nearly lost his business.
"It has been a very, very tough test for me. I'm a small business here," Eisenhart
For now he's being allowed to stay in his home, paying more than $2,000 a month to the courts until the case can go before a state appeals judge.
But the years of fighting and the financial toll now has Eisenhart wishing he would have just paid the $100 fine and moved on.
"Read the fine print read, your HOA bylaws, go through and make sure that you have the power and that the HOA does not. Make sure that they are working for you and not against you."
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