SACHSE (CBSDFW.COM) – Luis Sanchez said the Quail Hollow Homeowner Association in Sachse is making his family miserable.
“We’re basically in a desperation mode right now,” Sanchez said.
He and his wife moved in with his elderly mother after she was involved in a serious car accident. His mother fell behind on paying her homeowners association dues. After months of haggling, the groups came to an agreement in January.
“They told me to go in and pay the two years association dues for ’09 and 2010,” Sanchez said. “I did so.”
He wrote two checks, each for $331, he said. But a month later, he found himself in more trouble, all over $8. Sanchez said the association’s management company, Principal Management Group, told him his checks were each $4 short.
Sanchez said he was told to write a check for the difference and all would be fine, so he did.
“About a month and a half to two months later, I got another statement that I’m behind the same amount some $1,400,” Sanchez said. He added that he wrote another check instead of fighting it.
“They were threatening with foreclosure, threatening to do this, threatening to do that with my mother’s home,” he said.
On the back of the $1,400 check, Sanchez wrote what’s legally referred to as a restrictive clause. It’s a note saying if the check is cashed, the debt will be “paid in full.” Nearly the three months later, the HOA returned the check, disputing the note on the back of it.
However, state law allows for restrictive clauses. When CBS 11 asked Dallas attorney Robert Miller to review the case, he noticed that Sanchez wrote a similar restrictive clause on the back of the $4 checks as well, and Sanchez said the HOA never turned those.
“Seemed to be what they wanted him to do, and he did it, and I’m not quite sure why they continued to pursue him,” Miller said.
Sanchez has gathered more than 100 signatures from his neighbors on a petition to remove the HOA’s management company.
After the petition, Sanchez said the management company sent him a letter demanding $1,400 in assessments and nearly $7,000 in attorney and legal fees.
While the company denies it, Sanchez said he believes it’s retaliation.
“They’re getting away with murder, and we need to do something about that,” Sanchez said.
The management company declined comment because of pending litigation. Attorneys for the HOA did not return phone calls requesting comment.