Article Courtesy of WTSP Channel
By Kendra Conlon
Published June 11, 2017
Riverview family has won a yearlong fight with their HOA to save their home from
10News has been following the Lopez family's emotional battle, after their
Riverview HOA foreclosed on their home, all over a missed $150 homeowners
association payment. In May, a judge told the family they’d have to pack up and
get out. But the Rivercrest Community Association’s attorney agreed to a deal.
Now, The Lopez’s can stay put in the place they’ve called home for more than a
As part of the
agreement, the family can no longer talk with the media.
They’ve had plenty to say through the painful process.
“They were trying to take our house. We've worked so hard to
keep a roof over them and have something nice. It’s just so
wrong,” Luis Lopez said through tears.
There have been so many tears over the past year. “This is
my home. This is where I grew up,” says the Lopez’s
“I don't want to lose my home,” Tina Lopez said heading into
a court hearing.
There have been fears and frustrations through the bitter
court battle with the Rivercrest Community Association to
keep their home. “This all started with just $150 payment
that they said they never received,” Luis Lopez told a
Riverview family gets to keep its house after being
threatened over a late HOA payment.
Luis and Tina say they sent a check, but weren't notified of the missed 2009
annual dues for four years. In the meantime, the $150 dollars skyrocketed to
$4,587.28 in late and attorney's fees. Then, last year the HOA suddenly sold the
home in a foreclosure auction.
“Frankly, we communicated to them that they defaulted and asked them to cure.
They did not,” Bush Ross HOA Attorney Charles Glausier told a judge.
The HOA argued the family was notified, had missed payments, made partial
payments, and agreed to a “liberal” 18-month repayment plan, then didn't follow
through as promised.
Earlier this year, a judge sided with the HOA and the Lopez's started packing.
Not wanting to see the family forced out, 10News Reporter Kendra Conlon
connected the family with foreclosure defense attorney Ryan Torrens. “Where
there's a Tina and Luis Lopez, there are thousands of others,” Torrens said
after a mediation meeting with the HOA.
It was uncovered that the judge who upheld the foreclosure didn't have the
authority to do that, because the HOA never filed the Lopez's repayment plan
with the court.
The HOA agreed to toss out the foreclosure sale, if the family will pay $3,500,
half the amount that now 8 years later has grown to $7,048.72.
“They're really sending a message to the community that legal reforms need to
happen to change the laws of the state,” Torrens said.
A press release from the HOA and family says they're pleased to reach a
settlement, but the Lopezes won't be making additional comments.
On Facebook, Tina thanks supporters for the prayers and good vibes that have
been sent their way and are working on projects to update the place they'll now
continue to call home.
“It's not the house that makes the home, it's the family that makes the home,”
Tina Lopez said.
The Lopez family has until next Friday to make the payment. Apparently, the
check’s in the mail.
Other homeowners have reached out to 10News since the original story aired with
complaints about their HOA, both in Riverview and around the Bay area.
Torrens tells 10News that there need to be changes to laws requiring HOAs to
notify homeowners right away of a missed payment, not just when a lien has been
put on their home. He also believes there needs to be an advocacy group and a
voice for homeowners, much like the HOAs have lobbyists and feels Tina and Luis
Lopez are the perfect people to head up that fight.
To be transparent, just last week Torrens announced he's running for Florida
attorney general. 10News has been talking with him about this case as the