Soldier Reclaims Foreclosed Texas Home

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In celebration of Veterans Day, HousingWatch is featuring stories about veterans and active military personnel and their real estate experiences.

You may recall the controversial story of Capt. Michael Clauer and his family in Frisco, Texas, whose home was foreclosed on by the Heritage Lakes Homeowners Assn. because they didn't pay their HOA dues.

The case was complicated by the fact that the Heritage Homeowners Assn. had, indeed, checked with the Department of the Army but was told that Capt. Clauer was not on active duty.

So they proceeded, after months of unanswered letters, with foreclosure proceedings.
The story even brought "Nightline" to town to film a segment. Mrs. Clauer said that after her husband was deployed overseas she went into a depressive funk and just didn't pay any bills, didn't open any mail. Under Texas law
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HOAs can foreclose on a property if its owners fail to pay their home association dues. That is also the law in 48 other states, some of which even permit HOAs to garnish wages.

The Clauers settled their case back in July. They got back the title to their house, but settlement details were kept confidential. In fact, the case was so controversial that the court imposed a gag order. And the case has prompted the Texas legislature to consider whether current HOA laws are perhaps too onerous to homeowners.

HousingWatch has learned that the Clauers are still living in their home up in Frisco and, after their lawsuit, got back title to their $315,000 home free and clear. (Also see "VA Loans: Homebuying Help for Veterans.")

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