HOA threat fails to faze Plano homeowner

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by By STEVE STOLER / WFAA-TV

wfaa.com

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 4:43 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 16 at 4:15 PM

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Steve Stoler reports
September 24, 2008
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PLANO - Thieu Nguyen has been fighting with his homeowners association over a green fence. Soon, he may not have that home - or the fence that goes with it.

But the fence isn't really the issue anymore. It's a few hundred dollars and a foreclosure deadline that's now less than two weeks away.

We introduced you to Nguyen earlier this year. The Vietnamese immigrant and his family have been fighting the Fairfield of Plano Homeowners Association about the color of his fence - green - which was alleged to violate association covenants.

"My green fence would not devalue anyone's properties in this neighborhood, and I can guarantee that," Nguyen said.

The HOA sued the Nguyen family, levying fines and charging attorney fees.

Seven months later, a new HOA board dropped the fence issue. Now all they want is for the Nguyens to pay dues they owe for the last two years.

"I could've paid them a long time ago - $370 - it's not a big amount," Nguyen said.

But Nguyen says he can't pay in good conscience, not after the fence fight with the HOA cost his family so much in attorneys' fees.

But this fight over principles could also cost Thieu Nguyen his home.

A letter from the Fairfield of Plano Addition Homeowners Association dated September 15 warns of foreclosure and an auction on the steps of the Collin County Courthouse next month.

"How can you do that?" Nguyen asked. "That's everything that a family can have, especially an immigrants' family; that's all we have, and that's all we ever wanted."

A Fairfield of Plano HOA board member, who asked News 8 not to identify him by name, said: "The board is working diligently to reach a compromise with Mr. Nguyen."

"I want them to know there are still people out there that will fight them," a defiant Nguyen said.

Under Texas law, HOAs can only pursue foreclosure when a homeowner fails to pay his dues.

The auction on the Nguyens' home is scheduled for Oct. 7, and Thieu Nguyen says he is not afraid of the outcome.

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