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Homeowners Association Case Set For Trial

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The case against the Copper Cove Lake Tulloch Homeowners Association filed by Tom and Anita Radcliff after they lost their home over a $120 association bill is headed for trial.

The matter has been set for a jury trial at 8 a.m. May 12, 2005, in Department 6 of Calaveras County Superior Court. But first a meeting must be held to see if the matter can be settled. That will be at 1 p.m. April 8, 2005, in Department 1A.

The Radcliffs filed suit in March alleging the association and Coast Assessment Services of Garden Grove, the collection agency that auctioned off the house, caused the Radcliffs “great and serious mental anguish and emotional and physical distress.”

Included as defendants are Coast; Yvette Villanueva-Ezell, association president; Norman Bailey, association secretary; and Robert Vardanega of Oakland, the man who bought the Radcliffs´ house for $70,000 at the foreclosure auction.

The Radcliffs´ symptoms include inability to sleep, a sense of being overwhelmed and severe nervousness, court documents said. There are eight causes of action in the lawsuit, ranging from unfair debt collection practices to breach of contract and negligence.

In January 2003, the Radcliffs failed to pay their annual fee to the homeowners association, which eventually climbed to $1,700 from late fees and other charges. Last December, the association foreclosed and the Radcliffs´ home, which they say is valued at $289,000, was auctioned.

In June 2003, Anita Radcliff sent a check to the association for the bill, court documents said. Later that month the check was returned by Coast and a check return charge of $25 was added to the bill.

Anita then called Coast and explained that she and her husband were trying to get a loan to pay off their home construction costs, to which Coast “made assurances” it would wait to receive payment, court documents said.

Read more at the Calaveras Enterprise web site.