Loveland Woman Wins Major Victory in Homeowners Association Foreclosure Case – Loveland Reporter-Herald
Martha Hummel scored a major victory on Monday as a district court judge overturned the default judgment that allowed her homeowners association to foreclose on her Loveland home in 2019.
The move was a relief for the 70-year-old, who learned in August that she was being evicted from her home over unpaid HOA dues.
Hummel was incapacitated by severe depression between 2011 and 2019, during which time she did not leave home or receive mail.
She said she had survived almost entirely on Domino’s Pizza and Diet Coke, which she delivered every five to six days.
As a result, Hummel was not alerted when the Amended Windsong HOA changed management company and a system it had in place to automatically pay dues was not transferred to the new company.
The association said it tried to contact Hummel and serve documents on him on several occasions before the 8th Judicial District Court agreed to grant the default judgment that authorized the lockdown.
Hummel’s house on Sundance Drive, which she called home for two decades, was auctioned for $ 19,360.10 to C and C Investments LP in July 2019.
Hummel said the house is estimated to be worth between $ 370,000 and $ 380,000.
While the issue of the sheriff’s deed turned over to the investment firm is still pending, in his ruling on Monday 8th Judicial District Judge Michael McDonald acknowledged Hummel’s depression and his role in preventing him from d ” learn about unpaid contributions.
“There are cases of ‘albatrosses’ that don’t fit into any set of laws, and I think this may be one of them,” McDonald said. “This is not a situation where Ms. Hummel just didn’t get her mail because she didn’t want to. … She suffers from severe and debilitating depression which has caused these problems.
He also acknowledged that Hummel and its homeowners association have since reached an agreement under which it would refund dues, and the association would not oppose its efforts to get the default judgment overturned.
“The court believes that (there are) broad public policy considerations to allow parties in court to come to an agreement without the court getting involved,” McDonald said. “It is always preferable that the parties to an action come to an agreement without the court having to make that decision. “
After leaving the courtroom, Hummel said she was grateful for the judge’s decision and the fact that her 11-month ordeal may come to an end soon.
“I’m just a little shocked,” she said. “I am absolutely grateful.”
“The judge did the right thing for a lot of very good reasons,” said his lawyer, Troy Krenning.
Damien Bielli, a lawyer representing the Hummel Owners Association, was present but did not say much during the debates on Monday.
C and C Investments was represented by lawyer Craig Stirn, who opposed the setting aside of the judgment. He characterized Hummel as a “hermit” whose withdrawal from society was voluntary rather than the result of illness.
He also defended the multiple means by which the association tried to contact Hummel, including by publication and by mail.
“The law gave a method by which this was to be accomplished, and the law was followed,” he said. “The fact that she didn’t get it is not a due process failure. It is a failure on Ms. Hummel’s part to be anything but a hermit in this particular case.
Stirn also invited the process server that attempted to contact Hummel in 2017 to the witness stand.
Although the waiter confirmed that he knocked on Hummel’s door each of the four times he had testified in an affidavit, his description of his house did not match Hummel’s and he admitted that he was rendering hundreds of services a week at the time.
Christophe Attard, who exercises the functions of registered agent of the cabinet, also took place in the gallery during the hearing. He and Stirn both declined to comment on the case after the ruling.
McDonald’s tentatively set a follow-up hearing for July 21 to address the issue of the C and C Investments sheriff’s deed on the property. He said another hearing might be unnecessary if Krenning and Stirn were able to negotiate a deal sooner.
As for Hummel, she said she is currently staying in her house. But, even if her claim to the property is reaffirmed, she said she would likely leave Loveland.
“I’m a bit adrift right now,” she said.