INVESTIGATES: HOA suing Jacksonville military family for $20,000 in attorney fees over $3.87 lien

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Tameka Holly and her husband Delaney Holly have a problem leaning on their heart - and a mortgage lien on their home.

“We are talking about $3.87,” Tameka Holly told Action News Jax Ben Becker about the lawsuit filed by the Meadow Downs Homeowners Association, which is also demanding nearly $20,000 in attorney fees.

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According to an internal document, the Hollys were first warned by the HOA in April 2015 that they failed to pressure wash their driveway. Two months later, the Hollys reached out to correct the situation and the document notes “that your house, driveway, and or sidewalk are in need of pressure washing.”

It goes on to say the owner (Holly) called and there was a pressure wash of the house and driveway and that Holly “thinks he is in compliance, If you can show him what needs to be done, he will do it.”

“Our contention we were up to date doing what we were supposed to,” says Delaney Holly.

According to the HOA account ledger, the Hollys were slapped with a $1,000 fine in September 2015 but only a $3.87 mortgage lien in July 2016 - The $1,000 fine disappeared from records at that time only to be added back as a $1,000 intent to foreclosure lien in 2017 - not to mention a growing pile of legal fees from the HOA.

The Hollys say they were never notified about any of this and only found out when they were served with a lawsuit in 2017.

“This was 2017 when they say they served me,” says Delaney Holly. “I was deployed in Romania”

Delaney Holly is a member of the Florida Air National Guard. His lawyers say the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act should have kept the HOA and its attorneys from filing the intent to foreclosure or the liens against them.

Paul Threatt who is a former Navy JAG is currently advising the Hollys on this case. He said, “First they were not properly informed of the deficiency.”

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The Hollys attorney emailed Becker evidence showing the HOA sent notifications previously via a 3rd party company, but whether they arrived is in dispute - as some shipments show “undeliverable as addressed” while others say “arrival at unit” USPS tracking only shows a “label created, not yet in system.”

Meantime, per Florida law, notice to file liens must “be sent by registered or certified mail AND by First-Class United States mail”

When the Hollys finally learned what was going on, Temeka - representing herself - got the case dismissed in April 2018 because of the notice issue, but the attorney representing the HOA refiled the complaint.

Becker visited the HOA and its management company to find out why the HOA continues to pursue the case although the fine was removed from the Hollys account nearly 4 years ago - No one would speak, so Becker left his card but never heard back.

Becker texted the current president of the HOA, since Meadow Downs Homeowners Association is on the legal documents, she responded:

“Can you please stop contacting me? I have already explained that I am not a part of that process and you need to contact the law firm or First Coast”

Becker emailed First Coast Management Company to ask about the case, including proof that notice was sent per statute and was told all inquires should be directed to the Association’s attorney, McCabe & Ronsman.

Becker called Michael McCabe, the senior partner who filed the original lawsuit, but never heard back.

Becker also emailed McCabe twice, asking for comment about the tens of thousands of dollars in legal bills -- but got nothing back but silence.

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“How optimistic this will work out in your favor?” Becker asked Tameka Holly. “Very optimistic,” responded Holly. “I wouldn’t have taken it this far if we were hopeful and optimistic knowing at the heart of this, this is not right.”

Action News Jax wants to emphasize there are many issues of fact in dispute in this case - and as Becker reported he made numerous efforts to reach out to the HOA, its management company, and its law firm.

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