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El Paso homeowner nearly loses property because of condo association late fees

Maria Nuñez, 87, has lived in the Casa Del Sol condos in east El Paso since the '90s. In fact, she paid off the mortgage five years ago.

A woman who almost lost her home over a series of late fees is sharing her story.

She wants people to know what happened so they can avoid a similar scare.

Maria Nuñez, 87, has lived in the Casa Del Sol condos in east El Paso since the '90s. In fact, she paid off the mortgage five years ago.

But because of a missed payment to the condo association, she nearly ended up homeless.

Here's what happened:

Nuñez missed a payment on an annual fee imposed by the condo association.

She paid it two months later.

But the condo association was also charging her a fee for missing the payment.

She tells KFOX14 she was charged $90 a month for 17 months.

The charges added up to more than $1,300 dollars, and the condo association foreclosed on her home.

It was then sold in January for a little less than $4,200 dollars, even though it's valued at about $85,000.

"That's really what's at issue in cases like this. People can lose their homes and everything they've put into their homes for a very low amount," said K-Sue Park, staff attorney at Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid.

Nuñez got help from the Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid office, and was ultimately able to reach a settlement with the condo association.

She now has to pay a redemption fee, which means she'll reimburse the person who bought her condo, but she won't have to move out.

"I want people that have the same problem as me [to] go out and look for help, like me. I looked everywhere and found [TRLA] and look, everything worked out," Nuñez said.

While these kind of fees are legal, there's a bill that's been introduced in Texas this legislative session that hopes to limit the fees, and make it easier for people to pay them off.

KFOX14 reached out to the condo association, who referred them to their lawyer.

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