RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A donation of $3,400 will help a Raleigh veteran who was looking to get back into his home after being evicted.
Keith Williams, Jr., says a sheriff’s deputy came to his home in Southeast Raleigh earlier this month saying he had to leave and changed the locks.
Williams had lived in the home for 10 years.
“It was shocking. It was overwhelming. It was really unbelievable at that time,” he said.
The situation started in January 2018 when he failed to pay his HOA fee of $177. He said at the time he was trying to help support his daughter and pay other bills as well, including his mortgage.
“And $177 for a homeowner’s association was not one of my priorities,” he said.
In the year-and-a-half since then the situation got out of control as attorneys’ fees mounted and he lost his job.
Wake County court records show the HOA, Chastain of Raleigh Community Association, put a lien on his home in May 2018, at which point he owed $526. “And if the lien is not paid, the homeowners association may proceed with foreclosure against your property in like manner as a mortgage under North Carolina law,” the document reads.
An attorney for the HOA said she couldn’t comment beyond what was in court documents regarding the situation.
Though he received multiple notices in the months after that about pay he owed, Williams said he was out of work and couldn’t afford the growing cost of the missed payment.
He said, “Do you pay the $500 for the homeowners or do you pay the $1100 for your mortgage?”
County property records show Chastain of Raleigh Community Association held the deed to the home as of March 11 after the house was sold at a foreclosure sale.
After being evicted from his home earlier this month, he received an email from the collections agency saying “the association will agree to sell you back your property for $4,500.”
He has until Friday to make that payment but does not have the money.
The first two nights after being evicted, he slept on his front porch. Since then, he’s lived in a van a relative allowed him to use as he searches for a new job.
He calls his experience a “cautionary tale” about missing the payments. He’s also seeking help from the community to try to get back into his house.
“The main thing the last couple of weeks is just that I haven’t seen my daughter. Where can I bring my daughter at?” he said.
A GoFundMe was set up to raise the $4,500 Williams needs to get his house back.
As of Thursday morning, a $3,400 donation raised the total donated to the required $4,500.