Home Auctioned for $1,200

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By Linda Cicoira — A New Church woman wants Accomack Circuit Court to either void the sale of her $196,300 home, which was auctioned for $1,200 in September by Captain’s Cove Golf and Yacht Club Inc. (CCG&YC) because of unpaid association fees, or award her $250,000 for the value of the property.

Amy McDonald filed a complaint Oct. 24 alleging she was never informed her house was going to be auctioned. She and her father, Wesley McDonald, have owned the house on Pike Drive, in Greenbackville, since 2012. They also own a vacant lot. 

The 37-year-old woman has been living in the house since 2017. Her father has never lived there. 

Amy McDonald stated, in the lawsuit, that she was never properly notified about the auction. On Aug. 24, her father, to whom she has rarely spoken since the death of her stepmother sometime after the house was purchased, told her about a letter he received regarding the foreclosure of Parcel 127.

The complaint showed a lien for $1,200 had been put on the property in 2018. The letter stated that a total of $4,954 was owed through June 30, and the auction was to be held Sept. 20. 

Amy McDonald was unsure if Lot 127 was the vacant lot or the house lot. So, she “called Barbara Mulcahy, manager of the association’s finance department to get clarification.”

“In the conversation, Barbara mistakenly told Amy that Lot 7-127 was the empty lot and was the property to be sold, while her home, Lot 7-128, although subject to a lien, was not the property to be auctioned,” according to the court record. 

McDonald said she told Mulcahy that she would have to let the vacant lot go but not her house where she and her child lived. She made arrangements with Mulcahy to pay the association fees and provided an initial payment by check for $735.96.

McDonald wrote Lot 128 (the lot she was told was the house) in the memo “to ensure the funds were properly applied … The association accepted her check,” on Sept. 4, the complaint stated.

Around Sept. 26, Amy McDonald’s mother got a telephone call from Willie A. Davis, of New Church. Davis stated that he bought the house at auction. “Stunned with the news,” Amy McDonald called Mulcahy “several times to get an explanation” but was unable to reach her. 

On Sept. 30, McDonald sent Mulcahy an email stating, “You informed me that I could start sending payments weekly. You did not inform me that you had already placed a lien on either lot nor did you inform me that you were already advertising my house to be auctioned. My house is assessed at $196,300. It has been auctioned out from under me for $ 2,100. How is this even possible? … This has to be fixed. This is my home. Why would I make a payment towards an empty lot before making payments towards my house? Why also didn’t you make me aware of the severity of the situation when we spoke on the phone” Aug. 26? “I specifically told you that I did not want the empty lot any more. Please help me …”

“Please let the attorney and board work it out,” Mulcahy wrote back. “I really can’t do anything else to help. I am sorry. I am sure it can be worked out. I understand it is your home and it is a very stressful time.”

Simultaneously, Amy McDonald researched her title at the Accomack Circuit Court clerk’s office. On Oct. 1, a lawyer for the association stated she would talk to Captain’s Cove’s “board and all parties involved, to reverse or stop the sale of the home.” On Oct. 4, Amy McDonald was informed the sale was final.

The complaint states CCG&YC violated Virginia law by making a payment plan with McDonald and not issuing a certificate of partial satisfaction and releasing the lien against her home, which would have stopped the sale, failing to send a written notice regarding the lien, and failing to send prior notice before advertising the sale to McDonald at her known address. It also states the association is responsible for damages including loss of her home. She also wants reimbursement of all costs and attorneys’ fees. 

The defendants have not yet filed answers to the claims.