RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) - The city of Rio Rancho is calling this a game of "chicken" between an investment company and its bondholders. Stuck in the middle are families trying to make mortgage payments.
Their property taxes could go up tenfold or even more, forcing people to leave their homes. The Rio Rancho City Manager is predicting the end of this community.
"My wife and I would not trade this place for anything in the world," said Zach Bryan, who says he was the first homeowner to move into the Mariposa community in 2006. His plan was to retire there on the west side of Rio Rancho, until now.
He and a hundred of his neighbors were blindsided by the investment company that runs the community.
High Desert Investment, which is a development arm of the private school Albuquerque Academy, said it couldn't afford to make its payments anymore.
It owes more than $15 million to people who invested the project by buying the bonds that paid for the development's infrastructure.
The Mariposa Public Improvement District Chairman James Jimenez, who is also the Rio Rancho city manager, says homeowners are caught in the middle. They have to pay the shortfall.
This stems from an agreement between the investors and High Desert.
"They had what we called deep pockets in terms of being able to finance the development of the community," said Jimenez.
He says the investors want their money, and High Desert skipped out of its contract.
In a written statement, High Desert blames the economy for the shortfall in selling houses and the decision to stop support for the community July 1.
So, where does that leave residents?
They can expect their property taxes to go up 1,000 percent.
"It's just so unfair to the residents that live there that they could be hit with this because it really spells the end of the entire community," said Jimenez.
Families living there don't know what to do or where to point the finger.
"When everything comes to fruition, we'll have to fight," said Steven St. Andre, a resident living at Mariposa. "We'll fight something."
Residents don't have a plan on what they are going to do.
KRQE News 13 tried contacting Albuquerque Academy for a reaction to all of this, but no one has responded to the phone calls.
A Santa Fe woman who failed to show up for work on Tuesday is now reported as missing, according to police who are asking the public's help in locating her.
The bicyclist killed in a collision at Kirtland Air Force Base on Wednesday has been identified as a marine corps veteran and long-time employee of Lockheed martin.
The people who benefit the most by earning their GED will soon have the toughest time getting it.
A man who carjacked a woman in a church parking lot will spend seven years in prison as part of a plea deal.
Flags were lowered to half-staff across South Africa and people in black townships, in upscale mostly white suburbs and in the country's vast rural grasslands commemorated Nelson Mandela with song, tears and prayers on Friday while …
The Sandoval County sheriff's sergeant hit while investigating a weather related crash remains in critical condition.