Since the housing crisis began and more homes become vacant, HOAs have become increasingly aggressive in seeking to recover their fees. We have now seen HOAs filing lawsuits over debts as small as $1,200. Once a lawsuit if filed, attorney’s fees and costs are tacked on, which can easily exceed $1,000. It is wise to settle HOA debts before a lawsuit is filed.
As long as title to the house is in your name, you are liable for HOA assessments, even if you vacated the house and are waiting for foreclosure. Most HOAs have to power to collect personally from the homeowners, so they can sue you even after you lose the house to foreclosure. This power is usually granted through the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) which apply the property no matter who owns it. Every home purchaser should be given a copy of the CC&Rs when they purchase the home. Although the HOA may have you personally on the hook for the debt, once the house is no longer in your name, it becomes an unsecured debt. Unsecured debts are easily discharged in bankruptcy, so HOAs are usually willing to settle if they believe the borrower will be forced to file bankruptcy. These debts often settle for 50% of the amount owed, or less, if you have an experienced negotiator like The Butler Law Office.
The Butler Law Office has over thirty three years of experience and can help you make a debt settlement decision that will be best for you or your business!