If you live somewhere with a homeowners association or condominium association, you probably already know how demanding these organizations can be.
The covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) you agreed to probably contain rules that get into the weeds, like how high your grass can grow, which colors you can paint your exterior, and even which breed dog breeds you can own. They can also compel you to keep your property up to a certain level of condition and – of course – pay association dues, plus many more such rules.
CC&Rs don’t come without teeth, either. For every infraction the association and its board members can find against your property, you can be fined for each. That means on top of owing your dues – which can already be hundreds of dollars each month – you could potentially owe the HOA even more in fees because the gardener didn’t come that week, you left your garbage cans in sight from the street, or for even washing your car on the driveway.
If you think no one would notice or care if you don’t pay your dues or fines, think again. Unpaid dues and fines could lead the HOA toward filing a lien on your property. This is when homeowners run a tangible risk of losing their homes to foreclosure, even if their mortgages are in good standing.
How an HOA Lien Can Cost You Your Home
If an HOA finds you are delinquent on dues or fines, it generally has the legal authority to place a lien on your property. A lien can come with a number of serious consequences – such as prohibiting you from selling your home or refinancing – but perhaps its most serious consequence is the possibility of foreclosure.
As with a tax lien or a mechanics lien, a lien applied to your property by an HOA empowers the organization to collect its debt. That means the lien can eventually lead to a lawsuit where the HOA seeks foreclosure and a forced sale of your home to recover debts you owe to it – evicting you in the process.
Adding some insult to injury, your good standing with your mortgage lender has nothing to do with the HOA’s right to foreclose on the lien. Even if your home loan payments are current and you’re not at risk of foreclosure from your lender, the HOA’s foreclosure on the lien can still threaten your homeownership.
Do You Need Legal Help?
At Bundren Law Firm, we can help homeowners who are in a legal conflict with their HOA or have other concerns regarding real estate law. We understand there can be much at stake when you’re dealing with this kind of organization. That’s why we strive to provide each client with the personalized level of service it takes to address their most pressing concerns and offer legal advice and services that can help them reach the optimal outcomes.
If you need help, we’re here for you. Please reach out to us to schedule an appointment with our attorney. During an initial consultation, we can assess your need for legal service and provide options for how we can help you move forward.
Get in touch with us today by submitting an online contact form or by calling (918) 992-3300 today.