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How the HOA can foreclose on your home

Whether you love having a Homeowner's Association or hate it, you will probably find yourself living in a neighborhood that is subject to dues and restrictions at some point in your life. Floridians are likely to experience this more often than residents of any other state, according to HudUser.gov. As more and more homeowners in Florida have chosen to accept the terms of an HOA in exchange for services such as yard maintenance, lawn trimming and leaf removal, and community benefits including pools, playgrounds, events and clubhouses, an increasing number of neighborhoods have moved to an association-managed community. New construction has seen the biggest influx, with over 60 percent of all recently built neighborhoods featuring an HOA. While this may seem like a positive move to some, many people do not realize that an HOA can actually lead homeowners to foreclosure.

HOA liens

In 1970, the number of people who lived in HOA-managed communities was 2.1 million. By 2012, that number had risen to around 63 million. As the number of residents in this type of neighborhood increases, the problems that can occur from such a design rise as well. One issue is that the association can actually place a lien on the homeowner's house if dues are not paid for an extended period of time.

To do this, SFGate states that the HOA will need to present the matter of delinquent dues to a judge and convince the court that a lien needs to be placed against the home. While this is less serious than a tax lien, it is still capable of leading to foreclosure.

HOA foreclosure

Many residents do not realize that an HOA lien can actually cause their home to go into foreclosure. Each state has its own laws regarding the time period and amount of money that must be reached before foreclosure can be ruled. Some states allow associations to seek judgement after 30 days of delinquency, while others require at least 12 months of indebtedness. Still other areas require the fees owed to reach a certain monetary amount before foreclosure can be filed.

If you have been given notice of an HOA lien on your home, the best thing to do is contact an experienced attorney. Knowledgeable lawyers can provide insight into Florida's regulations concerning the matter and advise you on what to do to protect your home. If association representatives have already sought judgement to issue foreclosure on your house, an attorney can help you fight for your home and your rights.

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