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Removing an HOA lien on a home

If you are juggling a monthly or annual homeowner's association payment in addition to your monthly mortgage, you may, like many Americans, struggle to pay both in full before they are due. An HOA lien is what happens if you fail to pay your HOA fees or assessments on time, and the association comes after you. This type of action can cause significant problems, and in some cases, it can give your HOA the power to foreclose on your home.

There are, however, some steps you may be able to take in defense of such an action. If you are unable to pay your HOA fees and an HOA lien is placed on your home, consider taking the following actions.

Ensure the validity of the lien

A wise first step, should you find yourself in such a situation, involves going over your HOA agreements with a fine-tooth comb to ensure validity. There are some situations in which the lien may be invalid, as may be the case if, say, the association fails to appropriately or adequately track its accounting practices.

Repay it in full

If you determine that the lien is valid and that you can repay it in its entirety, it may prove less costly to just do so than to try and follow other legal channels to get it removed. Whether this option makes sense ultimately depends on the amount of money still owed, among other factors.

File a counterclaim

If your HOA fails to perform the duties it outlines in your contract (for example, it is supposed to ensure that roads in your neighborhood are properly maintained, and this is not the case), you may be able to file a counterclaim against the association. Should your attempt prove successful, you may be able to deduct some of the amount you owe because of the association's failing.

File for bankruptcy

Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy may also help you remove an HOA lien from your home. Whether this option makes sense for you financially depends on several factors, such as how much equity you have in your home.

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