Owning a home comes with a considerable number of responsibilities. You are not only required to adhere to the rules and regulations of the local governing council on housing, but you are also supposed to make sure that you pay your mortgage as required. Failing to honor the mortgage could lead to a situation where your property is taken by the bank to settle your debts.
However, there is another major problem; HOA foreclosure. Homeowner associations requires that you pay home assessment fees as agreed. This means that you will be required to pay your mortgage while at the same time ensuring that you pay the amount of money demanded by the homeowner’s association. Sometimes you might forget to pay these charges, and you could find yourself facing a fight.
The homeowner’s association may attach a lien on your property and file the same with your state. This puts your home at risk for HOA foreclosure. In most cases, HOA foreclosure is similar to a mortgage, and your property will be sold whether you are just a few dollars from the actual payment. However, as a homeowner you have legal protections from foreclosure, called defenses.
Here are some of the defenses that you can use to prevent HOA foreclosure.
In some cases, assessment liens are invalid, or they contain a considerable number of errors due to incorrect accounting performed by the management or the association. If you believe that the real estate management company has improperly accounted for your payments, you can use this as a defense.
Your real estate attorney should compel the HOA to justify the amounts and show that the accounts were done as required by the law. The amounts calculated must be itemized to account for interest, fines, late fees, and assessment fees. If the HOA fails to justify such amounts, you will not get an eviction letter.
Although the term “unreasonable charges” is a matter of interpretation, your HOA foreclosure attorney should be able to help. Your attorney can argue that the amount you are being charged is unreasonable for HOA assessments. All the amounts that you are being charged, including management fees, late fees, interest, and fines, must be reasonable to a certain extent.
For example, if the assessment amount due is $400, but the associated penalties and other amounts related to foreclosure are stated as $4,000, then the judge or jury can determine the charges are unreasonable.
HOA is not authorized to Foreclosure
Some HOAs are very transparent and open on what happens if a homeowner fails to honor their dues. Some HOA rules and regulations, under the covenants, conditions and deed restrictions, authorize foreclosures while others do not.
It is upon you to understand the provisions of the laws pertaining to your home. In most cases, a foreclosure defense attorney in Houston will analyze all the legal provisions in your agreement. Then, she may inform you whether the HOA has been authorized to foreclose. If the management has not been authorized, you may not suffer foreclosure and eviction.
Misapplication of Payments
Your real estate lawyer will advise you that misapplication of payments is a good defense strategy against foreclosure and eviction from your property. If the amount being charged is for assessment, the HOA management is not supposed to misapply those assessment fees to mean fines. However, you must be alert and very observant to realize that HOA management has misapplied the payments. Otherwise, you will find yourself in a lawsuit .
File for Bankruptcy
This is a temporary fix for avoiding HOA foreclosure. Although your credit scores will drop by 85 points to 160 points, according to Fair Isaac, you will not lose your premises. A considerable number of people have been using bankruptcy as a way of avoiding HOA foreclosure and eviction. However, this is a temporary solution, and you have to find your way out before the bankruptcy application is lifted or dismissed.
Talk to an Attorney
You can avoid all these problems by hiring a foreclosure attorney Houston trusts. When you’re looking to defend against an HOA foreclosure, rely on Jarrett Law Firm, PLLC today. Scheduling a consultation with us can provide insight into the rights and responsibilities associated with HOAs in the state of Texas.