If your home falls under the authority of a local homeowners association, also known as an HOA, they have legal rights and powers over your home and others in the neighborhood. They have the right to initiate foreclosure proceedings on your property if you have delinquent association dues and fees.
If you don’t have the funds to pay your home assessment fees and HOA dues, you can end up facing a foreclosure even if you paid your mortgage on time.
HOA Foreclosure Timelines
In Texas, there must be 20 days between an HOA “Default & Intent to Accelerate” notice to a homeowner and the next phase of the process which, if you live in TX, can mean the homeowner’s association may attach a lien on your property and file it with the state. In most cases, HOA foreclosure is similar to a mortgage foreclosure and your property will be sold at auction in 1-2 months if you have not caught up with your payments.
Two Certified Mail Notices
Before a foreclosure can happen, you will receive two certified mail notices. The first is a “Notice of Default and Intent to Accelerate”. After you receive this notice, you have 21 days to pay what you owe before receiving the second notice.
The second notice is called the “Notice of Acceleration and Posting for Foreclosure” and must state the location of the sale and a three-hour period during which the sale will take place. This notice is also filed with the county clerk and physically posted at the courthouse.
Auction is Scheduled
The time scheduled for the auction depends on when you receive the second notice during that month. Your home will be scheduled for sale at the next monthly foreclosure auction which is generally the first Tuesday each month. This second notice could give you another month to prepare or the auction could be only a few days away. It is of utmost importance that you act now to defend your rights as a homeowner.
Non-Judicial Foreclosure In Texas
In TX, often the lender or HOA is not required to go to court to foreclose on a home. This is called non-judicial foreclosure and means that foreclosure can happen without a court order if the mortgage documents contain a power of sale clause. You have a very limited amount of time in TX to assert your rights or lose your home.
Work With Your HOA
Use the initial 20 day period to mediate a resolution with the HOA. You might agree to pay your debt or make a repayment plan. After the 20 day period, the Homeowners Association can continue the foreclosure process if no agreement has been reached.
Read Your HOA Contract
It is important to understand what your HOA contract says. It can be hard to understand legal language, but some HOA rules and regulations authorize foreclosures while others do not. Read the covenants, conditions and deed restrictions looking for language that gives them the right to foreclose. Contact an experienced attorney to learn more about the HOA provisions of the laws pertaining to your home. If your HOA has not been authorized to foreclose, they do not have the authority to send you notices of foreclosure or evict you for non-payment.
File for Bankruptcy
Foreclosures can be stopped cold by last-minute bankruptcy filings. 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 home. Bankruptcy will halt any and all foreclosure proceedings. However, this will only provide temporary relief. If you want to keep your home, you will have to catch up on your missed payments.
Check How Your Payments Were Applied
If you believe the HOA didn’t calculate your owed payments correctly, didn’t follow state law, or applied your payments elsewhere, you can take legal action. The HOA management is not supposed to misapply your assessment fees to cover fines. Show that their financial conduct was unethical or ignorant of the law and defend against foreclosure and eviction from your property.
Talk to an Attorney
HOAs often start foreclosures in cases where the homeowners are behind on small amounts of debt. Talk to a knowledgeable attorney if you are facing foreclosure from your Homeowners Association and need help negotiating for your rights. An attorney can advise you on what to do in your specific circumstances. Schedule a consultation with Jarrett Law Firm, PLLC today and receive insight into the rights and responsibilities associated with HOAs in the state of Texas.