Before you bought your house, you should have reviewed your HOA's CC&R, financing situation, reserve, what it covers and not, the meeting minutes, etc. This allows you to understand what the HOA does for you as a homeowner there and also what the HOA due covers or not. You should also be involved in the HOA board so you can have a say in what the direction of the HOA is.
If they do not fulfill what the HOA documents said what the HOA should do, then you should bring complaint to the HOA board so items promised can be done. You should never skip your HOA dues because the HOA can report you to the credit bureau, they can also put a lien and foreclose on your house and/or not allowing you to sell the house until you caught up with the HOA dues. It will be rather foolish to lose a house not because of huge mortgage payments but because of a rather (comparing to the mortgage) small HOA fee.
OK, instead of playing Lawyer, here is a great web site from a local Arizona law firm that will explain the HOA's power for foreclosure.
I would suggest that you go there and read the article.
Ph (480) 220-7491
Fax (866- 711 8573
Keller Williams - Scottsdale, AZ
2008-2009 Master of Real Estate award recipient
ABR, GRI, ePro, CNE, MRE, AHWD
The HOA can cause severe damage to your credit, file a lien against the house and may even go as far as foreclosure.
My question to you is: Did you not receive documents before you purchased that explained you were moving into an HOA? This should of been disclosed to you during your purchase.
I would also suggest you get involved with your HOA, go to the meetings, speak out about how you feel. Find out what is going on or not. Find out how they are spending your money, you have a right to attend and ask the questions.
I have been president of my HOA for two years and once I got involved I realized what does happen in the HOA. I understand it takes real money to pay for the electrical, water, landscapers and management. Yours might be very different and getting involved would be the best way to understand your own HOA.
Not paying your HOA dues may definitely have consequences. At a minimum they are going to want paid in full for back dues and late charges etc. at some point if you sell the home.
I have dealt with this in the past and the HOA can foreclose on your home. A lot of people dont know that the HOA does have the power to foreclose.