This is a complicated question with no standard answer that a Realtor could answer correctly or with certainty for you. We as Realtors are really not authorized to give legal advice, and expecially in a sensitive and complicated case such as this. I wish you all the best in getting this resolved.
Your Castle Realestate
The advise from several responders to seek the services of a qualified real estate attorney is spot on. Hopefully you have already begun the search.
This seems to me to be a time for this person to seek the skills of a professional life evaluator. By this I mean a person (or persons) who has the ability to evaluate all aspects of life given the current and projected circumstances of this person. This should be an evaluation inclusive of: health needs, financial condition (income & projected expenses), physical living needs, emotional needs...etc. All categories should be reviewed in light of current and future projected needs/conditions. After a comprehensive life review, this person will be better equipted to make decisions that are in the best interest of their future.
Feel free to contact me for references.
Keller Williams DTC
In 2009 these groups were granted a 'super lien' capability. This debt REALLY needs to be paid. The association does have the legal authority to collect what is owned by any means necessary. Some will just place a lien on the property. Others will TAKE control of the property.
You are in a situation that requires legal assistance. Nothing printed here should be considered legal advise, That can only be provided by an attorney.
YOU MUST consult a real estate attorney. You may have options that are not obvious.
The association may have options that the attorney can compel the association to exercise.
The attorney may indeed discover that SSDI recipients fall into a special class.
You are in a tough spot.
Get help from an attorney. They are the only ones qualified to render advise on this issue.
Attorneys are expensive. $4,000 for the debt or $$$ for an attorney? It's a tough spot. You may try contacting a state appointed ombudsman for assistance. This last option may require time that you may not have.
Finally or firstly, don't overlook the influence of the local TV station. ALL OF THEM!
Best of success to you,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL