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Sam, Home Buyer in Riverview Acres, Roc...

My HOA fees are due Jan 1 was out of town paid them but, then got a late fee for 25..00 I wrote a letter

Asked by Sam, Riverview Acres, Rockledge, FL Sat Aug 22, 2009

explaining the situation. I always don't get my mail and work out of state just maintaining my property on wkends. They declined my request for the waive of the late fees since then I have now got a letter saying they are going to foreclose and place a lien on my property. My question is I have never been late on my mortgage or 2nd mortgage. With the current market conditions I am approx. close to 100k upsidedown. should I just let them have it if they are going to the trouble over $25 I also did go ahead and send the 25 but, now when I got home I received the letter in the mail and they are now tryn to send certified mail to the house but, of course Im not here to accept What to do? This is sooo unfair when Im struggling just to maintain everything as it is Should I hire an attorney over 25.00 to prove a point? I have reached out to ABC action news telling them my stupid story Im soooo upset and really hurt that they would not even work with me having begged? Please advise

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Sam,

I once had a legal problem and went to see my lawyer. After explaining my problem, he asked me, " Mr. Moody, how much justice can you afford?" I could win but it would cost at least $25,000. or I could cut a check for $3000. to make the fool go away.

Write the check or not but get on with your life.

Good luck,

Phil Moody
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 22, 2009
The Homes Associations are usually run by a group of volunteers elected by your neighborhood fellow homeowners. One of the main reasons a homes association exists is to help protect the property values of the homes in that particular neighborhood. I am so sorry to hear about your plight. Having served several years on a homes association board myself, let me just play the devils advocate for a second: Homes Associations must pay all of their bills on time, or the association also gets late fees, too (including trash, electric, gas, phone, water (if there's a pool or sprinkler systems, lawn mowing, pool and common ground maintenance, security, etc.) If no one (or even several) of the homes paid their homes association dues late or not at all, it is impossible for the homes association to function. When you closed on your home, you also signed a contract that you would abide by the homes association rules in your neighborhood. I would check and see in your CCRs for your Association if there is a section that discusses late fees and what the home's association is allowed and not allowed to do. By purchasing your home, you also entered into a contract with the homes association to abide by their rules and regulations. If there are no adverse effects of home owners not paying their dues or paying them late, the homes association wouldn't be able to function and the entire neighborhood would suffer the effects. I would recommend that you pay the $25 late fee. Your homes association is legally correct here. If you are $100k upside down in your home, and are just looking for an excuse to get out of it - I don't think this is appropriate. If you are looking for a way out of your house, Since you've gotten yourself into financial difficulty, I might suggest that you contact your first and second mortgage companies and ask them to approve you for a short sale of your home. If the mortgage companies agree, it will allow you to pick a realtor (get one with experience in short sales!) to list it, and then the mortgage companies may take a loss on the mortgages in order to not be stuck with a foreclosed upon house - and it is less of an adverse hit on your credit report than filing bankruptcy.

Now, if you want to stay there (it sounds like this is your second or vacation home), I would suggest you make it a point to notify the Homes Association of your full-time address where you are most likely to get your mail in a timely manner, so that this doesn't happen again. It is your duty to provide a decent address for them to contact you (just like the Department of Revenue for your driver's license, etc.).

And, at the risk of sounding unfeeling, I'm sure this isn't the first year your homes association dues were due on January 1st. Maybe get an electric calender (most phones have them) and put that on your calendar as an annual repeating date - with a 2 or 1 week reminder. . .before I started using this method, I was paying late fees to either a utility company, credit card company or whoever almost every month! Now, I know when each of my bills are due and the due dates are normally pretty close to the same days each month or year, so it makes it easy to repeat them weekly, monthly or annually with reminder alarms.

Good luck to you. If you choose to hire a realtor with short sale experience, give me a call - even if you aren't in my area, I can certainly assist you in finding a realtor to help you! http://www.MarleneAlley.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 22, 2009
Sam,

The HOA's are not the brightest bulbs the tree. We actually have a piece of vacent land that an HOA foreclosed over $3000.00. We were in the process of doing a short sale, there is over $500,000 owed on the property, The HOA thought when they foreclosed on the property they owned it for $3000.00. The truth is the HOA now owners the title; however the mortgage is still attached. We have had great success in dealing with the HOA's. Please give me a call, or email me if you would like some help. Have a great day.

Regards,

Bradley J. Chais
Pricing & Negotiation Expert
for Team Chais
Keller Williams Realty
Direct: 813.319.6587
Fax: 813.960.4443
http://www.teamchais.com
Web Reference: http://www.teamchais.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 22, 2009
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