Lovettbj, Home Buyer in Nashville, TN

I have a VA loan and my Home Owners has put a lien on my proberty. Can they do that?

Asked by Lovettbj, Nashville, TN Wed Sep 1, 2010

I bought my house that sits in the middle of two lots 6 years ago with a VA loan and I have been paying $300.00 in HOA fees. Last year I received a notice that I needed to be paying for both lots. I paid 660.00 this year (they raised the fee to 330.00)for both lots and they still want me to pay another 300.00 plus lien fees, late fees, etc. for last year and have now put a lien on my property. I took a pay cut last year and I'm in the process of trying to refi my house but can't with a lien on it. Can they do this?

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They absolutely can do it, but Ouch! This will need to be addressed by an attorney. You "might" be able to file a claim with your Title Insurance company if you have an Owner's Policy as (I think) this should have been known at the time of closing and pro-rated on the HUD1. However, this is technically not a title defect, more of an oversight, so it may not work.

If all else fails, this could be an issue for small-claims court. Of course, we are all going to recommend that you seek the guidance of counsel.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 1, 2010
Dear Lovettbj:

Your note says that you were not been charged HOA fees for the first four years. If this is correct, then I would bring that to your attorney's attention, since it's arguable that the HOA didn't charge for the first four years and you were not billed or invoiced, and if there wasn't a transfer fee for you as the new owner of the lot, there might be something for your attorney to work with.

If you purchased the property as new construction, a second HOA fee should have been disclosed by the builder. If you purchased it from a previous owner, this should have been disclosed to you by that owner.

If you had a Realtor assisting you as a Buyer Agent, and you have all your closing paperwork handy, you might want to call them and the closing attorney who assisted you with the closing (if you had one.)

If you do not have an attorney, and your budget is tight, contacting the Realtor and closing attorney should be the least expensive route to investigate your options. Helpful hint: if the Realtor has moved companies or is no longer actively licensed, you can go directly to the Managing Broker of the firm that they had their license with.

If it makes more sense to avoid attorney fees, give in, choose peace and a few hundred a year over a protracted fight, then a good lender can work with you on this and the lien can be addressed with a written letter for your loan file, and a plan to pay it off at refinance. The lien has to be addressed, but it in itself won't keep you from getting a loan with a good lender who can manage these kinds of challenges easily. I can refer three great lenders who can assist you, assuming your credit and income are within acceptable guidelines.

Fortunately, there is a new level of disclosure required for HOA and PUD fees in Tennessee. This doesn't help you with a sale 6 years ago, but your situation and level of frustration can be avoided with other people with the new disclosure forms.

Wishing you every success in resolving this situation to your satisfaction.
Sher Powers
Village Real Estate Services
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 9, 2010
This is not a matter for small claims court. You need to retain an Attorney, who handles residential real estate matters including condominium law, ASAP. Issues relate to all of the documents governing your condominium development and HOA. Are there other condos on double lots who are being treated as you are? Do you really owe a double fee for 2 lots when you only own one condo structure? Do the condominium documents address condos on double lots?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 3, 2010
They can because from my understanding that is an important aspect. You will need counseling from an attorney, but ask the mortgage or bank if you re-finance your home if you get equity out of it can you pay the HOA fees and catch them up and get the lien off of the property. The best thing to do is get the legal end taken care of. I am not sure but I believe they should inform you of raising the fees, then again it could have been in the original mortgage that they can raise them at certain times. You should have gotten a package of rules at closing about the HOA. Talk to them and ask them if they will work with you on catching up maybe some extra payment each time but make the payment separate from the monthly payment until you get caught up. Letting them know your situation about your employment could help. I hope this helps Linda Anderson Agent Franklin TN. e-mail lander@realtracs.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 1, 2010
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