Like others have said, they definitely could foreclose but, are not likely. IF you owe less on your mortgage than what the home could be sold for, you should worry. If you owe more than what your home is worth, than the likelihood of the HOA filing a foreclosure is slim to none. They would be foolish to do so. I'm on the board at my HOA, and i am constantly asked what a home, that is late on their HOA dues, could sell for. I do the comps and tell them. By the time the collection agency, that assists the HOA, threatens to do something, the HOA already knows what the original loans and other liens are on the home. Hence, we balance what is owed on the home and what we could sell if for. Many HOA's are having MAJOR problems paying their vendors. Landscaping alone is way more than what you think in most community areas of an HOA. Many have had to raise the fees to the homeowners which is not good considering many HO's are seriously financially bleeding. But to answer your question..it "depends", if you owe less than what it is worth i suggest paying up what you can. Write a letter of hardship and try to get a payment plan. Tell them what you can pay each month and how long it will take to pay it back and why you need the payment plan. if you owe more than what it is worth and you are at risk of foreclosure than i guess you won't need to worry. However, if you hope to keep your home, somewhere down the road YOU will need to catch up. The longer you take to pay, the more late fees, attorney fees, collection fees.....fees, fees fees will pile up and you will have a difficult time getting out of the hole you dug with the HOA. They typically do NOT waive fees, because they have to pay them to the attorney/collection company. Know what your objective is and work in the best way to reach that goal with as little blood loss as possible. If you are seriously under water and are at risk of foreclosure, waste not another minute, and either 1) apply for a loan modification and or 2) begin a Short Sale process. The sooner you start it the sooner you will get an answer. If the bank(s) will do a foreclosure and release you from future liability, you can begin your knew life, debt free of a mortgage. If the bank doesn't do a short sale for you, it doesn't change the time line of the foreclosure process. Be SURE to get an experienced Short Sale Agent. The SFR, listed below my name stands for Short Sale Foreclosure Resource which simply put, means the agent has done more than just talked their way into your living room regarding short sale matters. I personally work with a company that gives you access to an attorney if you want to consult with one to KNOW the risks and consequences affecting you and your family.
Remember, "Time is of the essence!" Best of luck.
Valeri Edwards, REALTOR
ABR, RRG, SRES, SRS, RSPS, SFR, ATHOM, GREEN
Premier Real Estate