My home owners association attorney has sent intent to foreclosure on my property for the fees not paid by earlier owners.Any advise pl?

Asked by Ge, Tampa, FL Thu Apr 1, 2010

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Christina Ba…, Agent, Tampa, FL
Fri Apr 2, 2010
I had a few buyers this year that this happened to, The title company is at fault. You need to contact the title company and make a claim, most respectable title companies will take care of the problem. However there are some title companies that will give you the runaround then you will need an attorney.
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Michael Cepa…, Agent, Tampa, FL
Thu Apr 1, 2010
It sounds like the title company that you closed with, possibly didn't request an estoppel from the HOA and they are now coming to you for their money. You need to contact the title/attorney office that handled your closing and ask them to straighten it out. I am obviously not privy to the exact details of your closing, but this happens more often then one might think.

You can look on your HUD-1 (Settlement Statement) to see if they were actually paid or if it was in fact missed, typically HOA fees should be on the second page in the 1300 section and it will say exactly who was paid and how much. Sometime it is simply a clerical/accounting error on the HOA's side and they credited the wrong account. If you used a Realtor, they should be able to help, if not and your still unsure, feel free to contact me and I will look at it for you.

Good Luck!
1 vote
Phyllis Cros…, , Tampa, FL
Sun Apr 4, 2010
Contact the title company immediately - in fact if possible, go directly there in person. See what happened and why the fees were not paid. All title companies ,I know of , require an estoppel letter from the Association
of break-down of fees including past due fees due at time of closing...before they will conduct a closing. Make sue the title companycalls the attorney's office while you are there. Get your agent involved in this.

This is very serious, so please, get right on it.
0 votes
Keith Manson-…, , Milwaukee, WI
Sat Apr 3, 2010
When you closed did the Hud1 closing statement indicate that the condo fees were being paid? Was there a title company involved in the transaction? Was this a short sale or did you purchase a REO?

Hopefully the funds were reflected on the hud1 and just need to be sent to the HOA. Otherwise if there was a title company involved, file a claim with the title company. But also respond to the hoa to make them aware of actions to resolve the issue. Don't let the action to get out of hand or there will be a lot of extra costs and maybe a foreclosure.

Keith Manson
First Weber Group
Certified Distressed Property Expert
Metro Milwaukee
0 votes
Alma Kee, Agent, Tampa, FL
Fri Apr 2, 2010
Did you buy the property at the courthouse rather than from the bank or an owner? If not, call the title company immediately and send them a copy of the attorney letter. That title company should have received a payoff from the same law firm before they closed.

I'm not an attorney so you should get legal advice but I am aware of one HOA law firm in Tampa that engages in sleazy tactics to get money that they are not entitled to. I can think of a specific law firm and I bet the letter is from that firm.

So, worse case scenario if you bought it ALL CASH at the courthouse, you owe 12 months of association assessments owed "prior" to the date you took ownership. If you bought it with a regular closing at a title company the 12 months of prior asessments should have been paid by the Seller at closing. Call the title company and send them your letter.

If it turns out that the HOA assessments were truly satisfied at closing, I would immediately send a letter to your current Board of Directors via certified mail to "out" this sleazy law firm. So many "volunteer" Board members do not have a clue and may not be wise to the coercive tactics used by a sleazy law firm. It makes the HOA Board of Directors look like idiots if they continue to allow a sleazy law firm to represent them.

Good luck and don't delay responding or you could lose by default.
0 votes
Emelia Sanch…, , Ontario, CA
Thu Apr 1, 2010
Geetha, title is supposed transfer free and clear. Michael Ceparano gave you great advise.
0 votes
Pat & Steve…, Agent, Westlake, OH
Thu Apr 1, 2010
You do need to retain an Attorney who handles residential real estate matter, including condo law. Your've probable ignored some previous notices of delinquent fees & possible actions. But, I can understand why you may have ignored them, since they don't pertain to you personally, but condo fees "run with the land." Your attorney will want to review all of your Closing documents & go from there. I've heard of something like this happening when someone buys a bank owned home/condo.
I am a Realtor & an Attorney, licensed for both only in OH, so my response is contains my personal opinions.
0 votes
Katrina Made…, Agent, Lutz, FL
Thu Apr 1, 2010
You may have a title claim depending on when the lien was filed. i would go back and look at your HUD 1 settlement statement and call the closing agent (attorney or title company), bring it to their attention, see what they say. its possible it WAS paid and the money was some how "lost' or misallocated.

Call Jim Boyko he is a real estate attorney that can help for minimal attorney retainer fees, you DEFINATELY DO NOT want to ignore it, this is extremely urgent in nature. 727-841-6878, I can offer you other real estate attorneys if you like, but that's who I would hire (if I were you). Beware that there are a few other attorney's in the Bay area that I would NEVER hire but thats based on my experience working with them through my clients. Of course I can't name names.

My opinions above are based on my experience with different situations over the last 17 years. I have also taken the title agent coarse, which is how I know the in's and out's of title. I am a Realtor not an attorney and myself, nor anyone on here, could offer you "legal advise" on these matters.

Wishing you all the best in what sounds like a screwed up situation through no fault of your own.

Katrina Madewell
0 votes
Lisa Reeves, Agent, Tampa, FL
Thu Apr 1, 2010
Check with the title company that closed your transaction. There should have been a document called an estoppel that gave the amount owed by the HOA. If there was a lien it should have been cleared by the title company and they would have a satisfaction document. It could be a simple miscommunication between the HOA management and the attorney. If it isn't a mistake then contact an attorney for advice and protection.
0 votes
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Thu Apr 1, 2010
Geetha - you need to speak to a real estate attorney, as we really can't give you legal advice. Right now you need legal advice.

I don't know how you were able to close with past due HOA fees, from the previous owners.............but it is still something an attorney needs to handle.

Good luck.........
0 votes
Christopher…, Agent, Methuen, MA
Thu Apr 1, 2010
I recommend that you contact an attorney to represent you. How much do they claim is owed?
0 votes
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