What are the rules governing buyer responsibility of unpaid assessments on an REO property?

Asked by jkneeg, 60610 Sat Nov 3, 2012

We knew we could be liable for up to 6 mos in unpaid assessments but now we're told we owe nearly double for legal fees and interest. Is our only option to cancel the deal?

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Ivan Sagel’s answer
Ivan Sagel, Agent, Chicago, IL
Mon Nov 5, 2012
Everything is negotiable. REO deals can take time, often the seller has little motivation to move the process forward quickly. I would ask the seller to pay everything and then see if they come back with a compromise. If you don't ask, you don't receive.

Best of luck,

Ivan Sagel
0 votes
Peter Kedzior, Agent, Elk Grove Village, IL
Sun Nov 4, 2012
In certain cases your attorney may be able to successfully negotiate that these fees are paid by the seller, even that legally, this is the buyer's responsibility, according to Illinois Condominium Act 94-1049. Especially, if this is going to be your own home and if you can show that you don't have enough funds to cover this unexpected expense (in most cases, buyers learn about the actual past due amount a week before closing). Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are quite lenient in cases involved "owner occupants"
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David Hanna, Agent, Chicago, IL
Sun Nov 4, 2012
As it is said here over and over, use a Realtor and an attorney that are familiar with REOs and explain the contract in detail.
There is no way to control what the bank/owner ultimately wants, but this can be found out and understood very early in the process if your Realtor and attorney ask the right questions.
You don't tell how far along you are with the contract, but the bottom line is you will need to negotiate until the bank says no, and then decide if the terms as offered will work for you, and if your lender will support the decision if there is a loan being used for the purchase.
Best of
Good luck, remember there are other properties out there and some sellers who understand the value of a good purchaser and accept the market conditions as they are today.
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Manuel Brown, Agent, Chicago, IL
Sun Nov 4, 2012
Dear Purchaser,

While it is still arguable to whom is legally responsible for paying back assessments and late fees, and of course you don’t want to have to pay them. Your attorney should always be negotiating all late fees for you. Before you walk away from the deal, ask yourself, even if I have to pay all or part of the late assessments is the return on my investment worth it? This is a decision only you can make.

Just make sure your attorney and home inspector have done all their due diligence so you will be as informed as possible of any expenses you may have to face in the near future.

Best of Luck.
0 votes
Bill J Delig…, Agent, Naperville, IL
Sun Nov 4, 2012
Get your attorney on this ASAP.
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JIM Michaels, Agent, Chicago, IL
Sat Nov 3, 2012
Call Attorney James W Schultz at 773 680 7426
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Evelyn S. Fr…, Agent, Chicago, IL
Sat Nov 3, 2012

Ask your attorney to negotiate the legal and late fees. The condo property act calls for the payment of assessments in arrears. It is not clear as to the legal and late fees, at least that is what an attorney who represented one of my clients argued.

Hope this helps and good luck!
0 votes
Erik Sachs, Agent, Chicago, IL
Sat Nov 3, 2012
When the bank owns the property, they provide the contract rider and you are usually subject to the terms. Perform your due diligence with your attorney prior to signing the rider, try to make the changes, if they turn them down you gave it a shot. Otherwise you are correct, your other option is to cancel the deal.

Erik Sachs
RpV Realty LLC
Cell 773/368-5515
Email esachs@rpvinc.com
0 votes
Jeff Nobleza, Agent, Chicago, IL
Sat Nov 3, 2012
In writing a contract I always insert language in an offer asking seller to cover these fees if they exist. You can try to negotiate and ask seller to pay, or somehow offer to pay part of it while.seller pays the rest. In addition, you can try to negotiate the amount down with the HOA.
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Matt Laricy, Agent, Chicago, IL
Sat Nov 3, 2012
You could be held responsible for legal fees. I would have your attorney get on this right away.
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Brady Miller, Agent, Chicago, IL
Sat Nov 3, 2012
The law is that you can be responsible for up to 6 months of past due assessments + any reasonable legal fees accrued by the association. If the legal fees do not seem reasonable (not sure what the monthly assessments are), you should certainly contact your attorney to see what your options are at this stage.
0 votes
Philip Sencer, Agent, Chicago, IL
Sat Nov 3, 2012
6 mo past due assessments is correct, but the rest does not sound right. You need to ask your attorney, but I think you should be able to cancel if you were not aware of these costs and it is not in the contract and you are within the A/I time frame.
0 votes
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Sat Nov 3, 2012
Obviously, some States have different RULES:
When a house goes through Foreclosure; all the Liens are supposed to be paid; Does this mean that the County never filed a LIEN on the property?
And the Title Company did not search the outstanding taxes?

Good luck and may God bless
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