are we responsible for HOA after we vacate the property?

Asked by Gabe, Maui County, HI Sun Apr 5, 2009

we are foreclosing on our property. We are current w/ our HOA fees. When we vacate the property are we still responsible for the fees. They are $418. per month. do they get sent to collections?

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Frank Diaz, Agent, Honolulu, HI
Mon Apr 6, 2009
The HOA decides when they want to act on delinquent fees. Most are now sending a notice at 60 days and placing a lien at 90 days. If they place a lien, it sticks until the property is sold. You could save money by staying behind, but the late fees start to add up if you do that.
The unpaid fees can be referred to an attorney to seek a judgment, so ideally you should keep up on those.

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Jeffery Grif…, Agent, Wailuku, HI
Mon Apr 6, 2009
The answer is yes and I suggest that you consult an attorney for any and all questions of foreclosure in the state of Hawaii. The new buyer or the bank will become responsible for the past due HOA's, yet there is a limit in the state of Hawaii to how much an Home Owners Association can collect from a new owner.
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Keith Manson-…, , Milwaukee, WI
Mon Apr 6, 2009
The responsibility of HOA dues responsiblity varies from state to state and also should be out line in your condo documents. I would check the state laws with an attorney and also so have the attorney check with the condo association. In some states if HOA fees are not paid, the association starts a foreclosure action and can become the 1 lien and thus forcing the mortgage company to pay the hoa dues. Other states require the fees to be paid prior to deed transfer and thus banks pay the due when they sell it. Other states do not require the payment and I am sure the association will come after you for collection.

Good luck!
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Walt Berhalt…, , Kapaa, HI
Sun Apr 5, 2009
The first question should be "What is your ownership interest?" If it is a lease, it may contain some contractural provisions that address your question. If it is a Fee Simple (you own all the interests in the property) then the advice you received so far is correct. If that is the case though. Hawaii has a "distressed property clasification" you want to keep away from. By way of example, if your AOAO fees are 60 days or more past due and they MIGHT file a lien or those dues are 90 days or more past due notwithstanding the imposition of a lien, then no realtor can do much to help you (there is an amendment in the legislature right now to change that).
Even in today's market, homes are selling. The broker frequently has to get a bit more creative than was true a couple of years ago. For example, you haven't indicated what your equity position is. You may have more wiggle room than you thought. Contact an expert realtor before the situation develops to a point that they can not intercede for you with your bank.

You'll do fine -- unlike most, you had the sense and timing to ask the questions before it was too late.


Walt Berhalter,
Director of Education, Century 21 All Islands

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blaison samu…, Agent, Santa Clara, CA
Sun Apr 5, 2009

The answer would be "Yes", you have to pay the fees even if its vacant until you sell to the new home owner becasue you are still the owner and they may send it to collections if you do not pay but once it's foreclosed then the bank or higest bidder at auction will be the new owner and they will be responsible from that point onwards. Try to sell (short sale), if it possible to avoid the foreclosure.

Blaison Samuel
Certified Short Sale Specialist
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Georgie Hunt…, Agent, Paia, HI
Sun Apr 5, 2009
Hi Gabe,

It's unfortunate that you have to walk away from your home. You should check the guidelines for your HOA to see what it says. Contact the person in charge of your HOA with this question. I would think you are responsible as long as you are the owner on title.
Good luck with your move.

Georgie Hunter
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