What happens if you refuse to pay HOA ffes? James

Asked by James Moody, Winter Haven, FL Tue Nov 19, 2013

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16
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Tue Nov 19, 2013
If you're having a problem paying your HOA fees due to a personal issue, I suggest you speak to someone on the Board and see if you can work out a payment you can handle.

Otherwise - they will come after you - believe it.
They can get a judgement, attach your bank account, and/or put a lien on the property....there is also the possibility of foreclosure.
1 vote
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Sun Jan 12, 2014
YOU WILL END UP MOVING!
HOAs have 'super lien' capability. (Please note: HOA are other property owners like yourself, not some empire on a mountaintop. Don't like the fees, get voted onto the board and change the structure. Refusing to pay has a very predictable outcome. The UPS store sells boxes, I have heard)
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YOU WILL NOT WIN.
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Best of success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
727.420.4041
http://RealEstateMadeEZ.us
AnnetteLawrenceRemax(at)gmail.com
0 votes
Pat Dunn, Home Seller, Clermont, FL
Sun Jan 12, 2014
Hi James,

We have a Move-In Ready home for sale in the highly desirable neighborhood "Hammock Pointe", and the HOA fees are only $220 / quarter. This home was built about a year ago. It's a 4 bed / 4 bath with an upstairs bonus room on an oversized homesite on a cul-de-sac with plenty of room between houses.

http://www.forsalebyowner.com/23973588

If you'd like to see the house feel free to give me a call!

Pat Dunn
Cell: (678) 539-7630
0 votes
Becky Burke, Agent, Orlando, FL
Wed Nov 20, 2013
Hi again James,

There are plenty of gated communities in Clermont with lower fees than $800/qtr. Not sure where this particular house was, but it sounds as if, at that price, something else had to be included that was not brought to your attention. I'd be happy to look into it for you.

Or I can send you over some listings in other gated communities in the area. Are you set on Clermont?

Let me know if I can be of any assistance.
0 votes
Abraham Bidh…, Agent, Orlando, FL
Wed Nov 20, 2013
Hi James:

Unfortunately, the HOA basically can put a lien on the home and foreclose the property if the dues are not paid. HOA can be high in some communities but that can vary from community to community. Just for your info. HOAs are nonprofit organizations. The communities that have community amenities have to take care of all the facilities, pay for the employees who are in charge of maintenance, accounting,.. They need to buy insurance for the structure of the common areas and the facilities as well as liability insurance, also keep a healthy reserve for road repairs, gate repairs, facility repairs,...

So if that HOA fee is a non negotiable for you, unfortunately the only way would be to move on to another community.

Below is the link to some homes with lower HOA fees in Clermont:

http://abidhendi.orlandopropertiesonline.com/listings/areas/…

Hope this helps.

Abraham Bidhendi
Top Producer Realtor® with over 26 years of experience
Awarded as Exit's TOP Buyer side Transactions for the State of Florida
Exit Realty Access, LLC
Direct: (407) 744-2533
Fax: (407) 444-9925
Email: REOsofflorida@msn.com
Search Entire MLS At: http://abidhendi.orlandopropertiesonline.com
Kissimmee Office: 391 N. Main St., Kissimmee, FL 34741
Altamonte Springs Office: 660 Palm Springs Dr., Suite D, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701
0 votes
Lisa Jones, Agent, Clermont, FL
Wed Nov 20, 2013
Sometimes HOA fees may seem like they are excessive, like in a gated community. Keep in mind it's a good idea for HOA's to have reserves for times when private roads (in gated communities) need to be repaved. I would rather pay a little more each month for projects like that than be hit with an assessment in the future because there was no money to pay for a needed repair.
0 votes
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Wed Nov 20, 2013
James - your reply to Jim stated that you decided NOT to buy the home because you felt you would not get enough use out of the services provided by the HOA fees?

OK, so you didn't buy it.............. so you really have no issue!
Agents here thought you were already in the midst of "not paying", so they tried to help and warn you what the perils of not paying might be.
Now you know.

Are you thinking you might buy one day, but want to "opt"? out (not pay) because you may not use some of the services the fee covers? Is that why you're asking what the consequences would be for not paying ?

In the list you provided (gate code, community pool and clubhouse) you left off maintenance of the common areas - that, including ( perhaps) maintenance of your unit's exterior, are pretty major expenses and also part of the HOA fee.

Doesn't sound like this form of ownership is right for you if you're going to analyze what the HOA fee is used for to such an extent.

If you don't want to pay an HOA fee - then buy a single family (fee simple) home, and be responsible for all of your own maintenace and upkeep. Join a private club if you want a clubhouse or other social activities.

Good luck.
0 votes
Gricel Astud…, Agent, Clermont, FL
Wed Nov 20, 2013
The Associations have too much power in Florida. They can put a lien and force you to start the foreclosure process.
You can contact me and I will give you more information.
At this time you have a few options.
0 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Wed Nov 20, 2013
They can lien your property and initiate foreclosure while racking up late fees and legal costs. In some states they can also cease services if things such as water, heat or parking is included in your monthly fees and not being paid for as part of your fees.
0 votes
Maria Gilda…, Agent, Manchester, CT
Wed Nov 20, 2013
Hi James,

Firstly, you will get a letter/letters from the property management notifying you of your delinquent or outstanding amount you owed.

Then, if it remains unpaid after a couple defaults, the letter might contain verbiage that the matter has been forwarded to their lawyer and you will be responsible for the legal fees, etc., incurred by the delinquency.

What happens next could be a lien against your property and consequently, a foreclosure.
This is just my opinion and based on what I have seen transpired in the State of Connecticut.

Please consult a lawyer to advise you more competently in this regard.

Best.

Maria
0 votes
Jim Olive, Agent, Key West, FL
Wed Nov 20, 2013
Okay, so now that everyone has given you the answer, I'd love to hear the issue! Is it financial difficulty, or has the HOA done something that offends you? HOA's and Condo associations can be a bear, that's why, in Florida, you get 3 days to review the docs and can back out of the deal without penalty if you don't like what you read...
0 votes
I wanted to purchase a home in a community and the HOA was $800 a quarter. Services code for gate, community pool and use of the clubhouse. The services provided does not cover enough for the fees to me. The homes have private pools. I have visited for six years in the community and never used the community pool or clubhouse. So I did not purchase the house.
Flag Wed Nov 20, 2013
My NC Homes…, Agent, Chapel Hill, NC
Wed Nov 20, 2013
Ultimately the HOA will put a lien on your property. I don't know Florida real estate law well enough to say with certainty, but in some states an HOA can in fact foreclose on a delinquent homeowner.

You bought a property within an HOA, you knew there were fees, why do you now suppose you don't have to pay them? If you're having personal financial issues rather than not pay you should speak to the board and see if you can't work something out.
0 votes
Lisa Jones, Agent, Clermont, FL
Wed Nov 20, 2013
Looks like you found the answer here. If money is tight, talk to the management company and see if you can work something out. If the HOA is acting wrongfully, better to hire an attorney than risk losing your home.
0 votes
Becky Burke, Agent, Orlando, FL
Wed Nov 20, 2013
Good morning James,

Just as all of the ladies before me have stated, a lien could be filed against you, then it could be handed over to an attorney, in which more fees will incur. They can, ultimately, foreclose on you. I've seen it happen in several communities here in Central Florida.

If you can afford to pay them, it would probably be in your best interest. If you cannot, as Debbie said, speak to someone on the board and see if you can work something out. Non-communication is the worst thing for you.
0 votes
Tracy Davis, Agent, Roanoke, VA
Tue Nov 19, 2013
Consult a real estate lawyer in your area, but if you never pay the first payment, then you may be exempt from the enforcement of future payments. With that being said, Homeowner Association Fees are often collected from you on your behalf from the Settlement Agent when you closed on the house at your purchase. If that is the case, then this would waive your right to exemption.
0 votes
Bridgette Mi…, Agent, Glendale, AZ
Tue Nov 19, 2013
Not a good idea! As an owner, you could have a Lien filed on the property and it only gets worse from here. Details regarding your assessments should be laid out in your contract.
0 votes
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