Featured News 2016 What Happens if I Can’t Pay My HOA Fees?

What Happens if I Can’t Pay My HOA Fees?

HOA is short for "homeowners association," and HOAs apply to condos, townhomes and single family residences in planned communities. Homeowners pay a monthly fee, known as the HOA fees, which goes towards maintaining the grounds, such as the landscaping, the pool, the gym, security, roofing, building exteriors, and other "perks" that go along with living in a property with an HOA.

While HOAs can be great because they literally take care of just about all of the maintenance, such as the painting, the roofing, the landscaping, and the plumbing, homeowners don't usually like paying the HOA dues on top of their mortgage and taxes. So, what happens if the homeowners can't afford to pay their HOA fees?

What if I fall too far behind on my HOA fees?

For starters, most lenders take into consideration the HOA fees when approving borrowers for a mortgage. In other words, they would not extend a loan on a property with an HOA if they didn't believe that you could afford the mortgage, property taxes, and HOA fees.

But as we all know, life is what happens when you're making other plans. If you were in an accident and couldn't work for a year, or if you were laid off and unable to pay your HOA fees, the first thing you should do is call up the HOA board. Be sure to reach out to the board as soon as you can't make a payment.

If you fall too far behind on your HOA dues, it could get ugly. You could get evicted, or in the worst case scenario, the board can decide to foreclose on your property. If you are having financial difficulties and are not sure how you're going to pay your HOA fees, you should read through the covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) provided by the community.

If you're thinking about buying a property with a homeowners association, we recommend reading the CC&Rs carefully before you decide to buy a property with an HOA – this way you know what you're getting into.

If you are having an issue with your HOA, contact a real estate attorney for sound legal advice on the matter.

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