Florida HOA Foreclosure 101
When you buy a condominium, townhouse, or single-family home within a community with covenants, you will most often pay monthly fees to cover maintenance and external repairs. It’s essential to know all about HOA (homeowners association) or condominium homeowners association (COA) laws in the state of Florida because if you do not pay your fees, your HOA could foreclose on your home.
HOA Foreclosure Process
Condominium and homeowners’ associations have the legal right to collect unpaid debts. If you default on your condo fees, the homeowner’s association will begin debt collection proceedings. Someone representing the homeowner’s association or property management company will probably call you or send letters demanding payment.
After that, if you still do not pay your condo fees, the HOA may try more aggressive tactics like revoking your access to shared grounds (pool, exercise room, etc.).
Homeowner associations also have the right to put a lien on your property if you do not pay your portion of the shared expenses (condo fees or special assessments). A lien on the title of your property means you cannot sell it without the HOA getting their money.
Many HOAs also have the right to file a lawsuit against you, and you will have to obtain a lawyer to fight it out in court. That will add additional expenses.
Other things that the HOA or COA has the right to do that you may not be aware of is they can charge you late fees, interest, and even attorney’s fees along with other charges because you were delinquent with your original payments.
If you force the HOA to enforce the lien, they can foreclose on your property, forcing you to move out, and they will sell the property so they can get paid. This is a worst-case scenario that you will want to avoid if possible.
What You Can Do
Obviously, you don’t want your COA or HOA to foreclose on your home. However, you may have some legal options to negotiate the overdue amounts and pay them over time. In addition, you may have a solid defense if you have extenuating circumstances such as a serious illness or another family life event.
According to state laws and condominium and homeowner’s associations’ bylaws, they must first issue you a notice before filing a lien with the county recorder’s office. That notice gives you 45 days to pay the full amount due or respond with legal action. You have a window of opportunity to address the matter and negotiate a payment plan before they file a lien and proceed to foreclosure.
Although things may look bleak, you do have options. Contact your real estate attorney today for help with Florida HOA foreclosure issues.