When you bought your home in an HOA (Homeowner’s Association) community, you were probably excited to enjoy the pool or other community amenities. While the HOA is designed to protect your community standards and property values, they also have the power to take your home. If you fall behind on payments to your HOA, they can take actions against you, including placing a lien on your home, charging you late fees and attorney fees, and even initiating a foreclosure on your home.
Many families and homeowners in a Green Valley Ranch community are at risk of losing their homes because of Homeowner’s Association (HOA) foreclosures. Of the 119 HOA foreclosures in 2021, 50 HOA foreclosures were initiated by Master Homeowners Association for Green Valley Ranch. According to a Green Valley Ranch resident, the HOA issued numerous petty fines (grass violations, leaving trash cans out for too long, etc.) for $50 or $100, with the total over $10,000.
If you or someone you love is facing a judicial foreclosure (initiated by your HOA), you should not only know your rights and legal options, but you should also contact an experienced attorney. Below, we discuss the Colorado laws that govern HOA’s and protect you as well as how our law firm can help you.
HOA Laws in Colorado
In addition to collecting community fees, the HOA’s role is to enforce community rules, which are outlined in the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs). There are also state laws that the HOA must adhere to. These laws aim to protect residents from certain debt collection practices, foreclosure, and more, including:
- The HOA should have a clearly outlined, consistent debt collection policy. The policy should include details about the date payments must be made, the date that payments will be considered late, the late fee and interest that can be accrued, and the circumstances in which someone can enter a payment plan.
- Homeowners should receive notice of their delinquency before it is reported to a collection agency, attorney, or credit reporting agency. The notice should include the accrued debt, details about a potential payment plan (if available), the contact information for an HOA representative, information regarding how you can receive a copy of the ledger, and potential actions that can be taken against you.
- The HOA can only move to foreclose if the accrued debt is greater than or equal to six months of the required payments. The board must also vote in favor of foreclosure before they proceed.
- The HOA must offer homeowners a chance to enter a repayment plan before pursuing legal action. However, if the property owner has previously entered a payment plan, the HOA does not have to offer a payment plan.
Can I Negotiate with the HOA to Catch up on Missed Dues?
If you are behind on payments, you can take action to avoid foreclosure including negotiating for a reduced payoff. Other options include:
- Asking to enter a repayment plan
- Paying off the delinquent fees
- Filing for bankruptcy
Can Bankruptcy Save My Home if I Am Behind on HOA Dues?
When you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay will go into effect. The stay prohibits your HOA from foreclosing on your home while the bankruptcy is being processed. While this is only a temporary reprieve, you can develop a repayment plan and/or discuss options with your attorney.
Defenses to an HOA Foreclosure
If you are facing an HOA foreclosure, you should contact an attorney who can help you develop a personalized defense strategy. Possible defenses to HOA foreclosure actions include:
- The HOA overstated the charges or has poor accounting records.
- The HOA charged you an unreasonable amount for the supposed infraction.
- The HOA violated state law.
- The HOA didn’t properly file or record the property lien.
At Wagner Law Office, P.C., we take the time to listen and understand our clients’ concerns and priorities. If you are facing an HOA foreclosure, we are here to help you. Our bankruptcy attorney can advise you of your best options and help you protect your home.
Contact us online today or call (303) 536-5124! We offer free initial consultations.