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Unpaid HOA fees can lead to foreclosure

Owning a home is a lot of work, from taking care of your yard to maintaining the building. However, if you live in a home that is part of an association, part of that work is taken care of for you thanks to homeowner association expenses. These fees must be paid regularly or you could face some serious penalties.

Like any other homeowner who falls behind on payments, one of the penalties you could be facing for unpaid HOA fees includes foreclosure. If you want to avoid this and other serious consequences, you will need to keep up with your payments and act fast if you fall behind.

One solution that may be available is that your homeowners association may be willing to work with you to repay late or missed payments. For instance, if you can explain that you suffered a temporary setback financially which led to the unpaid fees, your HOA might be willing to let you make up the late fees (as well as any interest or penalties) over time.

However, unless and until you get current, you may be prohibited from certain areas of the association, since you have not paid the money that supports them. You might also be banned from voting on certain matters, and any money you would receive from renting out your property could go directly to the HOA until your fees have been paid.

If you are still delinquent, the penalties continue to get worse. In fact, as discussed in this article on collecting HOA fees, the HOA can have you evicted, rent out your property, garnish your wages, file a lien and, as a last resort, foreclose on your home.

While it can be intimidating to discuss financial matters with members of your association, it will be necessary if you miss even one payment. Thankfully, you don't have to do it alone. You can consult an attorney who can review your association agreement, defend you against an aggressive HOA and guide you through the steps you need to take to protect yourself and your home.

Your HOA will likely have a legal representative on their side; having one on your side as well can level the playing field and ensure you don't get steamrolled by an aggressive, powerful HOA.

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