Boca Raton Homeowners’ Association Foreclosure Lawyer
When homeowners sign on to live in an HOA, they are essentially agreeing to the terms and conditions set forth by said association in the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions document, or CC&R. Typically, “conditions” almost always include having to pay fees for maintenance, insurance, and sometimes utilities. Homeowners also agree to pay penalties for violating any conditions set forth in the CC&R.
That said, it is not uncommon for HOAs to add new terms, change fee schedules, or revise CC&Rs throughout the duration of a homeowner’s residency. It is also not uncommon for homeowners to be upset by a change in conditions, or to protest a new fee. While a homeowner has every right to challenge a fee or penalty, he or she must pay it if the decision maker—which could be a mediator, court, or the community—rules in the association’s favor. If a homeowner fails to pay his or her dues, or if he or she refuses to pay a fine, the association could take legal action against said homeowner via a foreclosure lawsuit.
If you find yourself on the receiving end of an HOA foreclosure lawsuit, you have a tough uphill battle ahead of you. Defending yourself against an HOA foreclosure suit is often difficult, as you knew what you were getting into when you agreed to be apart of the HOA in the first place. That said, you are not without rights. If you believe that the lawsuit has no grounding, or if you believe that the fees and penalties imposed upon you were unfair in any way, the Boca Raton homeowners’ association foreclosure lawyers at Nowack & Olson, PLLC, are equipped to defend your rights and protect your home.
HOAs Are Business Entities
One thing that many homeowners fail to understand before signing on to live in an HOA is that homeowners’ associations are corporate entities, meaning that they are businesses that must look out for their own financial best interests. They have the same legal protections as any Florida business, but are also subject to many of the same liabilities as any Florida business. When a homeowner fails to pay his or her dues or fines, it is equivalent to a customer failing to pay for services rendered, or for an item put on credit. Just as any other business can and would, the HOA has an option to first file a lien on the customer’s property and, if the customer still fails to pay, take additional legal action.
Liens Are Required Before Filing Foreclosure
Before an HOA can file a foreclosure notice against a homeowner, it must first file a lien against the person’s property. The exact conditions under which an association can file a lien are outlined in the CC&R and vary from HOA to HOA. That said, a lien serves as a way for the homeowner to correct his or her actions by paying off any overdue dues and/or fees and/or to contest the lien.
Defenses to HOA Foreclosure
If you wish to contest an HOA foreclosure, you must have a valid reason for doing so. You cannot just say, “I believe the fees are too exorbitant,” or that “I did not realize that I could not do X or X.” At Nowack & Olson, PLLC, our Boca Raton homeowners’ association foreclosure attorneys can help review the circumstances surrounding your foreclosure determine if anything is amiss. Some viable defenses that you may be able to use include:
- The HOA is guilty of incorrect accounting or overstating charges;
- The HOA failed to adhere to the Assessment Lien Foreclosure statutes;
- The HOA is guilty of charging unreasonable dues or fines;
- The governing documents don’t authorize assessments;
- The HOA is guilty of misappropriation of funds; and/or
- The HOA improperly recorded the assessment lien.
Work With a Boca Raton Homeowners’ Association Foreclosure Lawyer
Dealing with a homeowners’ association foreclosure can be a time consuming and frustrating endeavor, especially when, despite recent events, you have been an ideal resident. The Boca Raton homeowners’ association foreclosure attorneys at Nowack & Olson, PLLC, have experience with HOA foreclosures and are prepared to help you fight yours and ensure that you maintain interest in your home. To ensure the best possible outcome, contact our Boca Raton law firm today.