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HOA fee dispute leads to foreclosure

A homeowner in California may find unexpected problems if they wind up in a dispute with their homeowners' association. Disputes over fees and regulations can make it difficult to live in a neighborhood where an HOA has a strong presence. Sometimes, the issues can even go to court if they are not resolved. In a recent Texas case, an appellate court has affirmed a ruling by a lower court that allowed the homeowners' association to seek foreclosure against a resident who allegedly failed to pay his HOA fees.

The man in question owns a home in a subdivision governed by an HOA that requires an annual maintenance fee as an assessment. The HOA holds a lien on each home's lot to secure the assessment. The homeowner declined to pay his fees, and the homeowners' association sued the man in 2013, claiming that he owed past-due fees. After the case, the man paid his dues, but he again accrued more fees, leading to another HOA lawsuit in 2016. While the man attempted to make a partial payment, the HOA rejected it as no formal payment plan was in place.

The HOA filed its lawsuit seeking payment of the $4,382.69 that the man owes in back-due fees. The homeowner sought an extension on the HOA's motion for summary judgment, but the court did not rule on the matter and the man did not attend the hearing. The HOA's motion was granted and it was allowed to foreclose on the man's home.

Homeowners' association disputes can be devastating, especially when a homeowner with few resources or little knowledge of the law is facing a much larger party. A real estate attorney can work with a homeowner to resolve real estate disputes before they go to court and defend their rights if a case moves forward.

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