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Old 09-06-2012, 03:23 PM
 
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How can an HOA enforce payment of dues if they are not enforcing any other covenant? Aren't dues considered a covenant? Aren't the covenants a legal binding contract? Can an HOA really put a lien on my house if I do not pay dues if they are not upholding their end of the contract? In my neighborhood, no covenants are being enforced except they get their dues.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:22 AM
 
2,741 posts, read 3,161,821 times
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Originally Posted by peggy1970 View Post
How can an HOA enforce payment of dues if they are not enforcing any other covenant? Aren't dues considered a covenant? Aren't the covenants a legal binding contract? Can an HOA really put a lien on my house if I do not pay dues if they are not upholding their end of the contract? In my neighborhood, no covenants are being enforced except they get their dues.
Without knowing what state you are in the particular laws applicable in your case are not known. Only recently in some states has there been any law developing to permit homeowners to refuse to pay assessments when the HOA corporation did not meet obligations that were at issue in those cases. Don't count on it applying in all cases and certainly not in all states. Typically, however, the restrictive covenants do not impose any obligation on the HOA corporation. Instead they just purport to authorize (not obligate) the HOA corporation to enforce deed restrictions, maintain its own property, etc.

Depending upon the state you are in, most states have laws that permit the HOA to not only put a specific lien on your property - but also to foreclose on that lien for failure/refusal to pay. In some states this is even done non-judicially. In non-judicial foreclosure states, without an affidavit, court order, etc. the HOA attorney will sell your property at a public sale to deprive you of title. Not surprisingly, homeowners that own their homes outright are often targeted for this type of activity. For homeowners for which the property is collateral for a loan, the foreclosure does not eliminate the obligation to continue paying the lender.

You can reason through it all you want but the industry groups behind HOAs, HOA management, and HOA attorneys, have been lobbying for years to get really atrocious laws on the books that benefit the industry players. They won't hesitate to add many thousands of dollars of junk fees onto alleged debts of $100-$300 and then threaten foreclosure in order to extort those fees. The actual number of foreclosure might be relatively small but they represent only the tip of the iceberg with respect to the extortive threats. There are plenty of cases around the countryside where the HOA vendors demand $5,000 $10,000 $15,000 or even $25,000 over alleged debts of a few hundred dollars - which goes to those vendors, not the HOA corp. In fact, many of the management companies utilize an unscrupulous scheme known as the "priority of payment scam" in an effort to keep homeowners in arrears through accounting trickery in order to generate more junk fees for the management companies.

You need to be active at your state legislature in order to curb these kinds of shenanigans.
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