Legal proceedings are not only expensive, but they can get rather complicated—especially when there is a third party involved. Legal proceedings get further complicated when one party expects another party to pay for their legal costs. In this case, we are talking about an HOA passing on their legal costs when they are involved in a homeowner’s foreclosure.
When a home governed by an HOA goes into foreclosure, there is a possibility that the lender isn’t the only party the homeowner owes money to. Often, a homeowner may also owe money to the HOA for delinquent assessments. In the state of Florida, statutes exist permitting associations to collect any late fees, interest accrued or legal fees sustained while attempting to collect such dues.
HOA’s are also entitled to placing a hold on the home as collateral for the unpaid assessments. In order to avoid the HOA filing a lien, many lenders name the association as a co-defendant. Although it is the association’s right to place a hold, and lender’s are able to name HOA’s as co-defendants, state statutes do not exist that mandate the homeowner pay the HOA’s legal fees.
In fact, it is HOA’s declaration and by laws that determine if the homeowner is responsible for the costs. Each association is different, but an association that requires its homeowners to pay legal costs must state so explicitly. If this is not stated in the bylaws, the homeowner is not legally responsible for paying the HOA’s legal costs.
Stephen K. Hachey, a Florida real estate attorney, can help your wade through this process and determine a positive solution. Contact him at 866-200-4646.
The opinions in this post are solely those of the author. The author takes full responsibility for the content. Like all blog posts, this is offered for general information purposes and does not constitute legal advice.