If your HOA is asking you to contribute to legal fees that it has incurred in fighting a foreclosure, the first thing you need to do is check your bylaws. Those governing documents should have something to say about when homeowners are responsible for legal fees and when they are not. In most cases, you are only responsible for legal fees when the HOA is bringing a suit against you, or trying to collect overdue fees from you. In that case, you might be required to pay the HOA’s legal fees. In the case of a foreclosure, it would be surprising if you had to contribute.When your bylaws or your rules and regulations state that you will be responsible for any legal fees incurred by the HOA, you will have to pay them. However, if the HOA is fighting a legal battle that is not specific to you or your property, you should not have to pay for the attorney fees that protect their own interests. It’s a good idea to talk to a real estate lawyer or someone in your HOA who can explain the situation. You shouldn’t be held responsible for legal fees if you are not a specifically named defendant in a case. However, HOAs have been known to include some fairly outrageous things in their rules and regulations.
Always read your bylaws before you buy a property in an HOA. This will give you a clear idea of how the association operates, and what you can expect when you are faced with things legal situations and other similar experiences.
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.