Chapter 13 and The HOA

October 31, 2011

Purchasing a home is for many the realization of the American Dream. Over the past few decades the Home Owners Association has become the double-edged sword of the American Dream. On the one hand, HOAs are great. They help ensure high property values by making sure that everyone maintains their home and do not create eyesores. On the other hand they can be beasts of burden, with many often wondering if they are worth the added yearly, quarterly or monthly expense. Regardless of their value to you HOAs have become increasingly powerful. So powerful that falling behind on your HOA fees in some cases is tantamount to falling behind on your mortgage or taxes, allowing the HOA to attach a lien to your property and foreclose on your home.

Chapter 13 can help. Firstly, when a debtor files Chapter 13 an HOA is legally prohibited from attempting to collect all included debts. This means that any collection attempts for HOA fees owed prior to the minute the debtor filed must cease. Secondly, Chapter 13 takes an accounting of all debts owed and prioritizes them. Some debts, such as attorneys fees, are considered top priority debts and are placed at the top of the list. Other debts, such as HOA fees, mortgage and credit card debts are placed in a general pot to be worked out in a monthly repayment agreement.

Chapter 13 is helpful because it allows many debtors to renegotiate unfavorable terms and get better interest rates, particularly on credit card debt and in some instances, a mortgage. This not only helps with the amount owed to that particular company, but it also frees up money for the debtor to pay other items. There are a great many benefits to filing Chapter 13. Consult our firm today to see if this may be helpful for you.

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