I agree we would need to see the lease and walk-through checklist that was settled before your move-in. WIthout reviewing these, there are some general guidleines and inital impressions. I think much of this analysis depends on the permits pulled on the house for construction. If the inital construction permits (or subsequent permits) and tax records show the screen room, coupled with the fact that it had strong aethestic value (as it was large and on on a lake, etc.), then a strong argument...
As you can see, this matter is somewhat complicated. There may be circumstances that require you to pay the rent to the HOA. You should meet with an attorney in your area who can guide you through this maze, and you may find that the advise will more than pay for a small consultation fee.
I agree that you shoudl conduct a full title search, otherwise you risk losing the property to another lien that had a superior interest. In order to do this research correctly, you shoudl consider retaining an attorney. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
Assuming it's a consumer debt, there are many federal and state laws that protect you from harassment from creditors. We would need more infromation to make a full evaluation as to whether you have a strong case. You should consider consulting an attorney that practices consumer protection laws in your area.
The HOA may want to continue renting the property to you, so you may not have to leave. They should be contacting you soon, but I agree you should monitor the underlying case to see if the Certificate of Title transfers to the new owner, at which time the former owner will lose rights to the property.
An attorney should review your case for additional information as certain exceptions may apply, such as if you gave the debt collector permission/instructions to call you during those times. We can evaluate your case for free. Overall it appears you have a case and, if so, we can recover attorney's fees from the debt collector (so you wouldn't have to pay our fees). Good luck.
You should consult an atty in New York who can give you the specifics of how their laws would apply in your situation. As a genenral rule, only those persons who signed the NOTE (not mortgage), would have any potential liability (regardless if you're on the mortgage).
Florida is one of the few states that allow unlimited homestead protection from creditors, and this protection extends to proceeds from the sale, as long as it's used towards the purchase of another heomstead, but one mistake (such as commingling with other funds) can result in the loss of this valuable protection. I agree with Mr. Lenti's execellent advise - depending on yrou circumstances, you should consult an attorney about considering bankruptcy.