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I am being sued by my home owners association for non payment post ch.7 bankruptcy trial

Seattle, WA |

I am being sued by my home owners association for non payment post ch.7 bankruptcy trial I included my home in the bankruptcy and the bank has taken their sweet time to foreclose on the property. The homeowners association will not let me rent out the property,(it was a rental before) but they want me to pay the dues. I have since racked up about $4000 in dues, and now $5000 in attorney fees payable to them and they want to garnish my wages, they have sent notice to my employer (embarassing). What can I / should I do? I dont mind paying a settlement, I would prefer to use an attorney to iron this out. Or should I go about this myself?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Best answer

    Any part of the dues and attorneys fees that were incurred prior to the date you filed bankruptcy which were discharged in the bankruptcy cannot be collected from you personally, but they might still have the right to impose a lien against the property for collection. Any part of the dues and attorneys fees that were incurred after the date you filed bankruptcy or that were incurred prior to the date you file but were not discharged in the bankruptcy, are still your personal obligation as well as probably being a lien on the condo. If your mortgage company is foreclosing, the foreclosure will most likely wipe out the lien (assuming the mortgage was taken out prior to the dues and attorneys' fee lien being recorded against the condo). But you could still be personally obligated to pay any of the due and attorneys' fees that were incurred after you filed bankruptcy or that were incurred prior to the filing but were not discharged.

    DISCLAIMER: This answer does not constitute legal advice nor does it form an attorney-client relationship between the questioner and responder. You should seek competent legal counsel in your jurisdiction to address any specific legal concerns you have.


  2. After you file a bankruptcy, you must pay any debts that you run up after the bankruptcy is filed. Your intention to surrender the real estate through the bankruptcy is sort of irrelevant - as long as you own the property, you are responsible for the HOA.

    The HOA might be willing to file a lien on the property and take it through a foreclosure instead of looking to you for payment. A local attorney would be the best option to resolve this issue.

    Hope this perspective helps!


  3. There are many articles in the news about aggressive HOA's. Search for them on the internet and see what victim home owners have done about them.


  4. Generally, an owner at a HOA has the legal obligation to pay the unpaid fees or assessments that became due as of the date of the bankruptcy filing. However, it sounds like you are not living in the home and that may impact the HOAs ability to collect those post bankruptcy assessments. You should consult with an attorney that knows about bankruptcy and home owner association assessments or fees.

    David C. Swedelson, California Community Association Attorney

    DISCLAIMER: This answer does not constitute legal advice nor does it form an attorney-client relationship between the questioner and responder. You should seek competent legal counsel in your jurisdiction to address any specific legal concerns you have.

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