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HOA Final Judgment - Can I discharge ATTORNEY FEES?

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  • HOA Final Judgment - Can I discharge ATTORNEY FEES?


    BACK HOA DUES, The HOA association is the Plaintiff, I am the Defendant. The court has issued a "SUMMARY FINAL JUDGMENT".

    The breakdown on the Judgment;

    $1,000 HOA dues
    $2,000 attorney fees.

    Both sums were included in the Final Judgment. My home was scheduled for auction on January 24, sale will be canceled/postponed of course because of Chapter 7 filing.

    I know the HOA dues are non-dischargeable. If I list the attorney fees (the $2,000 that were part of the Summary Judgment) SEPARATELY in my filing, can I get them discharged?

    Hope so :-) Thanks

  • #2
    Yes. All HOA related fees, costs, judgments etc. up to the date of filing are dischargeable. Your HOA balance should be reset to zero as of the date of filing.

    You need to read your state laws regarding lien rights on your house. HOA have lien rights continually both befre and after the filing.
    Last edited by idainc; 01-17-2011, 12:02 PM.


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply. However, the HOA fees will remain as a Lien and the house can still be foreclosed - not to worry, I'll take care of them.

      The question I have is can I dismiss just the Attorney fees and remove those fees from the Lien ("SUMMARY FINAL JUDGMENT") where I would only have to contend with paying HOA fees and not the attorney?


      • #4
        Check your specific Florida statutes. In AZ the lien rights also include reasonable attorney's fees. You may be on the hook for them if you're keeping the house.


        • #5
          The way I read it, the house was up for foreclosure, so whether or not the HOA can place a lien on the property is immaterial--when the bank forecloses, the HOA's lien will be extinguished. And yes, you can discharge HOA debt up until the filing date, provided you are not planning to keep the house.


          • #6
            I know the HOA dues are non-dischargeable. If I list the attorney fees (the $2,000 that were part of the Summary Judgment) SEPARATELY in my filing, can I get them discharged?
            HOA fees accumulated up to the time of the filing ARE dischargeable. Under most state laws, the "possessor" of the property after filing is responsible for the HOA fees. Thus, if 2 months pass between filing and an auction that results in a change of ownership, you are responsible for those two months. The attorney fees will be discharged as a matter of course when the HOA lien is paid (if there is anything owed) by the bank. Your responsibility for such fees should be extinguished by the bankruptcy since all legal action attempting to collect the debt must stop at the time of the filing. It would be difficult to imagine a situation where an attorney is still billing time to the collection of a debt when federal law prohibits such collections and all court cases relating to the collection of the fees would likewise be halted. This means any amount the attorney has added to the HOA lien would have to have been for legal work done prior to the bankruptcy filing...and therefore dischargeable.

            so whether or not the HOA can place a lien on the property is immaterial--when the bank forecloses, the HOA's lien will be extinguished.
            It's not precisely correct to say the HOA lien will be extinguished by the foreclosure. What typically happens is that the bank pays the HOA fees to remove the HOA lien and this allows the bank to get a clean title prior to auctioning the home.


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