Forum Rules (Everyone Must Read!!!) (updated: 04/28/2015)

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Do assessments have to be paid after filing for bankruptcy?

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  • Do assessments have to be paid after filing for bankruptcy?

    January 8, 2012

    Q. It is known throughout the community that my neighbor filed for bankruptcy six months ago, and she continues to use the community pool and gym. This owner is also telling everyone that she does not have to pay assessments anymore. Is this true and what can be done?— C.S.

    NaplesA. Many bankruptcy debtors (and attorneys) do not fully understand the debtor's assessment obligations in bankruptcy, particularly when there is a superior first mortgage. Although there are exceptions, the general rule is that an owner is responsible for paying all assessments due after the date the owner filed for bankruptcy. If the owner filed for bankruptcy on Dec. 15, 2011, for example, the owner is generally responsible for paying the Jan. 1, 2012 assessment.

    The association's ability to collect, however, is limited by an "automatic stay" imposed by the bankruptcy court which prohibits the association's ability to collect any debt. The duration of the automatic stay depends on a number of factors, including whether the owner filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.

    The association may suspend the owner's voting rights or the right to use the common amenities, but once bankruptcy court has ruled that the suspension of an owner's right to use the pool or gym violates the automatic stay. If the association wants to suspend the owner's right to use the pool or other amenities, the association should obtain relief from the automatic stay or use great caution to ensure that the automatic stay is not in effect.

    this is a question and answer series and was too large to put in the flordia forum section, and i thought this particular part of the article may be of interest to the many florida members of this site having some of the basic questions and answers so many have dealing with HOA's. if you click on the link the rest of the article really doesn't deal with any BK questions, however, i thought this may be useful to some
    Last edited by tobee43; 01-08-2012, 10:06 AM.
    8/4/2008 MAKE SURE AND VISIT Tobee's Blogs! and all are welcome to bk forum's Florida State Questions and Answers on BK

  • #2
    My parents live in Florida and have a terrible HOA. They keep raising their dues and they can't afford to have the increases any longer. They cut services and then increase dues. I am sorry to hear the HOA are so harsh on those filing for Bankruptcy as well.


    • #3
      When it comes to laws of someone filing for bankruptcy, every state differs slightly. Most states consistently rule the same. When it comes to assessments and association dues it is typically looked at by the court the same as secured debt. Although, when a homeowner is filing for bankruptcy, the automatic stays put in place making the creditor or association unable to collect on the debt without filing a motion with the bankruptcy court for a relief of stay. The length of the automatic stay will depend on whether or not the homeowner filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you were to wait it out, a typical Chapter 7 bankruptcy lasts about 4 to 6 months and a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can last up to five years. The debtor will still owe the money after the bankruptcy filing, but in many cases when someone is broke it is next to impossible to collect. Depending on amount of money owed and how large the association is, the association should consider hiring an attorney that specializes in real estate law. The association board should tread lightly in the way of handling the homeowner that is filing bankruptcy to avoid any violations of the automatic stay.


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