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HOA Appeal

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  • HOA Appeal

    My cause for filing bankruptcy was over a fine issued by the HOA for having a rotted tree removed even after getting a permit from the HOA to do so.

    My last hope was that I could present my case to the HOA board and the matter would be resolved.
    I went to this board meeting prepared with photos and documents to prove my case. My accusers, the ACC, had nothing. Ironically I was the one who was required to furnish proof for everything. No proof was asked from the ACC guy. The board attacked my proof like a band of Philadelphia lawyers. It was plain to see that I was in an kangaroo court and I didn't have a chance.

    Why did I do it? I felt my case should be heard in the sense of fair-play. I also thought that in my bankruptcy I might be asked if I tried to reconcile the situation.

    I will be getting a letter denying my request for dismissal of the fine. However, one board member did pipe up and stated he thought the fine was excessive.

    Once I get that letter I will need to make a decision on whether to try to negotiate with the accounting section of my HOA. Somehow I doubt trying to getting them to dismiss the fine to be out of the question.

    Is it even worth talking to these people? I plan to file chapter 7 as soon as I have a foreclosure pending and I will be surrendering my house.

  • #2
    Some HOA boards are horrible. It should not be adversarial and these board members are just your neighbors; one would hope that the neighbors elected "representative" people. Alas, just as in politics, something goes to people's head when they are in "power" -- even if it's just on an HOA board (or even a School Board!).

    The joke will be on them once you file for bankruptcy. The pre-petition HOA fines/assessments/dues will be discharged as to you personally. If the HOA has statutory lien authority or they file a claim of lien before filing, it would attach to the property and they can get paid by the foreclosing bank... or foreclose themselves.
    Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
    Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
    Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

    I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.


    • #3

      Thanks for your post.

      A few days ago I had a Chase Currier come to my house. After I reassured her I was not a nut case we had a very informative conversation especially about the HOA here. All she was there for according to her was to deliver a door hanger with a letter that offered help, take a photo of the house, and try to confirm the house was still occupied.

      She told me Chase was very slow to foreclose especially in HOA's and it could take years. She told me that typically when a house is not occupied and the notice of foreclosure is made public the theft begins. First the heat pump disappears, then the break-ins and removal of anything of value including wiring and pipes. In the process they destroy the house rendering it worthless and the bank will do nothing.

      When all this began I brought in a RE agent and was told sales are off. (I learned later the primary reason for this is that the HOA now requires HOA fees/dues be paid a year in advance). I asked about the possibility of renting my house. She told me this is a resort community and my house is a bit dated for the usual renter's expectations.

      As you wrote, the joke is on them. Even if the HOA were to take possession through foreclosure, (win win for me and I would be off the hook), the idea of the HOA recovering any money by renting is remote.

      One thing I find humorous is that none of these well-to-do board members listened to me when I told them the money well was dry. They continue their demand I pay this fine while I am not paying the HOA fees. This appeal was their one opportunity to remedy, without embarrassment, the situation by dismissing the fine. If they dismissed the fine I would have likely paid my late fees and continued to pay the HOA fees going forward until the bank finally foreclosed. Now they will get nil from me and according to the bank Currier will get nothing from the bank either.


      • #4
        OP Update

        I received the letter following my meeting with the HOA board.

        The fine was a two part fine, one for $400 and the second part for $750. The board dismissed the $400 portion and upheld the $750 portion. How kind of them!

        A friend and neighbor thought I should pay the fine and continue to pay the HOA dues until the bank forecloses. That could take years and as some here at BK forum have pointed out I could become subject to other fines, assessments, and other harassment.

        I think I said the the well-to-do have hearing problems and my case supports that. I told them before and at the meeting I did not have the money to pay the fine, but regardless I was in the right to have that rotten tree taken down and if I had millions I would not pay it.
        The second part of this I want to leave here ASAP but, as many have warned the bank will drag its feet especially with being in an HOA. I would like to file my chapter 7 and having the HOA as well as the bank with non payment may move it along a little faster.

        IMO, I believe I should not pay anything to the HOA.


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