For those of you that missed the annual meeting of the Pine Hollow HOA this past week, the Board suggested that they are considering foreclosing on some fellow homeowners over unpaid bills totaling in the thousands of dollars.
Should this happen, it would be a first in our Association. Prior Boards never foreclosed against our neighbors. This Board will be the first which could not work through the issues without resorting to foreclosure.
Losing ones house over an annual assessment of $305 per year is almost ridiculous. The truth behind someone owing thousands of dollars to the HOA is based more on the late fees, interest and the excessive attorney fees that HOA’s charge residents than what they owe as assessments.
Even if someone doesn’t pay their assessments for 5 years it adds up to a little more than $1500. However, there are many cases throughout the State of Texas in which the amount owed is many times what the actual dues are. Just to give you an example of this, San Antonio Homeowner Loses Home to HOA for Exhorbitant Attorney Fees.
How does foreclosing against our neighbors help ensure the values of our neighborhood? Is this really the “neighborly” thing to do? If anything, foreclosure brings property values down and could make our subdivision a target for investors as they see cheap properties available via the HOA foreclosure process. There are many LLCs and Corporations that are snatching up all kinds of homes, even within Pine Hollow, and turning them into rental properties. Just recently, American Homes 4 Rent picked up yet another Pine Hollow property.
Maybe it’s time to take another approach to those who are having financial problems. Maybe it’s time for the HOA Board to waive the fees and interest to focus on the primary amount owed, the assessments, and to limit the attorney fees to $500. Offer an amnesty period to give those homeowners who are behind a chance. The compounding of the attorney fees and all the other fees and interest just makes a bad situation worse.
As we mentioned when Young and Holt first became our attorney a few years ago, this firm has a well-documented history of foreclosing against homeowners. It is a time to be creative and find better solutions instead of foreclosing against our neighbors, giving hard earned homeowners’ money to the attorneys and taking homeowners’ houses away.