What Pennsylvania condo owners should know about HOA foreclosure

Condo owners unable to pay their HOA fees should know about the foreclosure process.

Condo owners in Pennsylvania might find themselves unable to pay their month-to-month bills in addition to their HOA fees or dues. Should this happen, condo owners might experience the shock of discovering their HOA has started the foreclosure process. While this particular incident falls under real estate litigation, it is a good idea to have some preliminary information about how to proceed with this situation and what to expect next.

HOA rights

One of the first things to know is that HOAs are within their legal rights to foreclose on the condos belonging to owners who have fallen behind on their fees or dues for such services as lawn mowing, landscaping and snow removal. While mortgage lenders could step in when fees go unpaid, they do not always act with the expediency HOAs might like. There is also the fact that condo owners are likely to pay their mortgages over their association fees or dues.

The foreclosure process

It is also a good idea for condo owners to be fully-versed in the foreclosure process, even if they currently pay their fees and dues on time. For starters, just like with renting a room, house or apartment, HOAs usually send a notice to condo owners about their late payment(s). This notice might also include what will happen next if payments remain unpaid as well as any late fees due as a result of the missed payment.

Because HOA fees and dues go towards the upkeep of common areas, condo owners who pay their fees or dues late might lose access to such areas as the pool, exercise room and the like. Late-paying condo owners might also lose their vote in HOA matters until they catch up on payments. As time goes on and dues are left unpaid, the HOA is likely to foreclose on the condo.

The lien process

An HOA can also file a lien against condo owners who fail to pay their fees and dues. While condo owners are not blocked from putting their unit on the market or selling the unit, all unpaid dues and the cost of the lien itself will be deducted from any profit owners would make from selling the unit.

The spirit of cooperation

Usually, HOAs want to avoid foreclosure and liens because of legal fees. Condo owners who fall behind on their payments will do well to reach out to their association as soon as they realize they might be unable to make payments to explore their options.

Some condo foreclosure situations in Pennsylvania might require legal intervention. Speaking with an attorney could be a solid bet to find relief.