Homeowner associations (HOAs) perform invaluable services to the communities in which they operate. However, these services come with a cost, and homeowners who fall behind on payments could face legal action. Fortunately, HOA boards have an abundance of legal options available to collect unpaid fees.
What legal action can homeowner associations take?
When a property owner fails to pay their dues, HOAs will contact the homeowner to advise them of their unpaid assessments and inform them about the potential consequences they could face if payment is not made in a timely fashion. If the property owner does not respond or continues not to make payments, HOA boards have no choice but to take legal action in the following ways.
Send bills to collections: Homeowner association boards will generally send the bills of a property owner to a collection agency if the missed payments are below a certain threshold. The collection agency will then take over and contact the homeowner until they recover the unpaid assessments.
File a lawsuit: If HOA boards decide to take legal action on their own, or if sending the bills to collections did not resolve the issue, they have the option to file a lawsuit against the owner of the home. The property owner could be responsible for all missed payments and interest.
Put a lien on the home: If the HOA does not wish to file a lawsuit, they could simply place a lien on the house. A lien gives the HOA a legal claim to the property and makes it impossible for the owner to sell the home until the unpaid dues or lien are satisfied.
Begin the foreclosure process: After the HOA has exhausted every other available option, they may resort to foreclosure to recoup the fees owed to them. In this situation, the HOA will have already placed an assessment lien on the property and will have the option to begin the foreclosure process at their discretion.
Homeowner associations deserve to be paid for the services they provide for their community. When property owners are delinquent on their payments, it is only right that the HOA performs the necessary legal action to receive dues for the provided services. HOA boards should obtain support from a local Texas attorney for additional guidance on holding residential real estate owners accountable.