The Great Recession passed some time ago. Officially, the hard times ended in 2009, though we suspect many in Little Rock and the rest of Arkansas might argue that effects still linger. Home foreclosures and asset forfeitures continue to cause headaches for many individuals.
There are many different possible forms of home ownership available to consumers today. For most, the dream has long been to find that special detached single family home they can call their own. For others, affordability makes townhome or condominium living more attractive. But whether you own a mega mansion or a unit in a trailer park, the one thing that tends to be common is a mortgage. In the midst of life’s ups and downs, foreclosure becomes possible.
Condominium living can involve unique legal issues because of homeowner associations. In addition to an owner’s mortgage, there are HOA fees to meet for support of common amenities such as trash hauling or grounds keeping and more.
While the perception of condo living may be that it is modern and posh, some complexes have been around for decades. And the longer a complex has been around, the greater the chances are that HOA demands will need to be increased to cover the rising cost of maintaining the aging infrastructure.
That reality, combined with slow economic recovery for many individuals, means many are unable to make their HOA or mortgage payments. Foreclosures and forfeitures follow. Add all that together and you get a scenario, as highlighted by The Washington Post recently, in which homeowners are evicted, resale values are so low that banks balk at completing foreclosures, and there are fewer potential buyers waiting in the wings.
Seeking the protections offered by bankruptcy may be something that a distressed condo owner might consider as a way to find relief. HOA fees, while not dischargeable under Chapter 7, might be eligible for discharge under Chapter 13. If protecting your home is a priority, you need to consult with a skilled attorney to be sure of your options.