If there’s any good that has come from the case in Lexington, Kentucky where a woman lost her home over unpaid homeowners’ association dues, it’s this: according to a local attorney who represents HOAs, a lot of people heard about the case and hurried to pay their back dues.
The woman whose house was foreclosed on and sold out from under her, though, is still out of luck for now. A member of the city council is taking up her case, looking into it because the homeowner’s association never tried to contact the woman in person. Piles of letters, certified and otherwise, arrived on her doorstep, but she wasn’t home to open them. What one member of the city council doesn’t understand is how the HOA can foreclose on someone without exchanging words with them.
True, the woman was rarely home, but the house was full of furniture, the landscaping maintained, and there was a car in the driveway. Yes, HOAs can foreclose on vacant homes, but no one talked to the woman’s neighbors to learn that the house wasn’t actually vacant.
In the HOA’s defense, though, they didn’t take real legal action until six years went by with no response whatsoever from the homeowner.
It’s not unusual for foreclosure proceedings to include homeowner’s association dues. What is unusual for the HOA to be the only entity that wants money from the homeowner: usually the bank that holds the mortgage is in line, too.