Altamonte Springs, FL asked in Real Estate Law, Arbitration / Mediation Law and Collections for Florida

Q: Hello I was sick with COVID and fell behind on HOA assessments and dues. HOA had now referred me to their attorney.

3 Lawyer Answers
Jane Kim
Jane Kim PRO label
  • Naples, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: HOA rules attach legal fees. Unless that lawyer feels bad for you, you'll be expected to pay the past due amount plus legal fees. Sorry.

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: You didn't ask a question. The attorney will want you to pay the past due assessments and their attorneys fees so they don't file suit to foreclose the lien on your property. You can have your house sold underneath you if you don't get this taken care of. If you try to make a deal with the HOA directly, they will probably not deal with you because they have referred the matter to the attorney, so figure out what you can afford each month and make an offer. When you are in this pickle, "what you can afford" doesn't mean what you have left over after everything else is paid. It means that you pay the mortgage, then your car insurance, and then the HOA. After that you can think about food and the cable bill. (I don't intend to sound mean, but that's the way it is. you don't want to lose the house.)

A: I am not sure what your question is since you did not ask one but assuming it is "can they do this?" the answer is, unfortunately, yes. There was no moratorium on HOA assessments. You should settle the amount in the demand letter as soon as possible because you are risk of losing your home. The only argument you may have is if you did not receive a Notice of Late Assessments 30 days before your account was turned over to the attorney. This was a new law that went into effect July 1, 2021.

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