Now It’s the Big Banks That Are Getting Foreclosed On

Call it a case of man bites dog. Since the start of the housing crash, millions of Americans have lost their homes to foreclosure. Many of them lived in homeowner or condo associations.

These are organizations that collect monthly dues to pay for amenities, like added security, maintenance and recreational areas; one in five Americans currently lives in an association-governed community.

These associations have been hit hard by the housing crisis, as many delinquent borrowers stopped paying their monthly HOA dues. In some cases, HOA’s, which do have the authority in many states, managed to foreclose on properties even before the banks, by using the back dues as liens.

Now the homeowner associations are taking it one step further. They are going after the banks, claiming that several of the largest lenders are not paying monthly HOA/condo fees on homes they’ve repossessed and now hold as bank-owned properties (Real Estate Owned, or commonly called REO’s).

“The association has both a statutory right under the Florida laws as well as rights under its restrictive covenant in the community, and it pursues those rights just like any other owner,” says attorney Ben Solomon of Florida’s Association Law Center. “ In this legal scenario JP Morgan is no different than any other homeowner in the community who has failed to pay.”

Solomon is representing Homestead Florida’s Keys Gate Community Association, which claims JP Morgan owes two years of back dues worth over $19,000 on a foreclosed home. It is one of dozens of foreclosure suits against several of the nation’s largest lenders by homeowner and condo associations claiming back dues.

“I pay my dues, other people pay their dues, I just feel that JP Morgan should have paid theirs,” says Don Gonzalez, a homeowner in the Keys Gate Community.

Gonzalez says the foreclosure crisis has hit his neighborhood hard. The association can no longer pay for a full time security guard, an amenity that drew Gonzalez to the community in the first place.

Read the rest of CNBC Real Estate Reporter, Diana Olick’s, article HERE


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Jennifer Ferri, Owner

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