The economy is getting brighter, but we aren’t out of the dark hole yet. While we may be seeing some light at the end of the tunnel, it will still take some time for community associations to recover. Homeowners associations are not immune in this recession.
A homeowners association has the legal right to foreclose on a home, but can only take back ownership of the property when a unit owner is delinquent on any fees or special assessments. To initiate an HOA foreclosure in California, the overdue amount must exceed $1,800 or the delinquency must be at least 12 months old.
When banks take over these properties, they usually don’t realize they need to pay the regular assessment. With the depth of the foreclosure crisis and their own financial problems, banks are struggling to keep up too.
Sadly, some homes have been abandoned because they were foreclosed on. It’s hard not to complain about a nearby property looking downtrodden. We all want to come home to a community we can be proud of. It’s also important to homeowners that the property value is maintained in the community. If the house next door is abandoned or not being kept up, offer to help. Be sure to check with the homeowners association management first if you want to clean up an abandoned property. The property may belong to the bank, the Association or the financially-strapped owner. If no one is given notice that volunteers are coming to maintain a property, trespassing charges can be filed which is not exactly a nice return on generosity.
While the homeowners association itself may be responsible for some aspects, if given approval to access a property, there are simple things volunteers can do to improve the look. When the trash is cleaned up, the yard is watered and mowed and the newspapers, door hangers and phone books are picked up off the porch, the home is less inviting to thieves and looks better. Not only are you helping to keep the community looking nice, but doing what you can to keep it safer too.
Having unity in the homeowners association community has never been more important than in times like these. Thankfully, as neighbors, we have one another. Don’t get angry, get helpful.
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