Real Estate Law
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Unfortunately, HOAs are entitled to full payment of all Association dues, late fees, and interest. They have no duty, obligation, or requirement to accept partial payments, installment payments, or any payment arrangement other than a complete upfront or "lump sum" payment of dues.
That being said, there are some other factors that may play into your situation that may assist you.
First - has the Association actually filed suit and received a judgment?
no but the lawyer is getting to file suit
Once the HOA has a judgment against you it will be able to pursue foreclosure and its other judicial remedies. However, the fact that it is still in the pre-litigation phase means that you might still have an opportunity to negotiate a reduced settlement based on the fact that the HOA will have to "front" litigation costs.
HOAs still like to receive "lump sum" amounts, if you can "beg, steal, or borrow" money to come up with a lump sum, that is usually how these matters settle, even if it is not the full value.
You can also request mediation with a third party neutral, usually an HOA attorney who understands these matters. This type of mediation can include discussions of the cost of litigation for the HOA, the cost of holding a property (most HOAs do not want to hold onto property), and the cost of foreclosing if they have to (it is high).
the problem is I cant come up with the full amount right now
I understand that this is tough, but the best I can offer is that a loan, borrowing from a bank, a friend, or family member, may be the best option in these cases. (I can't really give you legal advice), but coming up with cash is the quickest way to make these go away. I would recommend as a procedural matter though, that you do ask for mediation and see if you can come up with a resolution that way. The HOA will most likely be interested in a low cost pre-litigation resolution.
One other suggestion would be to offer to enter into a "stipulated judgment" in some cases with individuals in your situation (elderly and without assets), the debtor simply enters into a judgment, and the HOA agrees not to foreclose on the property until the debtor is deceased or exits the property (you would need to come up with the terms). Again this is another type of resolution that you will need to discuss. I would recommend at least a quick consultation (an hour or so) with a local litigation attorney before you enter into a settlement like this.
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