How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 34732
Experience:  16 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
19958803
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
Barrister is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I bought a home in Ventura County, CA in 2005, right before

Customer Question

I bought a home in Ventura County, CA in 2005, right before the meltdown of the economy. I paid far more for it that it will ever be worth again. I had to take out a second mortgage just to pay for it. In 2012, I filed for bankruptcy, hoping that I could just do a chapter 9 and pay off my creditors, but lose the second mortgage. Long story short, I had to convert it to chapter 7, which meant my house would belong to the mortgage company. I called them, and even went in to see them with my bankruptcy attorney to see if there was any way I could keep my home. Both times they said no.
Since there was no way for me to recover anything from the home, I decided to just walk away from it. I got my dream job in another county, and left the house empty. Here's my problem: the house was in a community that had a "homeowner's association". I don't know what their function was, other than to collect money. There was no common area that needed to be maintained, like in a condominium complex. As far as I could see, all they did was meet once a month to complain about people in the neighborhood who were not present at the meeting. When I walked away from the house, I stopped paying the homeowner's association fee. My reasons were; 1. The house belonged to the bank, not to me; the bank had made that clear to me, and 2. I never knew what they did for me in the first place, and they certainly were of no use to me once I left. Yesterday I received a summons in the mail to appear in small claims court. They are suing me for about $1300 in unpaid fees.
Do I have a defense against them, or must I just pay up? If there is some way I can fight this, I don't mind going to Ventura for the day, but if it's futile, I'll just stay home.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

.

Did you include the HOA as a creditor in your BK filing?

.

Do you know when the house was actually foreclosed on and sold?

.

.

thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They were named, but the fees accrued after the bankrupcy was final. I believe it was forclosed in Feb.'15 and sold in April.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Ok, then to be honest, you are probably stuck here. The debt that accrued for the fees up to the discharge of the bankruptcy would be extinguished, but then they start again after that as long as you are the legal owner of the house.

.

That continues up until an actual foreclosure sale occurs so as to transfer ownership out of your name.

.

Unfortunately, HOA fees are a lien against the house as well as a personal debt of the homeowner. So they can legally come after you personally for any delinquent fees that accrued after the discharge of the BK up until the time the house was actually sold at foreclosure sale..

.

.

thanks

Barrister