Am I responsible for a foreclosure property after filing bankruptcy? 14 Answers as of June 08, 2011

I filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy in 8/09 & received my discharge in 01/10. In my BK I surrendered a rental property. The lender still has not foreclosed but took possession of the home & changed the locks. Now the HOA are coming after me because the yard is in disrepair. I have no money to fix the problem. And how can this be my responsibility, when the lender took possession?

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Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
There are special provisions in the bankruptcy code to protect HOA's. You are liable for post-bankruptcy fees until the property is foreclosed. Notify the lender that you are willing to give them a deed in lieu of foreclosure. Also, notify the police department that the lender is trashing the property after they have changed the locks and taken physical possession.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/8/2011
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
The property, including the HOA fees and fines, is your responsibility until the deed transfers.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 6/7/2011
Jackson White, PC
Jackson White, PC | Spencer Hale
Unfortunately, the HOA collects from the owner of record. Since the house has not been sold, it is still in your name.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 6/7/2011
Greifendorff Law Offices, PC
Greifendorff Law Offices, PC | Christine Wilton
You need to request that the lender actually foreclose. You are responsible until title to the property is transferred out of your name. Tell the HOA that you are "locked" out of the property and no longer physically possess the premises. Unfortunately, not much help in this issue.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/7/2011
Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law
Daniel Hoarfrost, Attorney at Law | Daniel Hoarfrost
You shouldn't be responsible for HOA charges. Since your name still remains on the title, they will look to you for payment. All you can do is make sure they are aware of the bankruptcy and refer them to the lender who has taken possession and control.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
    Unfortunately, the statute makes it your responsibility "for as long as the debtor or the trustee has a legal, equitable, or possessory ownership interest" in the property. This is hard-ball playing by the lender in that you can't get into the house, but you do still have the right to sell it, and it is still your possession. Therefore, HOA fees are your responsibility. You might ask the HOA if they'd like to foreclose. That would at least take it out of your hands. (I doubt they'd accept, though.)
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    Unfortunately, this is a fairly typical situation. Although you surrendered the home it is still in your name until the bank forecloses and takes it back. The question would be how are they coming after you? Are they suing you? Or are they sending you citations, letters etc. The hoa can go after the owner of a home that allows it to fall into a state of disrepair so as to violate the rules or CCRs. If you dont have the money to fix it then potentially the bank will need to abate the problem once they foreclose.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Rosenberg & Press
    Rosenberg & Press | Max L. Rosenberg
    In a bankruptcy, when you surrender your real property, you are no longer responsible for the deficiency of the debt on the property, however you are still held responsible for continuing debts that accrue after filing, such as electricity, water and other taxes. In order to avoid any excess new debt from a property you surrender it is advisable for you to deed over the property to the bank in either a deed in lieu, short sale, or quit claim type deal. Thanks for tuning in.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Well, you have a point to be made if the lender took possession. I don't know how they did that without foreclosing. What could have happened is that they did foreclose.....but never recorded the foreclosure deed. So it appears from the title records that you are still the owner. You need to see a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Burnham & Associates
    Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
    If the Lender failed to foreclose, and the deed remains in your name, you can be held responsible for Home Owners Association fees due after you filed Bankruptcy. You should consider filing a Deed in Lieu of foreclosure transferring the property to the Lender.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Apple Law Firm PLLC
    Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
    You should review this with your bankruptcy lawyer. It might depend on how you listed the HOA in the bankruptcy and when the debts are from.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
    You are not liable to HOA. Go back to your chapter 7 lawyer and get him to write a letter to them to get them to stop.
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed
    Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed | Robert Weed
    The Association just looks at the deed and you are still the owner. That's why I tell people don't move out! Or if you move out, rent it! Depending on your state law, you may be able to go after the mortgage company for locking you out of your house, and try to make them pay you. They will argue, that you moved out and they had to change the locks to prevent it from being vandalized. Hard to say whether you would win on that.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    It sounds like you may have made the horrible mistake of a bankruptcy without counsel, as your counsel would have answered you. Until title changes, via a foreclosure, deed in lieu or other device, YOU remain responsible for the taxes, HOA fees and maintenance. You can, for example, be fined or even jailed by the local government for high grass, etc. It is possible that your lender made a misstep in changing the locks before getting title. This is a web that you need your lawyer to untangle, if you have one. If you don't, consult with one to see what he can come up with.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/7/2011
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