Can HOA fees be discharged through bankruptcy? How? 14 Answers as of June 10, 2015

If my HOA has not accepted my payments, and I have been trying to fight their erroneous fees, then a lis Pendens was filed and they say I owe their attorney fees, when it was their attorneys and management company that has been stalling racking up charges and fees for me to pay if I am not behind on my mortgage, but my condo is worth way less than I owe, Can I file Bankruptcy and walk away from all this BS I have been through with the HOA since I moved it. This company is far from being on the up and up, and If I had money I would find a good attorney to fight them but I don't. My situation is a long story, but I guess my question is Can I file BK and if I can will the HOA fees be discharged? Thank you.

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Law Office of Marlin Branstetter
Law Office of Marlin Branstetter | Marlin Branstetter
HOA fees due up to the time of filing will be discharged. However, any fees that come due after filing are not discharged. You are responsible for the fees that come due after filing as long as the property is in your name.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/10/2015
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
Bankruptcy will release you from liability for the fees prior to filing, but not the fees accruing after you file. But a foreclosure will pay the HOA first and they will normally collect all of their fees anyway.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/10/2015
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
Yes, you can file bankruptcy walk away from the property and not be personally liable for the HOA dues. However, walking away from a property is a bad idea, after you file you should work out a deed-in-lieu or a short sale with the lender. Otherwise, the property will still be in your name and there are large potential liabilities to having a vacant property in your name.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 6/10/2015
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C.
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
Pay an experienced BK lawyer for one hour of their time. This area of the law is complicated. HOA's can be discharged, to an extent. Now is not the time to skimp. This could come back to bite you!
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 6/10/2015
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
The answer to this is yes..,, but you will owe post petition hoa fees. In some jurisdictions you can avoid post petition hoa fees when you move out.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/9/2015
    Garner Law Office
    Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
    Yes, HOA fees can be discharged in bankruptcy, but it's not quite as easy as walking away. Until you get the condo out of your name, you would continue to rack up HOA debt after filing for bankruptcy. So even though you could get the past dues discharged, future ones would not be discharged. You need to ask your mortgage holder to take your deed in lieu of foreclosure and time your bankruptcy filing to coincide with that. If you are underwater, however, the mortgage company won't want to take the property with the HOA lien, so you might have to file a motion in bankruptcy court to strip the HOA lien from your property before you can get out of the condo. It may be difficult to time all these things to avoid additional HOA dues after filing bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/9/2015
    Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
    Yes, your personal responsibility for the HOA charges may be discharged. Keep in mind that charges that occur AFTER filing will not be discharged. You should wait until the property is transferred to a third party so that all the charges are included.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/9/2015
    Charles Schneider, P.C.
    Charles Schneider, P.C. | Charles J. Schneider
    Yes they can for the amount you owe up until the date you file. If you remain owner of the residence after you file you owe the future dues. They will however remain a lien against the residence.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/9/2015
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    The law today is that if your mortgage is greater than the value of the property you can strip your personal liability on the property, but will deal with it when you sell the property. If you want to walk away you can at any time and file a chapter 7 if you qualify.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/9/2015
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    Generally, if the HOA fees are not a lien on the property, you should be able to discharge them in a bankruptcy. All the more so if you just want to be rid of the real estate and let the mortgage lender have it. But to be clear: you can discharge HOA fees which were due up to the date you filed the bankruptcy. But fees accrued after that date are not discharged: you will still owe them. First things first: find a skilled bankruptcy lawyer. It's almost always worth the investment.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 6/9/2015
    Wink & Wink
    Wink & Wink | Gigi Wink
    HOA fees would only be discharged if you were surrendering the property. If you want to keep the property, you need to pay the HOA.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/9/2015
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    Homeowners Association fees can be discharged in bankruptcy. HOWEVER: If the Homeowners Association has filed a lien on your property for the delinquent fees, a bankruptcy discharge eliminates your personal obligation to pay the delinquent amount, but the lien remains on the property and lien amount would have to be paid to remove the lien. FURTHER: All Homeowners Association fees which become due after the bankruptcy petition is filed will again be your personal obligation to pay as long as you are the title owner to the property.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/9/2015
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    HOA fees that pre date the petition can be discharged as to your personal liability. They can remain as a lien against the property. HOA fees after the petition is filed cannot be discharged.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/9/2015
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    Chapter 7 bankruptcy can discharge debts but it cannot, by itself, remove liens. An HOA lien under Nevada law is a very powerful instrument, and while the HOA cannot force you personally to pay the debt after a bankruptcy discharge, the HOA certainly can foreclose on the property.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/9/2015
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