Huge problem in Jacksonville, FL

Hi - I’m new to this board but it looks like a great resource.

Just wanted to see if anyone else has had a problem like this. My sister and I have invested in real estate over the years. She owned a home in Jacksonville, Fl, and left the area, so she rented it out.

She used a property management company since she no longer lived in town. Things went well for 4 or 5 years, the PM co handled everything, but then she decided to sell the house. She listed with a different real estate agent who then arranged for some work to be done on the house (paint, carpet, etc) and put a ‘For Sale’ sign in the yard (with all his contact info).

A few months later, the realtor called and said “Your house was just foreclosed - and sold on the courthouse steps - due to non payment of HOA dues !”

Now she is has a huge mess on her hands !

She owed 90k on the property and it would easily sell for 240k - so there’s 150k equity at stake.

The ‘buyer’ tried to pay off her mortgage but her bank wouldn’t take it. And… it seems that the buyer is an acquaintance of the attorney who represents the HOA !! Isn’t that interesting ??

The HOA claims to have tried to contact her - well, she’s had PM and realtor signs in the yard for months - so that doesn’t make sense. Plus they had her address !

We researched the ‘buyer’ at the courthouse and he has hundreds of similar transactions on record !

What is the deal ?

Can HOAs actually foreclose on your house for $700 worth of dues ?? That just seems crazy !

I could understand if they were allowed to file a lien but TAKE the house !

Well, if you’re an absentee owner of property in Florida - BEWARE ! Make darn sure you pay the HOA fees.


Reality is, they can take your home for $1 if it’s unpaid…it is stated in your documents that all homeowners must pay there HOA fees and assessments.
Now the questions that will become important are:

Who is responsible for paying the HOA fee, is it the owner or the PM company?? How was this fee being handled??

Did the HOA have the owners out of state address on file???generally they will since you still have to retain all voting rights and they need to contact you about all issues arising that can lead to assessments or elections for new board of directors,etc…

The buyer knowing the board of directors can just be concidence in many ways. Yes the board can foreclosure on the home, after all they went to court and a judge signed the judgement for foreclosure.

I would contact a local attorney that deals in real estate law immediately for legal advice. If you can prove that the board has your alternative address then you probably have a strong case for wrong doing… Also a lawsuit againt the PM maybe possible, especially if they were i charge of collecting rents and paying the HOA fees for you. However, who paid the mortgage??Also you may want to contact the State of Florida in Tally and find out what legal options you have, it sounds like some fraud has been committed…