A recent report entitled, "Florida Homeowners Foreclose On Deadbeat Banks", provides an interesting and unusual commentary on one effect of the on-going "soft" real estate market, especially for an "REO" property which the lender is unable to sell or rent. REOs (Real Estate Owned) include homes foreclosed by a lender which the lender still owns. Lenders at a foreclosure sale with "no bid" and "no buyer" become the new owner of the property by a process known as a "credit bid". As the new owner, the lender becomes liable to local and county governments for taxes or for maintenance or to a Homeowners Association (HOA) for fees and for assessments. According to the report, after a request for payment was made by the HOA, when the lender failed to "pony up" the money, the HOA filed liens against the lender and filed for foreclosure to collect the money---a reversal of the usual process where the lender files for foreclosure to collect on a loan.

In Georgia, we have the Georgia Property Owners Association Act which provides for an automatic statutory lien for the collection of any fee or assessment, late fee, and interest and attorney's fees from property owners subject to the HOA. The Georgia Condominium Act also provides for a lien against a property owner of a condominium for similar charges. So, how this may play out in Georgia is yet unknown. Stay tuned for any further developments.

Posted in Foreclosure

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