Thursday, January 14, 2016

Can I Include My Homeowner's Association Fees in Bankruptcy?

In Minnesota, your homeowner's association fees are a lien against your property.  If you don't pay the fees, your homeowner's association can foreclose its lien against your property and you could lose your home.  If you are behind in your homeowner's association fees, you can use a Chapter 13 debt consolidation plan to force your homeowner's association to allow you to bring your payments current over an extended period of time. What if you want to surrender the property to the homeowner's association or your mortgage company?  As long as you are the owner of the home and the property has not been sold at foreclosure sale, you are personally liable for your homeowner's association dues. 

If you file bankruptcy, you can only include the homeowner's association fees that are due as of the date of the filing of your bankruptcy petition.  Therefore, if you don't pay homeowner's association fees that come due after your bankruptcy case is filed, the homeowner's association has the option of suing you for the fees that come due after the bankruptcy petition is filed with the court.  Even if you are no longer living in the property, you could be responsible for paying homeowner's association fees that come due after you file your bankruptcy case.   One way around this problem in a Chapter 13 case, is to file a debt consolidation plan that provides that the homeowner's association must accept a deed to the property or start foreclosure proceedings.  This approach was accepted by the court in the case of in re: Sharon D.M. Stewart, BKY: 14-40709-MER.

For more information regarding your specific situation, contact Minnesota Bankruptcy Attorney Gregory J. Wald at 952-921-5802 or at for a consultation.