CHARLOTTE — Many homeowners have found out the hard way that homeowners associations can put a lien on their home, or even take their property.
Charlie Cromartie of northeast Charlotte is one of those people.
She says she’s in hot water with her HOA after a dispute over paperwork and racking up fees for dues and weeds plus other fines (that she says is $100 per day).
She told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke her HOA put a lien on her property, and she now owes more than $4,700 that must be paid by July 26 or the HOA may foreclose on her house.
When asked what she would do if she lost her home, she said, “I don’t know. I haven’t even thought about that.”
North Carolina Rep. Ya Liu of Wake County is one of the sponsors of a bill to make it harder for HOAs to start foreclosure proceedings.
If it becomes law, HOAs could only start foreclosure proceedings against your property if you owed more than $2,500 or racked up 12 months of fees, whichever were to come first. In addition, the HOA couldn’t just notify you by mail, like now. It would also have to email and call you first.
“Homeowners work so hard to own a home, the biggest purchase of their life, and now, just for a few hundred dollars in HOA dues, you are taking that American dream away from them,” Liu said.
The bill passed the House and is working its way through the Senate.
To be fair, HOAs can help protect property values and they’ll tell you they need teeth to enforce the rules. In most cases Action 9 comes across, they give repeated warnings before taking legal action. Stoogenke says it’s important to know your HOA bylaws and if you get a warning, don’t ignore it.
(VIDEO: Residents complain about towing company HOA, apartment complex hired)
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