PHOENIX - Homeowners' associations in Arizona are largely unregulated with seemingly limitless power.
Now State Sen. John Kavanaugh (R-Fountain Hills) is proposing a law would make it even easier for them to take your home.
Senate Bill 1080 would give six months to bring an account current before foreclosure proceedings could begin. Right now HOAs have to wait one year or until the assessments have reached $1200.
The bill is a good reminder of how much power HOAs have over your home. So what can you do to keep it from happening to you?
If it's at all possible..pay your assessments on time
HOA bills aren't like other bills. Miss a payment, and within months the amount will spiral out of control thanks to attorney fees. And good luck making a payment plan. One of our biggest HOA complaints is that many don't allow for partial payment to help you catch up.
Don't ignore notices
Every late notice you get will likely come from lawyers who tack their fee on to your bill. Often HOAs will stop communicating with you, forcing you to correspond with the lawyers. You will likely be charged every single time you do.
Don't expect them to play fair
Get a full ledger of everything thing you owe in writing.
Even if they reject your payment, continue to attempt to pay and document that. You may need it if you end up in court.
This bill could affect anyone who misses a payment, but it is not law yet.
If you want to stop that from happening, lawmakers need to know. You can find out how to contact your legislators here.