By Jessica Boehm and Catherine Reagor | The Republic
Homeowners associations, the enforcers of neighborhood paint colors, holiday decorations and trash bins, are leading the latest surge in Phoenix-area foreclosures.
HOAs are foreclosing on a record number of homeowners for as little as $1,200 in missed maintenance payments, according to an Arizona Republic investigation. And homeowners who thought only their mortgage lender could seize property are losing their houses at sheriff’s auctions, sometimes for just $100 more than they owe.
“It’s become a huge issue,” Arizona Real Estate Commissioner Judy Lowe said. “Most homeowners don’t understand the foreclosure process and don’t know their HOA can foreclose.”
“HOA’s have solid legal ground in Arizona to regulate their adopted standards. When you move into a HOA you really need to understand the rules have accepted and be ready to pay the dues. That said, there are some protections for homeowners but every ccase is different”