Homeowner may lose home to delinquent HOA fees

Article and Video Courtesy of Channel 12 Action News

By Ken Amaro

Published November 21, 2012

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Since the economic downturn, homeowners have had to choose between paying their HOA fees and meeting their everyday needs.

"We have seen a significant increase in HOA delinquencies," said Attorney Fred Elefant.

David Kordek is one of the statistics.

"My biggest fear is being without a home," said Kordek.

Kordek is trying to hold on to his East Arlington Home. Recently he had his mortgage modified but now he's facing another hurdle -- a foreclosure for late HOA fees.

"It is very stressful on my wife and I," said Kordek. "I

contacted the homeowners association as soon as we were granted the home mortgage modification after fighting with that for three-and-a-half years."

Kordek is behind on his HOA fees. The past due amount is approximately $1,400 including late penalties, and attorney fees.

"People don't care about people anymore. Everything is just about money and that's it," he said.

Kordek lost his job in 2009. Real estate attorney Elefant said that's when they saw a significant increase in property owners falling on HOA fees. Kordek said he had no choice.

"We had three years of not nice holidays with no money. We're going to have a fourth, but on the bright side, I have a job," he said

Kordek said his wife is battling liver cancer and that has added to his already stressful situation.

"When you compute all our bills, all we have is $301.76 left over," said Kordek.

Under Florida statute, an HOA can foreclose on his home to collect the past due fees.

Kordek finds it hard to believe that he could lose the 17 years he has invested into his home for past due HOA fees that amount to about $1,400.

The reality is he can, and now he feels the grip on his home slipping.

"Its like a roller coaster ride," said Kordek, "You fight and fight and then you find way to clear a hurdle. Then you think you're going to move forward and then another hurdle and then you're looking at 'how do I deal with this?'"

Your home is normally exempted from such claims, except for your bank and your HOA. 

Attorney Elefant said a property owner can seek bankruptcy protection or appeal to the HOA.

Charlene Thompson is with Kordek's HOA and said they will discuss his case at the December meeting. Thompson said the decision to move forward with a foreclosure or to work out an agreement will be made by the HOA board of directors.