Florida Walker - August 2013 - Need advice on Condo HOA fees

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FLenny

Junior Member
Aug 9, 2013
9
0
1
I am new to the Forum, although I have been following the February 2013 Walkers Forum and Michigan 2013 Walkers for over a month now. The information is invaluable and I am so appreciative of everyone who has shared their experience. I feel like I know each of them.


I live in Florida – in 2000, I was 33yrs old, I purchased a 549 sq.ft 1br/bth, 2nd floor condo for$23k, I financed $20k on a conventional mortgage with the Huntington Bank. The HOA dues were $110 mo. When the housing bubble was underway, my little condo's value skyrocketed to $55k. I needed money, my job paid $1,004 a month. I refinanced the 549 sq.ft.Condo, the refi mortgage of $50k paid the Huntington mortgage balance $11,700 paid credit card debt and I invested in remodeling the condo,plus I put some cash in the bank. I have made many improvements,remodeled bath, tiled, mirrored walls, new frig.


Today at age 46, the condo's in thisbuilding are selling for $25k. HOA dues are $190.00 month. I amdriving a 2003 Honda CRV with over 200,000 thousand miles, and livingpay check to pay check.


I am 8 yrs older now and much wiser. Today, I look at the mortgage document and I realize I was a victim and that I was duped into a predatory loan by Fremont Investment & Loan. The mortgage is an ARM with 6.75 % - 12.75% -First 5 Yrs, payments interest only. I guess Wells Fargo holds the mortgage now, and ASC services the mortgage. Balance is $47k, I realize I will never get out of this one br/bth condo. I was so dumb and trusting, I wish I had consulted with someone for advice.I didn't recognize the refi- fees were bogus and predatory $4,445. I didn't notice the the asterisks on the Federal Truth In Lending Disclosure Statement that said *”First 60 Payments are Interest Only”.


I have contacted ASC several times in the past year and requested help with a modification of the ARM to a Fixed. Always say they will call me back, but never do. I have joined the Walkers Club, I missed my first payment. I am not interested in a Short Sale or Loan Modification. I want a speedy Foreclosure. I am not worried about my credit taking a hit – I am renting a home my parents own.


I am extremely nervous, I have never missed a payment or been late. I would appreciate some advice. Through reading others advice I gather I need to continue to pay the hazard insurance, but not the property taxes. Never answer the phone or respond to emails or mail. I closed my WF account and I have a post office box for my mail.

Question: Should I continue to pay the HOA dues of $190 month that cover the water, garbage and maintenance? I really can't afford to.

Question: Would it be wise to send pictures and keys and a letter to WF stating that I do not plan to make any future mortgage payments? (I took pictures of my improvements. I am considering writing a letter to WF and sending the photos with the keys and and a letter stating the property is vacant and the deed is theirs. Maybe they can sale the condo for $47k, because I can't.
 
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TomEason

LoanSafe Guide
Jun 18, 2009
12,390
85
48
SF Bay Area CA
Flenny

Welcome to the community. I recommend you forget about sending a letter or pictures to WF. I recommend you immediately rent the condo out. Since you'd no longer be paying WF, you'll realize immediate positive cash flow rental income, and will continue to enjoy that recurring rental revenue for many many months until WF finally gets around to FCing. FWIW, that's what I'd do. Good luck.
 

FLenny

Junior Member
Aug 9, 2013
9
0
1
Hi, thank you for your reply and for your advice and for the Good Luck :) I won't send photos, keys or a letter to WF. I had considered renting the condo, paying the HOA dues and pocketing the cash that would go to WF. I thought I might be able to overcome the guilt I might suffer for doing that, but I was concerned how this may effect a renter when the FC happened. I wouldn't want anyone to get caught in a bad situation and have to move out. Most of the condo's are rentals, owners don't live in them. Do you think if the condo is occupied with a renter, when it goes to sheriff's auction that would be considered a plus? I am considering doing exactly as you have advised. Thanks again for your help.
 

TomEason

LoanSafe Guide
Jun 18, 2009
12,390
85
48
SF Bay Area CA
Hi Flenny

Hi, thank you for your reply and for your advice and for the Good Luck :) I won't send photos, keys or a letter to WF. I had considered renting the condo, paying the HOA dues and pocketing the cash that would go to WF. I thought I might be able to overcome the guilt I might suffer for doing that, but I was concerned how this may effect a renter when the FC happened. I wouldn't want anyone to get caught in a bad situation and have to move out. Most of the condo's are rentals, owners don't live in them. Do you think if the condo is occupied with a renter, when it goes to sheriff's auction that would be considered a plus? I am considering doing exactly as you have advised. Thanks again for your help.
Thanks for your post. I wouldn't worry about the renter. FC is likely a long way off. Furthermore, tenants are protected by the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of May 2009. It's a federal law that allows a renter to remain in the property for as long as 90 days from the date fo foreclosure. And potentially much longer, depending on the circustances. Furthermore, tenants often benefit fiancially when a property FCs ; the new owner is often remiss in collecting some rent. Renters usually fare much better than do owners. Hence I recommend you not worry about the renters; they'll be just fine.
 

FLenny

Junior Member
Aug 9, 2013
9
0
1
Thanks for your post. I wouldn't worry about the renter. FC is likely a long way off. Furthermore, tenants are protected by the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of May 2009. It's a federal law that allows a renter to remain in the property for as long as 90 days from the date fo foreclosure. And potentially much longer, depending on the circustances. Furthermore, tenants often benefit fiancially when a property FCs ; the new owner is often remiss in collecting some rent. Renters usually fare much better than do owners. Hence I recommend you not worry about the renters; they'll be just fine.
Hi Tom, I took your advice and rented the condo to a nice couple. I continued to pay the HOA fees because the water, cable and sanitation are part of the services included in the HOA fee. Yesterday, my tennant gave me a court document that was delivered to them. Then when I got home there was a card in my door that was from a Process Server that asked me to contact him that he has important papers for me. I assume it is the same documents that were given to the tennant for me, but the process server needs my signature to prove I was served. Should I call the Process Server and arrange to receive the documents? I would like to scan and send you a copy of the documents as they are difficult to explain. Basically it appears the Plaintiff (WF) has covered all their bases. The attorney they have hired has named my tenants, my HOA, my ex-husband, as subordinate and inferior to the right, title, interest and lien of Plaintiff's mortgage. This has happened a little sooner than I anticipated. Your advice will be very much appreciated. I am a bit nervous.
 

buchanovich

LoanSafe Member
Oct 9, 2013
149
21
18
57
New Jersey
First step is you need to contact a foreclosure defense attorney. That there is a service pending means a clock is ticking. That service could be for either the promissory note side of the mortgage or the foreclosure. If it is the foreclosure, WF can serve by publication if they cannot serve you. Or, they can just tape the service to the door. I almost suspect it is for the note but we can't be sure. In FL, the tenant is NOT a valid recipient for a service; luckily for you the process server knows this and is acting properly at this point - some are sleazes. Pay the HOA fees as the HOA can institute foreclosure on its own.

The attorney will analyze your situation for the various defenses, including improper loan procedures and other violations of law and use them in a defense. Now, something you fear will take place in a month will wind up taking a year, giving you time to make arrangements. Get to that ASAP!!! You have a 20 day clock if it is the foreclosure and the new laws let them move it very quickly if you do not respond; the same law requires them to produce proper documents.

Attorneys vary between $1,500 up front, with about $200/month, to $3,500. flat rate. Just have to look around - "foreclosure defense <your county>" on google.

Good luck. I want you to see an attorney this week!
 

FLenny

Junior Member
Aug 9, 2013
9
0
1
First step is you need to contact a foreclosure defense attorney. That there is a service pending means a clock is ticking. That service could be for either the promissory note side of the mortgage or the foreclosure. If it is the foreclosure, WF can serve by publication if they cannot serve you. Or, they can just tape the service to the door. I almost suspect it is for the note but we can't be sure. In FL, the tenant is NOT a valid recipient for a service; luckily for you the process server knows this and is acting properly at this point - some are sleazes. Pay the HOA fees as the HOA can institute foreclosure on its own.

The attorney will analyze your situation for the various defenses, including improper loan procedures and other violations of law and use them in a defense. Now, something you fear will take place in a month will wind up taking a year, giving you time to make arrangements. Get to that ASAP!!! You have a 20 day clock if it is the foreclosure and the new laws let them move it very quickly if you do not respond; the same law requires them to produce proper documents.

Attorneys vary between $1,500 up front, with about $200/month, to $3,500. flat rate. Just have to look around - "foreclosure defense <your county>" on google.

Good luck. I want you to see an attorney this week!
Hi, thank you for your reply. Question: What happens if I don't hire an attorney? I want them to foreclose on the condo. If they come after me for a deficiency I will declare bankruptcy. I have read on this site that many walkers chose this route? Is this totally a bad idea? I will contact an attorney but I don't think I can afford to hire an attorney. Thanks
 

TomEason

LoanSafe Guide
Jun 18, 2009
12,390
85
48
SF Bay Area CA
Hi Flenny

Thanks for your post.

I strongly recommend you NOT contact the process server. I recommend you evade service of process for as long as possible. While it's true that service, per buchanovich's post, can be made by publication, that process takes more than a month to effect service.

You are not technically sued until you're served. If you do get served, be sure to file an answer to the complaint to prevent WF from taking a default judgment. You don't need a lawyer; you can do this in Pro Se. Your answer can be as simple as a General Denial (easy to do).
 
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FLenny

Junior Member
Aug 9, 2013
9
0
1
Hi Flenny

Thanks for your post.

I strongly recommend you NOT contact the process server. I recommend you evade service of process for as long as possible. While it's true that service, per buchanovich's post, can be made by publication, that process takes more than a month to effect service.

You are not technically sued until you're served. If you do get served, be sure to file an answer to the complaint to prevent WF from taking a default judgment. You don't need a lawer; you can do this in Pro Se. Your answer can be as simple as a General Denial (easy to do).
Hi Tom, thank you for your reply. The Process Server knocked on my door at 7:00 pm last night after I got home from work. He located me through the secretary at the Condo HOA. I had been using a p.o. box for mail, but she had the address of where I am living. The clock started ticking yesterday. I have found some instructions online in how to answer a summons and foreclosure complaint pro se. I will take your advice and file a simple General Denial.

One question I have is should my Tenant respond to the copy of the summons they received? I hope that my pro se response to the court will will be sufficient and not require involvement of the hoa or tenant.

The complaint is quite lengthy "Plaintiff, HSBC Bank USA, National Association, as Trustee for ACE Securities Corp. Home Equity Loan Trust, Series 2005-HES, Asset Backed Pass-Through Certificates, sues Defendants, names me, my ex, the hoa, my tenants; Wells Fargo Bank, National Association, successor in interest in Wachovia Bank, National Association; Any and all Unknown, Parties Claiming By, Through, Under, and Against the Herein Named Individual Defendant(s) Who Are Not Known to be Dead or Alive, Whether Said Unknown Parties May Claim an Interest as Spouses, Heirs, Devisees, Grantees or Other Claimants; Tenant #1 and #2, the names being fictitious to account for parties in possession, and alleges:" Note: They don't even mention the Fremont Investment & Loan, who was the original mortgage company that refinanced the condo.

Thanks again for your much needed help and advice.