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Some Homeowners Hit Hard by the Economy Skip on Association Fees
06/12/09 5:43 pm | reporter: Renee Williams producer: Deidra Dunn
Keeping current with your mortgage may not be enough to stay out of foreclosure.
Some homeowners that have been hit hard by the economy are not paying their association fees and are finding themselves out in the cold.
Mount Pleasant, SC – Keeping current with your mortgage may not be enough to stay out of foreclosure. Some homeowners that have been hit hard by the economy are not paying their association fees and are finding themselves out in the cold. This trend began even before the economy took a dive and now homeowners associations are struggling and forced to take drastic action.
“The association bill is often the last thing people pay so we started seeing the trend get worse and worse over the past three years,” Steve Peck, President of the Community Management Group explained.
Homeowner association fees or regime fees can cost you thousands of dollars a year. They help pay for amenities, maintenance and homeowners insurance.
“If people don’t pay, of course the homeowners associations go broke,” Peck added.
The number of delinquencies range from 2% to 20% in the Lowcountry depending on the neighborhood. Homeowners associations are not the only ones feeling the pain.
“Southampton Pointe’s Association can realistically foreclose on a property and own it because you haven’t paid your fees,” Denise Paglio, President of Southampton Pointe’s Homeowner’s Association says.
Foreclosures are not only negative for homeowners, but also for neighborhoods.
“It brings my property values down,” Paglio added. “I live here. I own here. I don’t want to see my neighbors thrown out, but I don’t want to end up owning a piece of property other than my own.”
Homeowners are now caught in a difficult spot with some choosing between paying a mortgage and paying the homeowner’s fees.
Most associations are willing to work with homeowners. They can set homeowners up on a budget and payment plan before it is too late.
Also, if a few homeowners are not paying up associations often charge others in the neighborhood more to make up the difference.