How to Settle Overdue Fees in Texas?

Question:

As you know, many of us property owners in the US have had financial difficulties resulting from the pandemic the past 2 years. While I am normally very healthy, I did experience 7 health issues that occurred all within 6 7 months earlier this year – very serious tooth abscess/infection; breast cancer (surgery and 21 episodes of radiation treatment); mini stroke; peripheral neuropathy; fell and my leg/ankle got twisted; macular degeneration with periodic injections to my eye. All of this occurred within 6-7 months and resulted in a change in personality.
Additionally, my house is financed with a reverse mortgage that pays for my taxes and insurance and as a result of the above health issues I got confused as to whether it also paid for my HOA annual fees. I would not normally request this, butis there some way I can get the HOA and law firm to back off a bit? The HOA fee is over $800 which is a lot after paying for all of my medical issues and having to cut back on my work load. How can I best handle this? It’s more money than I have in my bank account and will take a while to be able to access the funds. How can I best handle this? The law firm will not accept a credit card payment and is requiring that I go directly into their office to pay. I am concerned that the amount will change during the interim.

– Tommie

 

Answer:

Hi Tommie,

I’m sorry to hear about your health struggles these past two years. You can try entering a payment plan with your HOA to settle your overdue fees.

According to the Texas Property Code Section 209.0062, “A property owners’ association composed of more than 14 lots shall adopt reasonable guidelines to establish an alternative payment schedule by which an owner may make partial payments to the property owners’ association for delinquent regular or special assessments or any other amount owed to the association without accruing additional monetary penalties. For purposes of this section, monetary penalties do not include reasonable costs associated with administering the payment plan or interest.”

As such, if your HOA consists of 15 lots or more, it must allow you to make payments based on a payment plan. The payment plan must be at least 3 months.

There are exceptions, though, under subsection (c). It says, “A property owners’ association is not required to allow a payment plan for any amount that extends more than 18 months from the date of the owner’s request for a payment plan. The association is not required to enter into a payment plan with an owner who failed to honor the terms of a previous payment plan during the two years following the owner’s default under the previous payment plan. The association is not required to make a payment plan available to an owner after the period for cure described by Section 209.0064(b)(3) expires. The association is not required to allow an owner to enter into a payment plan more than once in any 12-month period.”

Disclaimer: We are not lawyers. The information provided on this website does not constitute legal advice.

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