Question: I fell behind in my monthly dues and the homeowners' association (HOA) foreclosed on my home. Is there any way for me to get my home back?
Answer: Possibly yes. If your state provides a right of redemption after the foreclosure sale, you can repurchase the property. However, you'll need to act promptly because the timeframe to do so will be limited.
If you live in a planned, covenanted community, most likely you will be required be part of and pay monthly dues and assessments to a homeowners’ association (HOA). If you fall behind in those dues and assessments, the HOA can get a lien on your home, which could lead to a foreclosure. (Learn more about homeowners’ association liens and how they can be foreclosed in Nolo’s article HOA Liens & Foreclosures: An Overview.)
In most cases, it is better to take action to catch up on the past-due amounts before the foreclosure is completed because you have more options to save the property. For example, you could pay off the past-due amounts in a lump sum or enter into a payment plan with the HOA to get caught up. (Learn more about possible options to catch up and avoid a foreclosure if you are delinquent in HOA dues.)
However, if the foreclosure sale has already taken place and you want to get your property back, you may be able to “redeem” the property under certain circumstances.
Some states give you the opportunity to buy your home back after it has been auctioned off in a foreclosure sale. This is called the right of redemption.
With the right of redemption, you have a certain amount of time to repurchase your property following the foreclosure sale. (Learn more about The Right of Redemption Following an HOA foreclosure.)
Redemption laws vary widely from state to state. For example, in California, if the HOA forecloses using a nonjudicial foreclosure process, you get a 90-day right of redemption. This allows you to effectively buy the property back after the foreclosure by paying the amount of the lien, plus costs, fees, and other allowable charges. (California law also requires you to reimburse the purchaser for any repairs made to the property.)
In Texas, the redemption period is 180 days from date the HOA mails written notice of the sale to the homeowner.
The redemption timeframe may be longer or shorter depending on which state you live in. (And some states do not provide a right of redemption at all.)
If the state where you live does not provide a specific right of redemption after an HOA forecloses, there may be a state law that allows you to redeem the property following a mortgage foreclosure sale that applies to HOA foreclosures as well. (Learn more about the foreclosure laws in your state in Nolo’s State Foreclosure Laws area.)
To learn about the laws governing HOA foreclosures in your state and find out if there is a right of redemption where you live, review your state’s statutes. (You can find out how to do your own legal research in Nolo’s Laws and Legal Research section.)
You may also wish to consult with a licensed attorney in your state who is experienced with HOA foreclosures to discuss all legal options available in your particular circumstances.