Friday, November 16, 2012

HOAs Feel Budget Squeeze As Foot-Dragging Foreclosing Banksters Play 'Waiting Game' When Recording Deeds On Repossessed Homes

In Charlotte, North Carolina, WSOC-TV Channel 9 reports:

  • Since the recession hit, thousands of area homes have fallen into foreclosure and disrepair. Yards have been left overgrown; houses have been left abandoned. But there's another unexpected kind of fallout that's causing big problems for homeowners associations across the Charlotte area.

    It's pervasive,” said Tim Sellers, a real estate attorney. “It's happening with such frequency that it’s becoming a common practice.”

    Sellers, who represents hundreds of homeowners associations, is talking about chronic delays in recording deeds after a foreclosure sale.

    Under North Carolina law, a foreclosure trustee is supposed to officially record the names of banks or federal agencies like HUD when they take back homes. And it's supposed to be done right after the final report of the foreclosure. Too often, that's not happening.

    A house in the Waterlyn neighborhood in south Charlotte was sold in foreclosure in April 2010. But when Eyewitness News searched county records with Register of Deeds David Granberry, we found the deed wasn’t recorded until August 2012, more than two years after the foreclosure sale was final.

    At a house in north Mecklenburg County, it's even worse. The foreclosure sale was final in August 2010, but a new deed still hasn't been recorded.

    We're talking months and years in some cases,” Sellers said. “It's ridiculous.” "And HOAs are getting caught in the middle?” Eyewitness News asked. “Absolutely in the middle,” he said.

    When Eyewitness News began our investigation six months ago, we talked with Jeannie Welch with the Becton Park HOA. “Together it's over $16,000,” she said.

    It took Welch's Becton Park neighborhood two years to collect that much in unpaid HOA fees related to foreclosures, which delayed projects like new roofs and fences. “Is there a big impact for communities?” Eyewitness News asked. “Yes, I would say so, especially for us -- a moderate-income community,” Welch said. “We have to set our budget based on the theory that everyone will pay their dues.”

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