Most people aspire to own they own homes. What homes look like may have changed over the years. They might be a log cabin, a single family detached home with a garden, an attached townhouse or even an apartment in a high rise building, but what remains a constant is the sense of “home”, the pride of having achieved a certain level of success. A sense of having control over your home and being able to make it personal. The knowledge that it will always be there.
Or will it?
As the desire for homeownership increases, the risks also increase. The headlines of late have been screaming about mortgage foreclosures. In some of the smaller text, foreclosures by HOAs to collect past due assessments, fines and the never-ending legal fees that seem to spiral out of control have also made headlines. Scams to defraud homeowners of their property and money abound.
Bill Davis and John Cowherd join us On The Commons this week. My two guests are pioneers in a way. They are among a very small handful of attorneys across the country who focus their respective practices on representing homeowners against their residential associations. Bill is in Texas and John in Northern Virginia. They talk about the many ways property owners lose their homes and explain how “condo terminations” work, what happens to property values and why some owners can force the sale of a condo even when the owner wants to stay and how the process also robs the reluctant sellers much of the equity they have built up.