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Lawmakers plan to reintroduce bill aimed at stopping aggressive HOAs from taking people’s homes – WSB-TV Channel 2

Lawmakers plan to reintroduce bill aimed at stopping aggressive HOAs from taking people’s homes – WSB-TV Channel 2

ATLANTA — Just one day later Channel 2 Action News released an investigation into people who lost their homes to aggressive homeowners’ associationswe’ve learned that lawmakers are considering redrafting the legislation to prevent people from losing their housing in the future.

Several state officials said they would refile House Bill 1032, which would prohibit HOAs from foreclosing on a home due to unpaid fees.

“This decision is intended to address concerns about the potential abuse of assessment fees, which have sometimes been used to unfairly target property owners,” a press release states.

Each month, Karyn Gibbons sent a check for HOA dues on her Gwinnett County condo to the address provided in writing at closing.

Justin Gray, Channel 2 consumer researcher found throughout its investigation that Georgia homeowners could be current on their mortgage, never miss a loan payment, and lose their home to foreclosure by their HOA.

But she said she never knew when or if the money would be collected.

“It was just random. I mean it would be two, three, four, five months between checks being cashed,” Gibbons said.

Then, out of the blue, she received a foreclosure notice from her HOA.

With late fees and thousands of dollars in attorney fees, she owed more than $30,000.

“Did you even know you could be foreclosed by an HOA? » Gray asked Gibbons.

“No. I’ve never heard of it,” Gibbons said.

Gibbons’ story was one of many Gray had heard about.

Today, lawmakers are working to prevent this from happening to anyone.

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“We wrote this bill because no one should lose their home because of HOA fees/assessments,” said Rep. Sandra Scott. “When a person pays their mortgage and their taxes, they have paid the two bills that make them a homeowner. The American dream of homeownership should not be taken away because of fees/assessments. We are asking homeowners to support HB 1032. We would like to have a hearing and a vote when we return to session in January 2025.”

“As a homeowner who for years has faced abuse of authority, power and a lack of transparency from the HOA, I am committed to ensuring fair treatment and protections for all,” he said. said Rep. Kim Schofield. “Our goal is to address the systemic issues that have caused distress and create a more equitable environment where condo owners feel safe and empowered.” »

Another bipartisan bill sponsored by state Sen. and Rules Committee Chairman Matt Brass, a Republican representing Newnan, passed the Gold Dome this year to create a study committee examining how to change laws to better protect owners.

Brass told Gray the No. 1 topic on the study committee’s agenda will be HOA foreclosures which, according to him, deprive families of their generational wealth.

“For an outside group to come and take this away from me is un-American again. And we’re not going to tolerate it in this state,” Brass said.

Several states have implemented laws limiting HOA foreclosures.

This legislative study committee should begin its work probably at the end of the summer.

Brass expects potential bills for the next session to come out of committee.

As chairman of the powerful Rules Committee that decides which bills get a vote, these potential reforms have an ally in Brass.

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