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Arizona homeowners associations foreclosing thousands of houses

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — Arizona homeowners associations have foreclosed houses over missed maintenance payments as low as $1,200, a newspaper investigation has found.

The Arizona Republic reported homeowners associations in Arizona were allowed to foreclose after a year of missed payments or when homeowners have a debt of $1,200.

The investigation found that foreclosures by homeowners associations in metro Phoenix have been on the rise since 2015 when home values began to pick up.

Homeowners associations have foreclosed more than 3,000 homes in the past two years. A year ago, 330 Maricopa County residents lost their homes to homeowners associations foreclosures. The rate for this year was expected to be about the same.

The Arizona Department of Real Estate website offered instructions how a homeowner can file a dispute against an HOA. The department, which does not regulate homeowners associations, said in a statement on Monday that homeowners should learn “more about their rights, as well as state laws, and to actively participate and have dialogue with each other to find resolution to issues.”

City Property Management Co. of Phoenix oversees 20 communities among the top 50 homeowners roups in Maricopa County with foreclosure filings. The company uses foreclosures as a tactic to get homeowners to pay their debt, Brian Lincks, City Property president.

We don’t want their houses,” he told the newspaper.

Affordable neighborhoods in south Phoenix and the West Valley have been affected the most by the foreclosures.

Communities in affluent areas such as Scottsdale Pinnacle condos, Sun City Grand and Provinces in Gilbert have also had their share of foreclosures.

KTAR News’ Griselda Nevarez contributed to this report.

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