Originally published in Tampa Bay Times
By Susan Taylor Martin (June 16, 2015)
Seven years ago, Renee Abuton realized she was juggling too much — student loans, car payments, mortgage payments and homeowners association fees.
Abuton, then a single parent, declared bankruptcy and let the mortgage company repossess her Pasco County home. Once the company had the property, she figured, it would start paying the HOA fees.
Although Abuton had been locked out in 2008, the lender didn’t take title to the house until several years later. In the meantime, while the house remained in her name, she was responsible for all HOA fees that accrued.
A few weeks ago, Abuton got a bill for 80 months’ worth of delinquent fees — a total of $28,000.
“When you’re struggling to go from week to week and you get something like that, it’s a bit overwhelming,” Abuton, 52, said.
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