According to www.yourfortbendnews.com, the law firms of Roberts Markel Weinberg PC and Butler Hailey will merge effective Jan. 1, 2014. The merged firm will have offices in Houston, Sugar Land, Austin, San Antonio and Dallas. They will have 31 attorneys, and they will have the most attorneys dedicated to practicing law concerning homeowner associations as any law firm in the State of Texas.
Remarkably, the five principals, Jeffrey Roberts, Marc Markel, Gregg Weinberg, Rick Butler and Roy Hailey, are each board certified in their respective practice areas by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. I went to law school with Roy Hailey, and he is a fine attorney. We have had him speak about homeowner associations to our local bar group, the Houston Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (HACBA) about community association law.
Many of my clients get aggravated with their community associations, but they are a fact of life. The community associations typically have a lien for delinquent dues and fees, and homeowners need to make it a priority to pay these fees, so their HOA dues accounts are not referred to an attorney for collection. Unpaid HOA dues and assessments can even lead to the loss of the homeowners' property through foreclosure.
If your home is posted for foreclosure by your community association, and you cannot reach an agreement with your homeowner's association's attorney, it is possible to file chapter 13 bankruptcy to catch up the delinquent dues and fees over as long as 5 years through a chapter 13 plan. Depending upon whether or not you have equity in your property, it may even be possible to "strip off" or eliminate the HOA lien, at least as to the delinquent dues and fees.