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My HOA Payment and Mortgage Are Giving Me Problems. I’m About to File Bankruptcy. Will I Be Able to Get Student Loans? – Catherine

“Dear Lewis,

I am 67 single woman living in Florida. I am about to file bankruptcy because of problems with my condo HOA and my condo is 65% underwater. I expect to file in the next three months or sooner.

I work part time as a college professor. My income potential for teaching jobs will be greatly enhanced if I have a PhD. The community college where I currently work is looking closer at their part time instructors. Several of my colleagues have returned to grad school to protect their jobs. Higher education is moving toward total PhD faculty where possible. I have some recent grad school training (and the loans to go with it) but need to complete the PhD to continue teaching.

If I take out new student loans for my PhD will that jeopardize my bankruptcy?


Dear Catherine,

Your question is a common one. Taking out student loans prior to filing bankruptcy should not affect the bankruptcy.

The student loans are not dischargeable, so no one has a reason to object or cause issues in your bankruptcy case.

As to the HOA, are you still living in the home? Are you surrendering it in bankruptcy?

Be aware that filing bankruptcy only addresses the past due HOA dues. They are discharged, but become a lien against the property. HOA dues are still your responsibility from the date of filing forward until the lender takes the property back (if you are surrendering). So I suggest that people live in the home right up until the foreclosure and continue to pay the dues.

If you aren’t surrendering the condo, your personal obligation to pay the past HOA dues is wiped away, but the HOA will get a lien that must be paid to keep the condo.

I went off topic because I am seeing HOAs becoming more aggressive in their collection attempts lately.

My name is Lewis Roberts and I’m an attorney licensed in Florida and Georgia. My practice focus is consumer bankruptcy, real estate issues/closings, and mortgages. I also have Florida real estate broker and mortgage broker licenses. I am a proud member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA), National Association of Consumer Attorneys (NACA), and a graduate of Max Gardner’s Bankruptcy Boot Camp. I enjoy helping people with decisions that impact their financial well-being.

Legal Disclaimer: This is for educational purposes only. It is not to be relied upon as legal advice. It also does not create an attorney-client relationship. No such relationship is formed with attorney without a written agreement.

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About the author

Lewis Roberts

Florida Consumer Protection Attorney

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