Living in a community that's governed by a homeowners' association, condominium association or townhouse association has both advantages and disadvantages. Often, disputes between homeowners and the HOA stem from a fundamental misunderstanding about the power and authority that HOAs have over the physical property, its owners and residents. It's not uncommon for a new owner to purchase a home without having read the covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&R;) that must be followed when living in the community. If you're a homeowner who's in disagreement with your HOA, a real estate attorney with experience in homeowners' association law can work with you in an effort to resolve the dispute. HOA law firms and lawyers can also advise associations on governance issues, including elections and bylaw revisions, debt collection, liens against homeowners and dealing with homeowners in foreclosure or bankruptcy.