San Diego HOA Dispute AttorneyHomeowners associations (HOA’s) finance their operations by levying assessments on owner-members. Assessments are an integral part of any association. Each owner needs to pay their fair share. But there are limits on what kind of assessments an association can make. And there are important protections for owners if an owner is in default. A knowledgeable San Diego HOA Dispute Attorney can be the difference between a fair resolution to an HOA issue and the forfeiture of equity in a foreclosure sale.

HOA Collections on Past Due Assessments

The Jake A. Walton Law Firm has noticed a significant uptick in the aggressiveness that associations use to pursue assessment claims. The mediation process that was contemplated under the Davis-Stirling Act is simply not yielding the types of compromises that were expected. It makes sense for an owner to determine what their legal rights are and whether they have any meaningful options during the collections process.

The HOA Lien and Foreclosure Remedies

An association has many powerful tools at their disposal to enforce a past-due regular or special assessment.

But by far the most common method of assessment enforcement is through the non-judicial lien and foreclosure remedies.

The Davis-Stirling Act permits an assessment to be converted into a lien on the owner’s property, including any collection costs, late charges, and properly assessed interest. This is a powerful remedy. But there are limitations on what an association can do, especially if and when an association takes the step of attempting to enforce the lien through foreclosure.

The most important protection for owners from unreasonable foreclosure is set forth in California Civil Code section 5720(b):

An association that seeks to collect delinquent regular or special assessments of an amount less than one thousand eight hundred dollars ($1,800), not including any accelerated assessments, late charges, fees and costs of collection, attorney’s fees, or interest, may not collect that debt through judicial or nonjudicial foreclosure, but may attempt to collect or secure that debt….By recording a lien on the owner’s separate interest upon which the association may not foreclose until the amount of the delinquent assessments secured by the lien, exclusive of any accelerated assessments, late charges, fees and costs of collection, attorney’s fees, or interest, equals or exceeds one thousand eight hundred dollars ($1,800) or the assessments secured by the lien are more than 12 months delinquent. An association that chooses to record a lien under these provisions, prior to recording the lien, shall offer the owner and, if so requested by the owner, participate in dispute resolution…

Additional protection for owners kick in after the foreclosure sale when an owner is given the option to prevent the transfer of title to the buyer by paying the full balance owed to the association.

A San Diego HOA Dispute Attorney Can Help

If you are dealing with issues related to HOA ownership, a San Diego HOA Dispute Attorney may be able to help.

Feel free to contact The Jake A. Walton Law Firm. We are focused on helping owners and do not represent associations under any circumstances. We would be happy to take a look at your issue to see if there is any way that we can help.