Homeowner Association Delinquency, Lien, and Collection Policy
Notice to Homeowners
This notice outlines some of the rights and responsibilities of owners of property in common interest developments and the associations that manage them. Please refer to the sections of the California Civil Code indicated for further information.
The Board of Directors of the __________________________Association (Association) approved the following policy for the collection of assessments at a noticed meeting of the board of directors on______________. The authority for this procedure is provided in the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions of this Association and the California Civil Code, and shall be consistently implemented by the Board of Directors and managing agent.
Prompt payment of assessments by all owners is critical to the financial health of the Association and to the enhancement of the property value of our homes. Your Board of Directors takes very seriously its obligation under the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) and the California Civil Code to enforce the members' obligation to pay assessments. The policies and practices outlined shall remain in effect until such time as they may be changed, modified, or amended by a duly adopted resolution of the Board of Directors. Therefore, pursuant to the CC&Rs and the California Civil Code, following are the Association's assessment, lien, and collection practices and policies:
Assessments and Foreclosure
Assessments become delinquent days after they are due. The failure to pay association assessments may result in the loss of an owner's property through foreclosure. Foreclosure may occur either as a result of a court action, known as judicial foreclosure, or without court action, often referred to as non-judicial foreclosure. For liens recorded on and after January 1, 2006, an association may not use judicial or nonjudicial foreclosure to enforce that lien if the amount of the delinquent assessments or dues, exclusive of any accelerated assessments, late charges, fees, attorney's fees, interest, and cost of collection, is less than one thousand eight hundred dollars ($1,800). For delinquent assessments or dues in excess of one thousand eight hundred dollars ($1,800) or more than 12 months delinquent, an association may use judicial or non-judicial foreclosure subject to the conditions set forth in Article 3 (commencing with Section 5700) of Chapter 8 of Part 5 of Division 4 of the California Civil Code. When using judicial or non-judicial foreclosure, the association records a lien on the owner's property. The owner's property may be sold to satisfy the lien if the amounts secured by the lien are not paid. (Section 5700 through 5720 of the California Civil Code, inclusive)
In a judicial or non-judicial foreclosure, the Association may recover assessments, reasonable costs of collection, reasonable attorney fees, late charges, and interest. The Association may not use non-judicial foreclosure to collect fines or penalties, except for costs to repair common area damaged by a member or a member's guests, if the governing documents provide for this. (Section 5725 of the California Civil Code)
The Association must comply with the requirements of Article 2 (commencing with Section 5650) of Chapter 8 of Part 5 of Division 4 of the Civil Code when collecting delinquent assessments. If the association fails to follow these requirements, it may not record a lien on the owner's property until it has satisfied those requirements. Any additional costs that result from satisfying the requirements are the responsibility of the Association. (Section 5675 of the Califomia Civil Code)
At least 30 days prior to recording a lien on an owner's separate interest, the Association must provide the owner of record with certain documents by certified mail, including a description of its collection and lien enforcement procedures and the method of calculating the amount. It must also provide an itemized statement of the charges owed by the owner. An owner has a right to review the Association's records to verify the debt. (Section 5660 of the California Civil Code)
If a lien is recorded against an owner's property in error, the person who recorded the lien is required to record a lien release within 21 days, and to provide an owner certain documents in this regard. (Section 5685 of the California Civil Code) The collection practices of the association may be governed by state and federal laws regarding fair dept collection. Penalties can be imposed for dept collection practices that violate these laws.
The collection practices of the association may be governed by state and federal laws regarding fair dept collection. Penalties can be imposed for dept collection practices that violate these laws.
When an owner makes a payment, the owner may request a receipt, and the Association is required to provide it. On the receipt, the Association must indicate the date of payment and the person who received it. The Association must inform owners of a mailing address for overnight payments. (Section 5655 of the California Civil Code)
An owner may, but is not obligated to pay under protest any disputed charge or sum levied by the Association, including, but not limited to, an assessment, fine, penalty, late fee, collection cost, or monetary penalty imposed as a disciplinary measure, and by so doing, specifically reserve the right to contest the disputed charge or sum in court or otherwise.
An owner may dispute an assessment debt by submitting a written request for dispute resolution to the Association as set forth in Article 2 (commencing with Section 5900) of Chapter 10 of Part 5 of the Division 4 of the California Civil Code. In addition, an Association may not initiate a foreclosure without participating in alternative dispute resolution with a neutral third party as set forth in Article 3 (commencing with Section 5925) of Chapter 10 of Part 5 of Division 4 of the California Civil Code: if so requested by the owner. Binding arbitration shall not be available If the Association intends to initiate a judicial foreclosure.
An owner is not liable for charges, interest, and costs of collection, if it is established that the assessment was paid properly on time. (Section 5685 of the California Civil Code)
Meetings and Payment Plans
The address for payments of assessments by overnight or personal delivery is:
American HOA Management