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Can my homeowner's association foreclose on my home?

If you have never dealt with a homeowner’s association (HOA), you may not know that they are not the most cordial or amicable organizations; especially when it comes to the application of fees and penalties. Indeed, these assessments are not always fair, and getting them rescinded could involve a very tedious process. Even worse, if they are ignored and go unpaid for a long period of time, they can turn into liens on a property.

 If these liens are not paid, the HOA can foreclose on the lien and take the property. Here's why.

Foreclosing on a property because of unpaid fees may seem completely unfair, but under California Civil Code §§1367, an HOA may take action if the following factors are satisfied:

-          The fees or penalties are at least $1800 and more than 12 months past due

-          The board of directors of the HOA have met and voted to record the assessment lien

-          A notice of the delinquent assessment has been recorded before the county recorder.

-          All of the required foreclosure notices have been provided to the homeowner as well as the other lienholders on the property.

So unfortunately, a stubborn and motivated HOA may have the legal authority to foreclose on your property, even if you are current with your mortgage payments. Nevertheless, the foreclosure process is fraught with procedural requirements that HOA’s may miss, that give rise to legal defenses that can thwart the foreclosure. Because of this, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney at the earliest instance so that all legal options can be preserved. 

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