What recourse does an HOA have to get unpaid assessments? Posted on May 09, 2011

Our HOA CC&R states that: "The annual and special assessments, together with interest, costs and reasonable attorneys' fees, shall be a charge on the land and shall be a continuing lien upon the Lot against which each such assessment is made, the lien to be effective upon recordation of a Notice of Delinquent Assessment. Each such assessment, together with interest, costs and reasonable attorneys' fees, shall also be the personal obligation of the person who was the Owner of such Lot at the time when the assessment fell due. The personal obligation for the delinquent assessments shall not pass to an Owner's Successors in title, unless expressly assumed by them." As an HOA board member I am unclear as to the following: I read this as stating that the unpaid assessments are a personal obligation of the Owner and cannot be passed to the Owner's successor, yet it has been my understanding that HOA dues are attached to the property and indeed the CC&R statement above states that the assessments etc. "shall be a charge on the land and shall be a continuing lien upon the Lot". So, do we as an HOA have to go after previous owner's who did not pay their assessments? Can their unpaid assessments be wiped out by bankruptcy or not? How can we protect the HOA against such Owners? It seems that the CC&Rs should provide all the needed protection. If we record the Notice of Delinquent Assessment, are we assured that we will be paid at escrow if the property is ever sold? What if we fail to record that Notice - do we have any recourse to get the unpaid assessments?

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