4 Simple Steps to Handle an HOA Lien in Del Mar, CA

4 Simple Steps to Handle an HOA Lien in Del Mar, CA

Close to 76 million Americans live in communities with homeowners associations. Not all of those community members can afford their HOA dues and assessments.

When an HOA exhausts all other options, it places an HOA lien on the property. What implications does such a lien have on your credit? Can you remove an HOA lien?

Whether you sit on the board of a homeowners association or face an HOA lien yourself, you shouldn't face it alone. Keep reading for information on lien resolution.

1. Contact Your HOA About Your HOA Lien

While receiving notice about your unpaid HOA fees shouldn't surprise you, you should still contact your HOA community manager or board as soon as possible. In California, you have 30 days from the time you receive notice about your unpaid assessments before the HOA can record a lien.

Lay out the circumstances that led your HOA fees to pile up. If the HOA hasn't recorded the lien, you may come to terms before any subsequent steps happen.

California law provides for a "meet and confer" program where you sit down with a representative of the HOA and solve the problem. You can also submit requests to set up a payment plan.

2. Check the Owed Amount

Under California law, an HOA can't foreclose unless the base amount owed exceeds $1,800 or the debt has existed for more than 12 months. This limit doesn't include attorney's fees, late fees, collection costs, or interest.

Property liens that don't satisfy this requirement can instead go to court. The HOA can sue you for the amount of money owed.

If you end up in this situation, contact a lawyer to review California HOA laws. An attorney can offer legal advice that applies to your situation, such as whether the fees fall under your HOA regulations.

3. Find Solutions

At this point in the process, you should have an open line of communication with your HOA. Most lien removal tips require you to work on paying back the debt, though your review of the HOA bylaws may lead to a successful challenge of some charges.

Some HOAs will accept a partial payment if you prove financial hardship and promise to return to regular payments as soon as your situation changes. Others will want to set up a payment plan for the total owed.

4. Find Ways to Pay

Once you've worked out how much you'll have to pay back and the time frame, start finding solutions. Some people sell personal property at yard sales or through online auction sites, while others appeal to friends and family for loans or charity.

How you handle this step of the process will depend on your situation. Don't hesitate to reach out to others, though. You deserve the benefits of an HOA community.

Clearing Your Debt

Getting out from under an HOA lien can give you peace of mind. As long as you remain in contact with your HOA and remain honest about what you can do, the situation can change.

PMI Del Mar offers homeowners association management services in California. We let you choose the services that fit your unique HOA situation, including maintenance, financial management, and administration. If you don't know what you need, schedule a consult today.