This is a legal question that is best answered by a lawyer who has reviewed the exact details of what transpired; however, I would suggest you review the similar scenario in this link in which Grace Morioka responded: http://www.trulia.com/voices/Foreclosure/I_owned_a_condo_tha
I would contact Grace directly if she does not see this question as she has a deep well of experience with HOAs.
Good advice from Steve and a good link but in both cases some inportant information is missing. HOA's and thier collections companies do not always represent the law properly to the people they are trying to extract funds from. You must respond to these requests for payment and tell them essentiall what has been provided by others. The bill collectors take the position that Grace laid out, representing that one the HOA bill is due that it is exempt from the real estate law and a bill like any other bill. THIS IS NOT THE CASE! You must get informed on the specifics of your situation by the proper professionals.
Some aggressive collection companies do attempt to use legal pressure to get you to pay but it is important that you get a good collections attorney on your side. They can provide detailed infomartion for you to pass on to the collections companies so they do not wast a lot of your time. Good luck.
Thanks also to Steve Ornellas, who kindly directed you to me. I'm one of his biggest fans here on Trulia and I appreciate his very kind words of recommendation.
As Steve noted, I am one of the few people on the site who works with homeowners associations. I am a homeowner association manager, and the co-author of the book "Homeowners Associations: A Guide to Leadership and Participation." So let's see if we can help you.
First, please know that the foreclosure process does not in any way exonerate you from having to pay the monthly assessments through the date of transfer of ownership via the foreclosure. In fact, while in the past many homeowners associations did not take action against foreclosed clients, today, with so many homeowners losing their homes in foreclosure, most HOAs are actively seeking funds from a foreclosed homeowner for all back assessments owed because, without the fees, the HOA can face uncertain financial future too.
While it is understandable that most homeowners in jeopardy of losing their home may not have funds to cover the monthly assessments, the laws of the State of California allow the HOA to continue to charge late fees and interest. The question to be asked, of course, is whether the attorney handling the collection would be willing to negotiate a reduced amount as settlement in full for the fees. In some cases, the HOA and their Board of Directors will agree to a slight reduction, but it is unlikely that all interest and late charges will be removed.
Your best course of action is to contact the lawyer's offices and talk with the collection person. Explain your financial situation and ask for some help in settling the bill. You might be able to remove about 1/4 to 1/3 of the interest and late charges, but don't expect to see the amount completely wiped out. If you truly cannot pay for the fee, then you may wish to speak with a bankruptcy attorney regarding having this cost and any others resolved in bankruptcy.
Area Pro Realty
Commoncents HOA Management