I get that the previous HO sold the home and didn't pay the HOA dues then a lien was recorded. And the new buyer of the home is NOT responsible for the past dues. The HOA should be paid out of the proceeds.
My question is what if there are no proceeds? Where does the HOA stand in line when it comes to foreclosure with the 1st and 2nd lenders?
Do you have a procedure in your state whereby the HOA is asked to provide a statement when a home is sold? In FL we have an addendum that is required for homes subject to HOA fees or condo fees because those fees must be disclosed to a potential buyer. Then the closing agent is also alerted and requests a statement as I explained earlier.
If your association has a lien on the property (very common) for past due HOA dues then the amounts will have to be paid before title transfers to a new owner. If not, I would say that the new owner is not liable for the late dues.
Good luck, Walter