If all else fails, this could be an issue for small-claims court. Of course, we are all going to recommend that you seek the guidance of counsel.
Your note says that you were not been charged HOA fees for the first four years. If this is correct, then I would bring that to your attorney's attention, since it's arguable that the HOA didn't charge for the first four years and you were not billed or invoiced, and if there wasn't a transfer fee for you as the new owner of the lot, there might be something for your attorney to work with.
If you purchased the property as new construction, a second HOA fee should have been disclosed by the builder. If you purchased it from a previous owner, this should have been disclosed to you by that owner.
If you had a Realtor assisting you as a Buyer Agent, and you have all your closing paperwork handy, you might want to call them and the closing attorney who assisted you with the closing (if you had one.)
If you do not have an attorney, and your budget is tight, contacting the Realtor and closing attorney should be the least expensive route to investigate your options. Helpful hint: if the Realtor has moved companies or is no longer actively licensed, you can go directly to the Managing Broker of the firm that they had their license with.
If it makes more sense to avoid attorney fees, give in, choose peace and a few hundred a year over a protracted fight, then a good lender can work with you on this and the lien can be addressed with a written letter for your loan file, and a plan to pay it off at refinance. The lien has to be addressed, but it in itself won't keep you from getting a loan with a good lender who can manage these kinds of challenges easily. I can refer three great lenders who can assist you, assuming your credit and income are within acceptable guidelines.
Fortunately, there is a new level of disclosure required for HOA and PUD fees in Tennessee. This doesn't help you with a sale 6 years ago, but your situation and level of frustration can be avoided with other people with the new disclosure forms.
Wishing you every success in resolving this situation to your satisfaction.
Village Real Estate Services