Do I have to pay the HOA fees, after foreclosure and after bank has placed property for sale? Who owns condo?

Asked by Jm Bern, 90403 Wed Jun 10, 2009

I foreclosed on my condo last year in June. The property was placed on public sale and later postponed, by the bank, due governments programs to help home owners losing their home. I did not qualify. Bank continued placing property for sale and postponing. I continued living in condo and not paying HOA. Am I responsible for paying HOA after bank placed property for sale? After I foreclosed and bank place property for sale, do I continue being the owner or is bank owner? HOA has hired attorney to collect unpaid fees, late fees lawyer fee, etc. Do I need to pay? Is there anything I can do? What will happen if I don't pay?

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Mercury, Home Owner, Washington County, AR
Mon May 30, 2011
Look at the CCR's (Covenants) that came with your house. In my covenants the lien and all home owners dues vacate at foreclosure, so the slate is wiped clean, but I know this same HOA in court said that they were in first lien holder position (which is not true) and asked that they have the option to bid for the property at the auction once it occurs--so lets say you went through a chapter 7, and managed to keep the property (as the mortgage lender never forclosed or is too busy to deal with you property, but now the HOA says we had a pre-existing lien (oh and by the way they got that lien without sending you a notice of a right to cure the alleged default)....well apparently your responsible for all current HOA dues until the foreclosure happens, or the property sales---- my question would be --can you fight on the grounds that they failed to perform services like enforce parking or paint the property? as a "counter claim"?
2 votes
A counter claim is not an offset. You still must pay the dues for the time period in which you held title to the property.
Flag Tue Nov 10, 2015
Kathleen Bec…, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Fri Apr 22, 2011
Hi Jim:

Once the property goes through foreclosure, and HOA dues are owed, the dues are usually brought current through the sale and paid for by the proceeds of the sale. The selling agent through escrow will calculate the outstanding balance into the final settlement statement through escrow, that is if the bank has not paid the dues current prior. Until then, the HOA may continue collection efforts from you.

Good luck!

All the best,
Kat Becker
Prudential California Realty
2 votes
Kathleen ~ hi i lost my house the hoa n attorney bought property at sherif sale they sent me letter to vacate ~ which i have but i left without being eviction being served just letter w sheriff age attached they bought property ~ they are sending me bills even though i went through bankruptcy ~ do you have to pay them ?
Flag Wed Aug 10, 2016
Diane Wheatl…, Agent, Upland, CA
Wed Jun 10, 2009
An association has the authority to impose a lien on the property of a member who fails to pay regular or special assessments. However, the assessment, costs of collection, late charges, and interest do not become a lien on the owner's separate interest until the association records a notice of delinquent assessment. Penalty assessments for violation of association rules cannot become a lien. (Cal. Civ. Code § 1367.1.)

Before recording a lien, the association must provide a 30-day notice to the member by certified mail. This notice must contain various statements. The list of items can be found in Civil Code Section 1367.1.

When an association of a common interest development seeks to collect delinquent assessments (arising on or after January 1, 2006) of less than $1,800, not including accelerated assessments and specified late charges and fees, the association must either file a civil action in small claims court or record a lien. The association is prohibited from foreclosing on this lien until the amount equals or exceeds $1,800 or the assessments are more than 12 months delinquent. (Cal. Civ. Code § 1367.4.)

Many condos are left with unpaid HOA dues amounting to thousands of dollars and placed as a lien against the property. Recently I've found that the lenders are NOT clearing these liens by paying them off prior to a property transfer through a short sale and certainly not paying the liens off if the property is foreclosed on. In other words, the party that becomes ultimately responsible for these unpaid HOA dues ends up being the new owner of the property, not you.

Please check with a real estate attorney to qualify my answer. But I this is how I read the current statute as outlined above. And, you are the owner of record all the way up until the property is sold at the foreclosure sale either to a private party or reverts back to the lender.

Hope that makes some sense to you. Good luck to you.

Diane Wheatley, Broker
(909) 981-5589
2 votes
I filed bankruptcy in 2011 And foreclosed on my house the loan company sold it in Nov 2015 am I still responsible for the hoa because I just got a letter from s lawyer say that I owe them money for the association dues
Flag Wed Jul 12, 2017
Dianad2, Home Buyer, Santa Monica, CA
Fri Oct 4, 2013
I am pesident of an HOA and our office received a check from the bnk that held the mortgage on a home where the homeowner passed away. This check was for 1 year's back HOA fees and the bank claimed that an AZ law was passed late 2012 stating that banks will pay HOA dues. Please direct me to the law.
1 vote
Rebecca, Home Owner, California
Thu May 24, 2012
I Aquirred an hoa Property through a deed transfer and was to by the privious owner that there might be an outstanding HOA fees owed. (possible 2 or more years). How do I find out if anything is owed???????
1 vote
Kathleen Bec…, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Fri Apr 22, 2011
Hi Jim:

Once the property goes through foreclosure, and HOA dues are owed, the dues are usually brought current through the sale and paid for by the proceeds of the sale. The selling agent through escrow will calculate the outstanding balance into the final settlement statement through escrow, that is if the bank has not paid the dues current prior. Until then, the HOA may continue collection efforts from you.

Good luck!

All the best,
Kat Becker
Prudential California Realty
1 vote
Carol, , Arizona
Wed Mar 30, 2011
Doesn't matter if you are in the midst of a foreclosure. Until the day a new deed of trust is executed you are responsible for the assessments. Assessments are a personal debt and collectible, just like a credit card debt. Assessments are not tied to the property.
1 vote
Tara Steinke, Agent, San Diego, CA
Wed Jun 10, 2009
Jodi is correct. I believe the HOAs only recourse is to place a lien on the property.

Just to be sure I would contact a real estate attorney. Many do free consultations but at most it will cost you one hour ($275-$350 depending on the attorney).


Tara Steinke
San Diego Real Estate Specialist
Residential Sales and Appraisals
Web Reference:
1 vote
do you personally prepare the lien?
Flag Thu Jul 7, 2016
Jodi Summers, Agent, Pacific Palisades, CA
Wed Jun 10, 2009
The name on title is the entity that owes the fees.
As the property is already in foreclosure, if the HOA has hired an attorney to collect the unpaid fees, the attorney is able to put a lien on the property and the HOA should receive their fees through the foreclosure revenues.


Jodi Summers
The SoCal Investment Real Estate Group
Sotheby’s International Realty
If you don't get everything you want, think of the things you don't get that you don't want. ~Oscar Wilde
1 vote
according to state statutes of all outstanding assessments, interest and/or fees that are presently owed bank pay six months back only.
Alexandra Tutuianu/Community Manager/HOA
Flag Fri Sep 16, 2016
according to state statutes of all outstanding assessments, interest and/or fees that are presently owed bank pay six months back only.
Alexandra Tutuianu/Community Manager/HOA
Flag Fri Sep 16, 2016
Gail Blix, Home Buyer, Santa Monica, CA
Fri Dec 2, 2016
my investment property went into foreclosure in 2011 and the property sold to the tenant in the property at the time. The bank work a deal with that tenant who wanted to buy it. My assumption was that the bank would pay off any outstanding HOA fees however after the foreclosure I received a bill for $5,000 in late HOA fees that also included attorney fees and late fees etc. I explained that normally the bank is to pay off those outstanding fees at the time of the sale of property. The HOA attorney said no and then they garnished my wages in 2012. On 3/3/2016 I paid the $5000 off and so today I get another bill from the Riverside County Sheriffs Office that I owe interest and other costs totaling $4,137. Can they do that? After reading your article I feel I should not have had to pay anything since the bank sold the property right away. Gail
0 votes
Rsmoke2012, Home Owner, Silver Spring, MD
Sun Sep 4, 2016
Well if you want to keep the house and can afford it after review filing for chapter 13 bankruptcy will put and automatic stay/ stopping on any selling action bay bank or condo association. Filing chapter 13 allows you to spread the missed payments over a 3 or 5 year term. This ensures you keep your home, an important asset and pay off what's due

If you really can't afford to keep the place then filing chapter 7 bankruptcy will allow the equity you have accumulated in the home or increase in property value to work for you as the bankruptcy trustee/ court will sell it and pay off all your creditors with the proceeds versus just the bank or condo association.

So to answer your question filing bankruptcy will stop the selling of the house until reorganization is figured out( chapter 13) or you use bankruptcy option to your advantage to get a real market price which is something the bankruptcy trustee will want to do versus having it sell at an auction most likely below market value to please the bank. I hope this helps other people in a similar situation.
0 votes
Aaron Mtuanwi, Agent, Conyers, GA
Wed Nov 11, 2015
This is becoming a popular trend here in GA. Proper procedure is supposed to be that the property owes, not the owner. Now we see HOAs suing and garnishing from current and past owners. All HOA dues are supposed to be paid at closing or time of transfer and not follow the owner. I do think that it is due to the amount of authority given to HOAs by law.
0 votes
I've been told the same thing (that Aaron) is saying by a real estate closing attorney. We filed bankruptcy (that does not discharge HOA fees), then stayed in the house for years without paying any mortgage or HOA fees. We were fortunate enough to buy a new home despite having IRS and HOA liens. Our new mortgage company required us to resolve the IRS liens but ignored the HOA liens. While the IRS liens showed up on my credit reports, the HOA never have. The closing attorney explained that the HOA liens are agains the property no me; my name is attached only as the owner of that property. Now that foreclosure has finally completed, I'm hopeful this is all accurate and I have no obligation.
Flag Sat Feb 11, 2017
Really? Doesn't seem right that fees should remain with the property. It's the previous owner that was responsible for paying those fees. That's why it's so important to settle HOA fees and taxes at closing. A good agent would make sure of it.
Flag Thu Nov 12, 2015
noyoureshmoo…, Home Buyer, Chicago, IL
Wed Nov 11, 2015
You are and will continue to be responsible for the dues during the time period you were the record title holder. This is a personal obligation, and the foreclosure does not change this responsibility. You continue being the owner until the sale is final and there is a transfer (a new owner). If the bank begins foreclosure proceedings and then sits on it for 5 years, you are still the owner. You stop being the owner when a new owner (the lender or other buyer) takes it at sheriff's sale. You stop being responsible for any new dues after that point, but you still have a personal obligation to pay the old debt.

"Do I need to pay?" I don't know what you mean by this, but if you are asking whether you are responsible or not, you are. "Is there anything I can do?" Pay it, don't pay it and risk continued collection activity, or file bankruptcy and get the debt discharged.
0 votes
Cleangreen4u, Home Buyer, Santa Monica, CA
Thu Oct 8, 2015
0 votes
Hopelinda, Home Buyer, Fremont, CA
Tue Aug 18, 2015
In most cases HOA's can only put a lien on your property, and that doesn't go on your credit. However, if you upside down and owe extra HOA fees that you can't pay off by selling your home, a short sale is an option to take care of both issues. If you can negotiate a short sale with your lender and the HOA, and it does sell, that short sale will go on your credit. Most people will say it's not as bad as a foreclosure on your credit, but it's close. Either way, it's a better option than having the HOA try to forclose. In my experience, I havn't ever had an HOA foreclose -
0 votes
Yovinny13, Home Buyer, Santa Monica, CA
Sat Aug 15, 2015
am I responsible for hoa dues after the condo was foreclosed to lender
0 votes
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Wed Jun 17, 2015
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0 votes
Tirefitter, , Urbana, MD
Wed Jun 17, 2015
Depending on what state you are in, the bank or whomever is executing the foreclosure, may pay up to a year of back HOA dues. However, you bear responsibility up to the date in which you are no longer the legal owner of the property. If the bank does pay 6 months-1year of back HOA dues, consider yourself fortunate, but you will still be responsible for any other assessments or costs of collection that have come due up through the date you no longer legally own the property. This puts so many people in a difficult position, as the bank may change the locks to prevent you from accessing the property, and you STILL are liable for the HOA dues for a property you cannot even access. Please note, I am not an attorney however I am a senior paralegal in this field. The above opinion shall not be construed as legal advise or legal opinion. I would suggest contacting an attorney or if you are in financial straits, you may want to contact the legal aid office closest to where you reside in order to obtain a legal opinion.
0 votes
Zachary Knapp, Agent, Danville, CA
Wed Nov 12, 2014
Jim Bern,

I am a foreclosure & short sale expert. Call me & I will walk you through it. I cant tell you how many deals I have done since 2007 that have had this same thing go on.

Zach Knapp
The Knapp Team
Nest Seekers International
0 votes
Ritchy Haynes, , Denver, CO
Fri Oct 11, 2013
I would speak directly with the HOA and possibly an attorney. Unpaid HOA dues can become a lien on property that would need to be satisfied for a sale to go through!
0 votes
Aramirez, Home Buyer, Miami, FL
Thu Oct 10, 2013
First you have not foreclosed on your condo, it is your bank who is foreclosing on your mortgage, claiming the collateral, which is the condo.
Once the foreclosure sale is complete, you are no longer the owner, you don't owe anything to the association.
If you don't pay nothing will happen, the bank will pay 1 year in arrears and will be forgiven any other past due amounts.
Don't be afraid of attorneys, they have to follow the same laws you have to follow, don't be intimidated by attorneys letters.
Now regarding he foreclosure, how do you know the bank is entitled to claim your property.
When you say your bank, I am 99% sure the bank who originated the loan is no longer interested, they sold it to a trust and not you have a trustee who is acting through a servicer. Most likely all those people already benefited form the sale of the mortgage in wall street, in the so called Collateralized Debt Obligations, and now somebody is double dipping by taking your condo.
Why don't you check their complaint and see if they have the original mortgage and note, and if they have complied with all the conditions precedent to the complaint, like affidavits of amounts due and owing, etc, in other words are they the proper party to move the court for a foreclosure, or in legal terms do they have standing to file the complaint in the first place?
0 votes
I am in California. Have a reverse mortgage, but in arrears with HOA. If HOA forecloses does that mean I will have to pay not only fees owed to them but also pay the amount the foreclosure sale received?
Flag Mon Jun 29, 2015
Grego Mutia, Other Pro, Santa Clara, CA
Fri Mar 8, 2013
This is my humble opinion since I am not an expert regarding HOAs, during the foreclosure process and you are still living in the property you are responsible for the dues, it stops when foreclosure was done or property was sold on auction. then determine if the amount during your stay is minimal say less than $500, the association may not pursue collection considering their expenses in pursuing the action, second if the amount is huge but the association put a lien on the property you don't have to worry about this because the lender or the auction buyer pays these dues to expedite transfer of the property to the new owner. Judgment may not be issued in favor of the association for garnishment
of your wages however refer a lawyer who offer services pro-bono (free) if you are sued for HOA dues; or offer settlement say 25% of the amount if you can afford it.
0 votes
Rebecca, Home Owner, California
Thu May 24, 2012
My property was not forclosed it was transfered and paid off is there still a hoa back fee owed
0 votes
Rebecca, Home Owner, California
Thu May 24, 2012
the property I now own has a possible outstanding hoa fee. I just want to know where to go to find out how much?? so I can pay.
0 votes
RP528, , Orange County, CA
Wed Nov 2, 2011
I have been placed in the same situation. Our house got foreclosed yet we still owe HOA dues which we can't afford due to financial distress. Now, a judgement has been placed on us and not only do we owe the past due assessments but they tacked on attorney fees, filing fees and court fees. May I ask what you have decided to do?
0 votes
Carol, , Arizona
Tue Apr 26, 2011
Again depending on the state you live in, determines the consequences. In the state of AZ, until the date the foreclosure sale takes place, you remain the legal owner of the property and are responsible for the HOA assessments.
Your HOA hiring an attorney, is a pretty good indicator, the HOA has the right to collect. The HOA would not be putting forth monies (to an attorney) if they did not have reasonable belief this debt can be collected.
If you do not call this attorney and make arrangements to repay, you can expect wage and or bank garnishment to occur. Wage garnishment will take 25% of your pre-taxed income until the debt is settled.
Call the attorney, offer to pay the outstanding assessments and ask the HOA to forgive the collections costs.
0 votes
Betsywv1, , Richmond, VA
Fri Oct 29, 2010
Depending on your state, in a foreclosure situation, the HOA will only receive 1 years of dues.
0 votes
Alicia Chmie…, Agent, Frisco, TX
Fri Oct 1, 2010
After the bank has forclosed they now own the property. As for what to do I'd suggest consulting your attorney. They will be able to assist you further.
0 votes
Surferbuddha, Both Buyer And Seller, Santa Barbara, CA
Fri Oct 1, 2010
Hey guess what? You scored a killer deal on my foreclosed home, because you had the cash on hand to buy it. I built it, improved it, but because of my misfortune, I lost it. Bad for me, good for you! It has nothing to do with responsibility, I would have paid if I could have afforded it. Let's talk responsibility: what occurred in the whole lending scandal and the things that real estate agents tell you when the market is hot? The only thing I am responsible for is never borrowing from crooked lenders and believing shady agents.

You got it for 50% of what I paid, a pretty good savings I'd say. So maybe quit gripping about having to pay past dues. You got the gold mine, I got the shaft. What's to cry about, you scored, you lucky pr*ck!
0 votes
Mad At People…, , Gaastra, MI
Thu Aug 26, 2010
I currently live in a condo community where there have been many foreclosures. Because of this our HOA is owed $26,000. We are a small complex but this is a huge strain on our budget. Be responsible and pay your HOA fees. When you don't you are punishing us that do! Not fair.
0 votes
Both my husband and I were diagnosed with cancer in a 3 year span, we payed what we could monthly to our HOA (it was agreed on by both parties) but we were still hauled into court on 3 occasions and ended up owing 5x's what should have been owed, forcing us to give up our house through bankruptcy. Your comment doesn't apply to every situation.
Flag Sun Nov 29, 2015
If a person does not have the money to pay their mortgage and the house goes into foreclosure because of job lost whatever, please tell me in your wisdom how are they to pay the HOA's
Flag Fri Jan 18, 2013
Well, I am just inquiring about HOA fees and have no interest either way. However, if, because of misfortune it comes down to buying groceries for my family or paying my HOA fee, there is not question about what I would do!
Flag Tue Jun 12, 2012
Myfirstplace, Home Buyer, San Diego, CA
Wed Jul 29, 2009
Hey guess what? I'm the new owner of such a property and I'm personally being held liable because you didn't pay your HOA! If you live in the property, you pay the HOA. Be responsible for god's sake! I now get the ultimate joy of paying your back HOA fees or have the option to walk away from a property that I've waited to purchase for four months.
0 votes
Im in a similar situation. I knew I would need to pay the back HOA. What I didn't know is that they want all of it at once or I can not access my property.
Flag Fri Aug 14, 2015
Guess you should have done your homework.
Flag Thu Jan 17, 2013
blaison samu…, Agent, Santa Clara, CA
Wed Jun 10, 2009

You need to pay until you owned and dont have to pay after it foreclosed. But, normally bank either offer you cash to move or evict(not moved by their moving date) you after it foreclosed and before it list for sale. Now, you said that you lived there even after foreclosed....Are you sure that bank foreclosed and changed the owner name on title? If not then you were still the owner until the title changes to new owner. You need to contact a real estate attorney and show the proof of your last day of ownership and other required documents. You need to take action now...Go and contact an real estate attorney!!!
0 votes
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Wed Jun 10, 2009
YOu continued to live in the condo rent free and didn't pay your HOA fees?

The HOA may come after you personally. I'd talk with them about a payment arrangement if I were you.
0 votes
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