In California, HOA's can't collect unpaid fees from previous owner after foreclosure, and after title changes, correct?

Asked by terrolk, Rancho Cucamonga, CA Mon Jan 14, 2013

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Sara Mehrpouyan’s answer
Sara Mehrpou…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Tue Jan 15, 2013
Technically, HOAs can pursue the previous owner for money owed to them after foreclosure. Although, if you short sale the property before it forecloses, you would have settled with the HOA & sold the unit so that possibility would be avoided. Sometimes, the banks will pay the HOA for part of the past due amount after they foreclose (but this is not necessarily always true). Feel free to contact me any time.

Sara Mehrpouyan CDPE
Specializing in Foreclosure & Short Sale in Los Angeles & Ventura County
Rodeo Realty
Dre License #01712757
Direct Phone: 818-903-2040
0 votes
Ron Escobar -…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Tue Jan 15, 2013
Most answers are not correct...

The individual owes monies to the HOA. Not the property. The fact that they can put a lien on the property has nothing to do with the fact that they can come after an owner personally for monies owed to them. Yes they put a lien, but they can also send the owner to a collection agency and sue them for the moneys (deficiency) even after the foreclosure took place.

So yes.. they can and will likely collect, if there are any unpaid fees, even after the foreclosure. This is one of the reasons why you are better off with a short sale. We often negotiate a settlement and pay HOA fees through a short sale.. so the previous owner walks away not owing anything and having no deficiency claims pending against them.

Feel free to email me if you have any further questions
0 votes
Elizabeth Sa…, , Fort Collins, CO
Tue Jan 15, 2013
HOA Managements Companies have gotten very tough due to the foreclosures aftermath. I've heard that they will aggressively go after the former owner to collect the unpaid dues. Please consult with an attorney to review your paper work. Hope this helps.

Elizabeth Sorgen
0 votes
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Tue Jan 15, 2013
To emphasize the correct answer;
If the HOA did not place a LIEN on the Property,
then the debt is still on the Homeowner, not the property.

I don't want to give the HOA's too much credit for being smart,
but they are bloodthirsty and also, it cost money to file a Lien.

You know who also works this way; the Counties on Property Taxes.
0 votes
Mary Fealkoff, Agent, Westlake Village, CA
Tue Jan 15, 2013
Hi Terrolk, the best thing for you to do is speak to a real estate attorney. You need to explain the time line of when and how the HOA notified you about the past due fees. This is the best way for you to protect you and your family. Good luck!
0 votes
robbie sikora, Agent, Santa Monia, CA
Tue Jan 15, 2013
if a condo owner short sells / forcloses on their property eventually it will be sold and during that process everyone is aware of all expenses and unpaid debt including any outstanding HOA fees. a title company reviews everything to ensure "clear" title is transferred to the new buyer. the unpaid debt will either be paid by the bank or the new buyer during the escrow process so that title is clear.

i would suggest seeking legal council if you are questioning a situation you may be involved in.

robbie sikora
Gibson International
0 votes
Laura Coffey, Agent, Santa Clarita, CA
Tue Jan 15, 2013
If you own a property with an HOA and you don't pay them they have every right to go after you for the amount you owe them for the time you owned it even if you were foreclosed on.
The back HOA is not automatically wiped out or transferred to the new owner.
I would seek legal council, good luck.
0 votes
Jodi Summers, Agent, Pacific Palisades, CA
Tue Jan 15, 2013
Lol...small world. A client is in escrow on a foreclosed condo, and we had this conversation with the HOA yesterday. The HOA would have put a lien on the unit for past due fees and settled any due expenses prior to the new owner taking title.


Jodi Summers
The SoCal Investment Real Estate Group
Sotheby’s International Realty
310. 392.1211
License # - 01343854
The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The meaning of life is to give your gift away.
—David Viscott
0 votes
George Salaz…, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Tue Jan 15, 2013
Most HOAs collect unpaid monthly fees and assessments from the people that were on title when the fees were or assessments were due. You should consult a California Attorney to make sure what the law and case law dictates.

George Salazar
Prudential California Realty
3103 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica
0 votes
Douglas Lagos, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Mon Jan 14, 2013
If the condo owner had unpaid HOA fees, and were foreclosed on the home, the HOA can pursue a deficiency judgement through a collector.

Please contact a real estate attorney for more information regarding your specific case.

Douglas Lagos
Realtor®, Certified HAFA Specialist (CHS)
DRE# 01921046
Coldwell Banker Residential
Tel. (310) 463-8088
0 votes
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