I recently had a short sale in a situation like you are describing. State law allows that a HOA can only collect 6 months of past dues without releasing a lien on a property. However, many HOAs are filing suit against the individual homeowner and getting personal judgments against the owner for the entire delinquent amount plus attorney fees and interest. The buyer will not be responsible for any HOA dues that are in arrears and the seller's lienholder MAY pay more than 6 months of HOA dues, but I am finding that the larger banks are putting strict guidelines preventing any more than 6 months being paid at closing from the proceeds of the sale. The issue with HOA dues being in arrears can have a devastating effect on an entire complex. If more than 15% of the units in a complex are behind in their dues, then getting financing to purchase any condo in the complex can be extremely difficult, driving values of the individual units down further because the only way to purchase a unit in a complex such as this may be a cash only situation. Keeping HOA dues current benefits everyone.