Originally posted July 18, 2014 by Christopher Combs at AZcentral.com.
Question: In our homeowners association in north Phoenix, several “deadbeat” homeowners have not paid their monthly fees for several months and have not paid the special assessment for new roofs. We have written numerous letters to these homeowners, but they are still delinquent. The result is other homeowners have to pay more than their share to make up for these delinquent homeowners. I know they will have to make these delinquent payments when they sell their homes because the delinquencies are liens on their homes, but is there anything else that we can do now to collect the payments?
Answer: Monthly HOA fees and special assessments can be recorded liens against a property. Thus, if a homeowner is delinquent in making required payments, the HOA can foreclose on the home. The HOA will need to go to court to do the foreclosure by notice of a sheriff’s sale, usually scheduled on the “courthouse steps.” If the homeowner then does not pay the delinquent payments, plus attorneys’ fees and other costs of the foreclosure sale, the successful bidder at the sheriff’s sale will become the owner of the home. Any successful bidder will have to pay the HOA all of the delinquent payments, plus attorneys’ fees and other costs. If there are no bidders at the sheriff’s sale, the HOA will be the successful bidder and become the owner of the home, subject only to paying any first mortgage on the home.
Reach real-estate attorney Combs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find the median sales price in any metro Phoenix ZIP code in the latest Valley Home Values special report.