Homeowners’ Associations and Liens

HOA, Liens

If you don’t pay your fees or assessments set by your Homeowner’s Association (“HOA”) things can get bad very quickly. That’s because your HOA has the power to place a lien for unpaid dues/assessments on your home, townhome or condominium. Right away. Automatically, in fact.

But wait!

Don’t they have to give you notice?

No.

Georgia, HOAs, and Lien Notice

In Georgia, the recording of the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) (or, if you live in a condominium association (“COA”) the recording of the “Declaration of Condominium”) constitutes record notice of the existence of and HOA or COA lien. No further notice or recording of any claim of lien is required.

What this means, then is that once you fall behind in the payments, a lien will typically attach to your property automatically.

Liens Lead to Foreclosure

The other thing that will typically happen if you have an HOA or COA lien, is that the HOA or COA may foreclose on their lien.

Don’t get confused, here. This has nothing to do with what you owe the bank or your lender. Even if you are not behind in your mortgage payments, the HOA (or COA) has the power to foreclose on its lien for unpaid dues or assessments. Which means, if you cannot pay off what you owe at the time of foreclosure, you can lose your home.

Priority of HOA Liens

Finally, with few exceptions, HOA or COA liens have priority over other liens. That means they will get paid first.

An HOA or COA lien does NOT have priority over the following other liens that may be on your property:

  • property taxes
  • a first mortgage or deed of trust recorded before the recording of the CC& Rs or Declaration, and
  • a secondary purchase money mortgage (as long as neither the grantee nor any successor grantee on the mortgage is the seller of the lot).

With these few exceptions, an HOA or COA lien is a powerful lien with priority. So it is wise not to fall behind in your HOA or COA dues or assessments.

We’ve Got The Real Estate Experience You Need

At the Law Offices of Mark Weinstein, we do real estate. And that’s all we do. With over 30 years’ real estate litigation experience in Georgia, if you have a real estate problem, we can help craft a solution. With offices in Cumming, we serve a number of the surrounding counties as well as Atlanta. To schedule your free phone consultation, call us at: 770-888-7707 or e-mail your inquiries to lawofficesofmarkweinstein@gmail.com.

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