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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33757
Experience:  15 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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We have an owner who has never paid her HOA dues. I want to

Customer Question

We have an owner who has never paid her HOA dues. I want to start a lien on the property. How do I start this process
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 10 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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I need to ask a few questions before I comment...

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Can you tell me what state this is in?

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Are you part of the HOA Board?

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Or are you talking about trying to act as a private individual?

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Does the HOA have an attorney?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Michigan, yes I am on the board, no we do not have an attorney. We would do this as the board.
Expert:  Barrister replied 10 months ago.

Ok, as a HOA, you should be incorporated as a nonprofit corporation which means that you would have to be represented by an attorney in any legal actions, such as filing a lien and eventually foreclosing on it.. So the HOA will have to contact a local real estate attorney to assist in getting the lien filed so it doesn't engage in the unauthorized practice of law.

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Your Bylaws and Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions will normally set out the standard procedure for filing a lien, which starts with a notice of intent to file lien. Then if the homeowner doesn't pay the delinquent dues and any legal fees and late charges within the notice period, normally 30 days, then the Association can file the lien in the local land records office to encumber the property.

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Then the Association can file suit to foreclose on the lien. In a judicial foreclosure, the Association begins the foreclosure process by filing a lawsuit with the Circuit Court in the county in which the dwelling is located. The Association serves the owner with a summons and complaint to begin the lawsuit. If the owner fails to file a written answer to the complaint with the Court within 21 days of being served, the Association can file a motion with the Court asking it to enter a Default Judgment of Foreclosure against the owner. This Judgment will set forth all of the amounts owed by the owner, including (in most cases) an award of all of the Association’s legal fees and costs. The Judgment concludes the lawsuit.

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The Association then initiates the sale process by publishing a public notice of the upcoming foreclosure sale in the relevant county’s legal newspaper for 5 weeks. This notice is also posted at the county courthouse and at the unit. The sale is held at the county courthouse. The Association takes title to the dwelling on the sale date for the amount of the debt unless a third party bids higher than that amount at the sale (at which point the Association is paid off completely). The owner by law has six months to redeem the unit out of foreclosure by paying the Association the total amount owed. If the owner fails to do so, the Association can file suit in District Court to evict the owner at the end of the redemption period. Once the owner is evicted, the Association can sell the unit to a new owner and re-coup its expenses at the sale

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thanks

Barrister

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