Wrongful HOA Collections
Wrongful Foreclosures by Homeowner Associations

Homeowners that are late in paying their HOA assessments or"dues in California can lose their home to foreclosure. In short, homeowner associations have the power to foreclose on condominiums and other homes in common interest developments where the owner has fallen behind in making their monthly payments to the HOA.

There are many defenses to foreclosure actions commenced by homeowner associations. Often experienced attorneys can stop a foreclosure action because the HOA has failed to meticulously follow the law. The foreclosure process is complex making it quite easy for an HOA, or its agent, to make a fatal error. Such an error can invalidate their foreclosure action. Given the seriousness of attempting to take away a person's home, courts nearly always require the foreclosing party to follow the law perfectly.

Sometimes when an HOA attempts to foreclosure wrongfully, not only can the foreclosure be stopped, but there are times when the homeowner will have a legal claim against the HOA for financial damages. This is certainly not always the case, but it is not at all uncommon.

Following are some of the defenses to wrongful collection actions by homeowners associations, including foreclosure actions:

  • Sometimes the assessments that are the subject of the collection were not approved
    in accordance with the Davis-Stirling Act;
  • Sometimes the assessments that are the subject of the collection action were not approved as required by the homeowner association's governing documents;
  • Sometimes there has been a failure to adhere strictly to the collection procedures required to be followed by the Davis-Stirling Act;
  • Sometimes there has been a violation of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act;
  • Sometimes there has been a violation of the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practice Act;
  • Sometimes the lien that was placed on the home includes charges that are not permitted to be included in a lien;
  • Sometimes the calculation of the amount demanded is inaccurate or includes charges that should not have been included; and
  • Sometimes the charges included in the amount demanded are unreasonable and will not be permitted by a court.

Depending upon the circumstances, there may be other defenses available.

Michael Chulak