Collection Of Association Assessments
I am of the opinion that an association should vigorously pursue the collection of delinquent assessments owed to it. Said enforcement involves the recording of a claim of lien and the foreclosure of said lien. When the association takes title to the property as a result of the foreclosure of its lien, the association takes title subject to the outstanding first mortgage. However, the association may be in a position to lease the subject property and recover all or a portion of its outstanding assessments, court costs, and attorney's fees prior to the holder of the first mortgage concluding the foreclosure of its mortgage.
When a first mortgage holder forecloses its mortgage and acquires title to the subject property, in most cases it is liable to the association for only a portion of the outstanding assessments due the association. The mortgage holder owes the association the lesser of one percent (1.0%) of the original principal mortgage balance or twelve (12) months of assessments coming due prior to the acquisition of title by the mortgage holder. Subsequent to its acquisition of title, the mortgage holder is responsible for all assessments due the association.
Any delinquent assessments not collected by the association are ultimately paid by all of the remaining members of the association. That is why it is imperative that you request your Board of Directors to engage competent legal counsel to advise the Board relative to the collection of its delinquent assessments.