Foreclosure option for failing to pay HOA fees

I have been compiling data on residential airparks since the early 1970s. Over that period of time, one question I’ve heard more than probably any other has been something like this:

If a member of an airpark homeowner’s association fails (or refuses) to make his required assessment payments what can be done?

My answer has always been that first whatever the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R) that were established when the association was created is what determines the action that can be taken.

Most often those CC&Rs have said a homeowners association place a lien on the property of an association member who fails to meet his obligations. That doesn’t get the association immediate cash, but it usually results in the account being brought into compliance. If that doesn’t work, the lien will get paid when the homeowner decides to try selling the property or during the closing.

A second option frequently spelled out in the CC&R calls for legal action by the homeowners association against the offending member.

Those options aren’t the world’s greatest. If a friendly arrangement can be arranged, that usually works best.

Recently I read an article by an Associated Press reporter pointing out that in some states and under some circumstances homeowners who fail to meet their obligation can be subjected to foreclosure! That’s a major step upward in the discussions and certainly will get an individual’s attention.

Obviously, that type action is something that is spelled out in the CC&Rs or the documents utilized to purchase the property. Regardless this is an approach that apparently has gained considerable traction in some areas.