HOA or its collection agency will not respond to my letters to pay
No, but the HOA must send you a pre-lien letter BEFORE recording the HOA lien. The letter should have indicated that you have the right to request a meeting with the board to dispute the debt or to discuss a payment plan, pursuant to California Civil Code section 1367.1(a).
In California, HOAs are governed by the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act. Pursuant to California Civil Code 1367.1(a), at least 30 days prior to recording a lien, the HOA must notify the owner by certified mail a pre-lien letter. Specifically, California Civil Code §1367.1 provides as follows:
(a) A regular or special assessment and any late charges, reasonable fees and costs of collection, reasonable attorney's fees, if any, and interest, if any, as determined in accordance with Section 1366, shall be a debt of the owner of the separate interest at the time the assessment or other sums are levied. At least 30 days prior to recording a lien upon the separate interest of the owner of record to collect a debt that is past due under this subdivision, the association shall notify the owner of record in writing by certified mail of the following:
(1) A general description of the collection and lien enforcement procedures of the association and the method of calculation of the amount, a statement that the owner of the separate interest has the right to inspect the association records, pursuant to Section 8333 of the Corporations Code, and the following statement in 14-point boldface type, if printed, or in capital letters, if typed: "IMPORTANT NOTICE: IF YOUR SEPARATE INTEREST IS PLACED IN FORECLOSURE BECAUSE YOU ARE BEHIND IN YOUR ASSESSMENTS, IT MAY BE SOLD WITHOUT COURT ACTION."
(2) An itemized statement of the charges owed by the owner, including items on the statement which indicate the amount of any delinquent assessments, the fees and reasonable costs of collection, reasonable attorney's fees, any late charges, and interest, if any.
(3) A statement that the owner shall not be liable to pay the charges, interest, and costs of collection, if it is determined the assessment was paid on time to the association.
(4) The right to request a meeting with the board as provided by paragraph (3) of subdivision (c).
(5) The right to dispute the assessment debt by submitting a written request for dispute resolution to the association pursuant to the association's "meet and confer" program required in Article 5 (commencing with Section 1363.810) of Chapter 4.
(6) The right to request alternative dispute resolution with a neutral third party pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 1369.510) of Chapter 7 before the association may initiate foreclosure against the owner's separate interest, except that binding arbitration shall not be available if the association intends to initiate a judicial foreclosure.
The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author (who is only admitted to practice law in the State of California). For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.
AVVO's computer reads "a lien" as a typo for "alien" and so posted your question on the immigration forum. Try reposting with a different phrasing.
This answer is of a general nature and should not be relied upon as final, nor is it intended as legal advice. A consultation with an experienced attorney is always the best way to go.
Attorney Chen has provided you with an excellent comment. Also, Attorney Glicksman is correct. We have informed AVVO of the fact their computer assumes when a poster types "a lien" it is a typ for "alien" and posts in the immigration section.
Legal disclaimer: The statement above is provided by CC Abbott is based on general assistance and not intended to be a legal opinion because not all the facts are provided. The person requesting information and all others reading the answer should retain an attorney who is permitted by the state bar within the jurisdiction who can examine the complete facts and provide a legal opinion on your case. All information provided in the above answer and other information provided by CC Abbott does not create an attorney/client relationship within any state of Federal law.
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