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Can a statutory HOA lien be completely discharged with a lien avoidance motion to the court?

Walnut Creek, CA |

Under Chapter 7 BK, HOA charges prior to opening case with the debtor intending to retain the property in the Statement of Intention.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. No. An HOA lien is a voluntary lien, since you agreed to the HOA's secured status when you accepted the CC&R's when you purchased your property. That type of secured junior lien on your primary residence can only be removed in a Chapter 13 proceeding, either by motion (in some courts) or an Adversary Complaint (in some other courts). In a Chapter 7, if your are keeping the property, you cannot strip off or discharge this type of secured voluntary lien. This is no different than if you wanted to try to remove a 2nd Trust Deed from your property - you just can't do it in a Chapter 7 in California. The only HOA debt that can be discharged is pre-petition debt in a Chapter 7 or 13, when you are planning to surrender the property, but you remain liable for any post-petition HOA debts up until the point in time when you are no longer on title to the property.

    An involuntary lien, however, such as a lien recorded against the property by a judgment creditor (i.e. a credit card company that receives a default judgment against you) can be removed by motion to the extent the lien impairs your right to a claimed exemption.


  2. No.

    I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers must not be relied upon. Legal advice must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. I provide legal advice during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an attorney for legal advice. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference


  3. In a Chapter 7, if you are keeping the property, you cannot strip off or discharge this type of lien. You can discharge pre-petition HOA debt in a Chapter 7 or 13, when you are planning to surrender the property. You however, remain liable for any post-petition HOA debts up until the point in time when you are no longer on title to the property.

    Remember that on this forum attorneys try to answer your questions with limited facts available to them. My answer should in no way be considered legal advice. No attorney client relationship has been formed by any answer given here.


  4. I agree with my colleagues; but what did you mean exactly using the term "statutory" lien?
    If the HOA did not go through the process of Noticing you of intent to lien, they may not yet have a lien and the unpaid pre-petition HOA fees might be discharged (depending on your judge).


  5. You cannot remove an HOA lien in a Chapter 7.

    First, the firm is a debt relief agency according to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. We help people file for bankruptcy. We also do other stuff and we do it well, but Congress wants me to post this notice. Second, nothing on this site is legal advice. You are not my client unless you enter into a written agreement signed by you and me.

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