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Can HOA address pre-lien letr. to decedent (only) at his home & then properly file for lien when knowing probate pending?

Chatsworth, CA |

Decedent was found 2+ weeks (9-9-12) after after neighbors complained to HOA about odors, etc. After coroner ID, 10 days later, HOA changed locks & authorized cleaning w/o contacting family (400 miles away) or coroner. Coroner had been in touch with family who were arriving next day. Later mail addressed to decedent was sent to probate atty. Family learned of this on 1-10-13. Probate ct. was to appoint Adm. on 1-15-13. Lien ($4000 for cleaning) was to be filed 1-14.

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

I would suspect that you have not yet received an answer to this question because no one feels very confident about an accurate response.

The Administrator, or pending administrator, should call the HOA or, more likely, it agent, and ask for an extension in order to get affairs in order. If the HOA will not give enough of an extension on recording the lien, the administrator should pay it. If it determines that the HOA should not have made any or all of the charges, the adminsitrator should sue in small claims court for reimbursement.

The estate should not rack up huge costs disputing the HOA's conduct.


The HOA is entitled to file the lien; it is just very insensitive of them. If there is equity in the property, they will definitely be paid when it sells. There is a cost/benefit issue at play in that it will cost more to exert your rights by paying your attorney to proceed to stop the lien enforcement then it will to just pay the lien and be reimbursed at the time of sale. I hope this helps.

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