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Can I negotiate attorney's fees and late fees if my (late) HOA dues have resulted in a lien being placed on the property?

California |

I didn't pay my annual HOA dues, '09 and '10, $268 per year; negligence on my part. I do not live in the property, have a tenant.
I just got a letter from a collection attorney saying a lien has been put on the house and it will go into foreclosure if I don't pay $2,200, within 30 days (or submit a payment plan for said amount - and maybe more - within 30 days).
This sounds outrageously high. Do I have any recourse with them? What would you suggest? I have no experience with this. Am I bound to pay whatever amount they demand? How would I go about negotiating?
I don't have the cash on hand, either, but could make payments.

Thank you very much for your input.

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Attorney answers 2


They have the right under the CCR usually to ask for attorneys fees and costs. Call them and offer to pay off the original amount, usually they will negoatiate a little.


That sounds rather high to me, too, but I don't know what fees your CC&Rs provides, when dues are over a year late or what the attorney has done to file the lien, or how many letters they wrote to you before the amount had risen to $2200. That said, most HOAs are willing to get members back in good standing and may be willing to give you a break. Be sure to ask for an accounting so you understand how this amount grew from just over $500 to $2200 and can determine what items seem excessive or not provided in the CC&Rs. They will probably agree to payments, since the dues and late charges are fully secured by their lien.