The HOA has the legal right to do this, and the lien will not get removed til you pay them. For unpaid dues, special assessments and related late fees, the HOA can lien and then foreclose on your house without even suing you first. They can foreclose even if you have a live mortgage you are paying on time. For unpaid fines, they first have to sue, then get a judgment, then lien and then they can foreclose. Also, they can come after your for attorney's fees. So enter into a payment plan ASAP.
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It's possible that the HOA is required to give you better notice depending on the HOA documents.
Regardless, I'd suggest you retain an attorney to conduct the negotiation with the HOA. They just want their money and may be willing to accept a smaller amount.
If you're interested in retaining an attorney, feel free to contact me. I handle negotiations regularly for clients -- sometimes it's simply helpful to have an emotion-free intermediary.
Steven Krieger Law, PLLC
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