This is a very reasonable question with reasonable solutions. Certainly the association can sue in Small Claims court for each defaulted payment as it comes due, up to a maximum of $7,500 in any single suit. This can be a very effective remedy. This does not mean that a lien can not and should not also be recorded, and there seems no reason why each one should cost $450. Maybe the first one, but after that anyone could modify each succeeding lien and record it for considerably less.