A basic step-by-step checklist of the procedures involved in giving notice and filing a claim of lien for unpaid assessments.
Step 1: Written Notice of Unpaid Amounts to Parcel Owner
Written notice or demand for past due assessments as well as any other amounts owed to the association pursuant to its governing documents must be made by the association. The written notice or demand must: (a)Provide the owner with 45 days following the date the notice is deposited in the mail to make payment for all amounts due, including, but not limited to, any attorney's fees and actual costs associated with the preparation and delivery of the written demand. (b)Be sent by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, and by first-class United States mail to the parcel owner at his or her last address as reflected in the records of the association, if the address is within the United States, and to the parcel owner subject to the demand at the address of the parcel if the owner's address as reflected in the records of the association is not the parcel address. If the address reflected in the records is outside the United States, then sending the notice to that address and to the parcel address by first-class United States mail is sufficient.
Step 2: Record Claim of Lien
Record a Claim of Lien in the Public Records of your county through the Clerk of Court. To be valid, a claim of lien must state the description of the parcel, the name of the record owner, the name and address of the association, the assessment amount due, and the due date. The claim of lien secures all unpaid assessments that are due and that may accrue subsequent to the recording of the claim of lien and before entry of a certificate of title, as well as interest, late charges, and reasonable costs and attorney's fees incurred by the association incident to the collection process. The person making payment is entitled to a satisfaction of the lien upon payment in full.
Step 3: Written Notice of Intent to Foreclose Lien to Parcel Owner
Notice Must conform with the same requirements as the initial Notice (see Step 1).
Step 4: Foreclose Lien
(a) The association may bring an action in its name to foreclose a lien for unpaid assessments secured by a lien in the same manner that a mortgage of real property is foreclosed and may also bring an action to recover a money judgment for the unpaid assessments without waiving any claim of lien. The action to foreclose the lien may not be brought until 45 days after the parcel owner has been provided notice of the association's intent to foreclose and collect the unpaid amount. (b)Notice Must conform with the same requirements as the initial Notice (see Step 1). (c)The time limitations regarding Notice of Intent to Foreclose do not apply if the parcel is subject to a foreclosure action or forced sale of another party, or if an owner of the parcel is a debtor in a bankruptcy proceeding.
Additional resources provided by the author
See §720.3085, Florida Statutes, for additional details and forms to be used by your association.
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