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How to defend against foreclosure by your HOA in California

If your residence is in a homeowners association’s dominion, then you know that such organizations wield considerable power within their domain. Their actions are bound by the annually revised David-Stirling Act in California. However, each HOA’s individual charter dictates its rights, as permitted by this law. Examples of areas HOAs may regulate include lawn maintenance, decorations and pets; non-compliance with such standards may result in the imposing of fines. They also charge dues for community upkeep.

However, did you know that they have the right to foreclose on your home? If you fail to pay your dues, your HOA may be able to place a lien on your home. This entitles it to seize said property. There are ways to defend against it though.


The most obvious solution is to pay the owed dues. Ideally, you probably want to pay off the whole debt in one lump sum. However, if you encounter difficulty gathering the necessary funds all at once, you may be able to negotiate with your HOA to repay a lesser amount or develop a payment plan (though this is at the association’s discretion).


Another option is claiming misconduct by your HOA, which invalidates the arrears. In California, there is a very specific procedure required for foreclosure by such associations. A single misstep by yours may act as grounds for you to file a lawsuit (in the case of a judicial foreclosure) or as a defense (in the case of a non-judicial foreclosure).


Bankruptcy may be a choice you have to consider. This may provide a (temporary) stay on the foreclosure, granting you an opportunity to accrue enough money to pay the dues.

There exist avenues to avoid imminent foreclosure by your HOA. Even after foreclosure, you may have a chance to redeem your property.