Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Arizona

lien foreclosure -behind on association dues

My daughter owns a condo in Mesa, ariz. She is behind on her association dues(includes a recent roof assessment.) Total is around $3,000. She has the property listed for sale with a real estate agency.

An attorney for the association served a ''Summons'' (Lien Foreclosure).

Question: what can she do to prevent this foreclosure taking place prior to selling the property so she does not lose her equity?

Thank You

Asked on 5/03/02, 2:49 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Robert Beauchamp The Beauchamp Firm

Re: lien foreclosure -behind on association dues

Does the association know the property is for sale. More than likely, they just want to make sure they have a lien to recover the past due and the special assessment. She can negotiate with them to give them a promissory note secured by a deed of trust (or mortgate - I don't know what they do in Arizona) on the property. They should be agreeable if the note is payable in full in a year or less. Then they can secure their interest without it showing up as a distress sale which will lower the price she will receive on the market.

Bob Beauchamp ]

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Answered on 5/03/02, 3:27 pm
Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law

Re: lien foreclosure -behind on association dues

I too am a California attorney and this answer is based upon California law. Arizona law may differ and the young lady should obtain local advice.

Nevertheless, here are a couple more thoughts.

Anything labeled a 'summons' should be read very carefully and the directions to the person summoned should be followed to prevent a default. If the summons calls for an answer to be filed with a court, arrange to do so before deadline.

Consider borrowing against the equity to pay off the lien. This may not be practical if the borrower's credit is poor and/or the equity is slim, but it is worth investigating.

Finally, negotiate! Ask for explanations. Ask for breathing room. The association wants to be paid, not to go through a foreclosure. With some discussions going on, with communication lines established, the association will probably cut her some slack in order to avoid a messy situation that could reflect poorly on the entire condo complex. Ignoring the debt or a 'head-in-the-sand' approach invites drastic action that can be avoided.

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Answered on 5/03/02, 4:18 pm

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