Association members who own and reside in a condominium unit or single-family residence a planned community generally have homestead rights and protection from creditors under RCW 6.13.080 from certain types of creditors.
HOA and COA Associations, on the other hand, are given preferred creditor status in connection with an action to foreclose an Association assessment lien such that they are not subject to, or limited by, the statutory homestead exemption subject to one condition: That condition, as set forth in RCW 6.13.080(6), is that the Association:
“must have provided a homeowner with notice that nonpayment of the association’s assessment may result in foreclosure of the association lien and that the homestead protection under this chapter shall not apply.”
Regarding the manner in which this condition is satisfied by the Association the statute goes to state:
“an association has complied with this notice requirement by mailing the notice, by first-class mail, to the address of the owner’s lot or unit. The notice required in this section shall be given within thirty days from the date the association learns of a new owner, but in all cases the notice must be given prior to the initiation of a foreclosure.”
Accordingly, it is important for all HOAs and COAs to make sure that they have provided such notice to all existing owners, and all new owners (upon change of ownership) by mail in accordance with the above-quoted provisions of RCW 6.13.080, prior to commencing a foreclosure action to enforce assessment liens.
If you have questions or need assistance regarding this or any other legal matters relating to your COA or HOA, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can help.