It’s no secret that Colorado’s housing market continues to improve and according to the Denver Post, some buyers have even been forced into bidding wars over the low inventory in certain areas. While the increase in home sales is great news for the local economy, this is also an important reminder to associations to ensure that they protect their interests by having a perfected lien in place. The perfected lien ensures that an association is paid any assessments owed in connection with a sale.
As discussed previously, homeowner association liens in Colorado are statutory liens that attach to the real property and can include assessments, fees, charges, fines, interest, late fees, and attorneys’ fees and costs permitted by the association’s governing documents. While recording the association’s declaration constitutes record notice and perfection of the association’s lien, recording a separate lien provides extra protection for the association.
An association should also maintain separate account ledgers for homeowners who file for bankruptcy, so that it has an accurate account of the personal obligation and the lien. While the association cannot collect the pre-petition debt from the homeowner personally, it retains its right to collect the lien balance in the event the property is sold, refinanced, or transferred, and could also foreclose the lien.