52. What is the difference between a lien and a super lien in an HOA?

LIEN: an HOA Board may file a formal document thru their county clerk’s office on an owners property when there is a verifiable violation of the governing documents including delinquency of an owner’s contractual annual assessment, e.g. dues. Typically, the owner ignores all contact, warnings, hearings and pleadings from their respective HOA Board of Directors. This lien can only be released after payment is made by the owner to their respective HOA. The amount differs depending on a fine/penalty schedule the HOA has in place and the cost of filing with the county clerk, too and including the basic envelope, postage, and most likely attorney fees that may develop due to difficulty in correctly filing an initial lien.

SUPER LIEN: same scenario as above except it goes to the next level of enforcement when an HOA Board forecloses on an owner’s property. West Virginia law, §36B-3-116. Lien for Assessments and Code §38.LIENS, supports HOA priority over first mortgage holders in this process. Thus, an HOA may recover an assessment. Do not take this action lightly – use of legal council is strongly encouraged.

We’ve done a bit of research to respond to the SUPER LIEN explanation – read layman’s language Mortgage Servicers’ Latest Troubles: Homeowners Association Fees by Kate Berry July 2011, and you might consider Matt Martin quoted in the article, he’s the CEO of Matt Martin Real Estate, in Arlington, Va., who established Sperlonga Data and Analytics LLC as a free service for HOAs to enable them to input documents into a portal and have the information sent directly to the servicer.

At no cost, Homeowner Associations, Condo Associations, Cooperatives, and other types of Community Associations may register their communities at SperlongaSM. This data is used to quickly connect lenders and mortgage servicers with the associations in order to facilitate prompt resolution of delinquent association fees and to ensure all accounts are kept current.

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