Notice to Association Members
CALIFORNIA CIVIL CODE
Distribution of written notice by association prior to beginning of fiscal year; Contents
(a) The association shall distribute the written notice described in subdivision (b) to each member of the association during the 60-day period immediately preceding the beginning of the association’s fiscal year. The notice shall be printed in at least 12-point type. An association distributing the notice to an owner of an interest that is described in Section 11003.5 of the Business and Professions Code may delete from the notice described in subdivision (b) the portion regarding meetings and payment plans.
(b) The notice required by this section shall read as follows:
ASSESSMENTS AND FORECLOSURE
This notice outlines some of the rights and responsibilities of owners of property in common interest developments and the associations that manage them. Please refer to the sections of the Civil Code indicated for further information. A portion of the information in this notice applies only to liens recorded on or after January 1, 2003. You may wish to consult a lawyer if you dispute an assessment.
ASSESSMENTS AND NONJUDICIAL FORECLOSURE
The failure to pay association assessments may result in the loss of an owner’s property without court action, often referred to as nonjudicial foreclosure. When using nonjudicial foreclosure, the association records a lien on the owner’s property. The owner’s property may be sold to satisfy the lien if the lien is not paid. Assessments become delinquent 15 days after they are due, unless the governing documents of the association provide for a longer time. (Sections 1366 and 1367.1 of the Civil Code)
In a nonjudicial foreclosure, the association may recover assessments, reasonable costs of collection, reasonable attorney’s fees, late charges, and interest. The association may not use nonjudicial foreclosure to collect fines or penalties, except for costs to repair common areas damaged by a member or a member’s guests, if the governing documents provide for this. (Sections 1366 and 1367.1 of the Civil Code)
The association must comply with the requirements of Section 1367.1 of the Civil Code when collecting delinquent assessments. If the association fails to follow these requirements, it may not record a lien on the owner’s property until it has satisfied those requirements. Any additional costs that result from satisfying the requirements are the responsibility of the association. (Section 1367.1 of the Civil Code)
At least 30 days prior to recording a lien on an owner’s separate interest, the association must provide the owner of record with certain documents by certified mail. Among these documents, the association must send a description of its collection and lien enforcement procedures and the method of calculating the amount. It must also provide an itemized statement of the charges owed by the owner. An owner has a right to review the association’s records to verify the debt. (Section 1367.1 of the Civil Code)
If a lien is recorded against an owner’s property in error, the person who recorded the lien is required to record a lien release within 21 days, and to provide an owner certain documents in this regard. (Section 1367.1 of the Civil Code)
The collection practices of the association may be governed by state and federal laws regarding fair debt collection. Penalties can be imposed for debt collection practices that violate these laws.
When an owner makes a payment, he or she may request a receipt, and the association is required to provide it. On the receipt, the association must indicate the date of payment and the person who received it. The association must inform owners of a mailing address for overnight payments. (Sections 1367.1 and 1367.1 of the Civil Code)
An owner may dispute an assessment debt by giving the board of the association a written explanation, and the board must respond within 15 days if certain conditions are met. An owner may pay assessments that are in dispute in full under protest, and then request alternative dispute resolution. (Sections 1366.3 and 1367.1 of the Civil Code)
An owner is not liable for charges, interest, and costs of collection, if it is established that the assessment was paid properly on time. (Section 1367.1 of the Civil Code)
MEETINGS AND PAYMENT PLANS
An owner of a separate interest that is not a time-share may request the association to consider a payment plan to satisfy a delinquent assessment. The association must inform owners of the standards for payment plans, if any exist. (Section 1367.1 of the Civil Code)
The board of the directors must meet with an owner who makes a proper written request for a meeting to discuss a payment plan when the owner has received a notice of a delinquent assessment. These payment plans must conform with the payment plan standards of the association, if they exist. (Section 1367.1 of the Civil Code)”
Added Stats 2002 ch 1111 § 4 (AB 2289).