Santa Clara, CA asked in Bankruptcy, Contracts, Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for California

Q: Can an HOA sue for dues on a time share property that was foreclosed upon 9 years ago through a chapter 7 bankruptcy?

My husband was served a complaint yesterday indicating that he was being sued by the HOA of a timeshare property that was foreclosed upon during his bankruptcy 9 years ago. They are claiming he has not paid his HOA dues for 9 years, which amount to $35,000 plus attorney fees, etc. I am an attorney (not in CA) so I immediately thought that such a suit would be barred by the statute of limitations in CA. However, they are doing something strange. They are claiming the breach occurred in March of this year. In other words, all HOA dues for the last 9 years and they are just caring about it now. Also strange is that named on the complaint are three other unrelated parties (also timeshare owners but not on any deed with my husband) and for each they are also seeking 35k.

Based on the answer below, wouldn't or shouldn't his bankruptcy attorney have advised him that he was still on the line for HOA dues? Also, isn't it strange for the HOA to not seek payment for 9 years?

2 Lawyer Answers

Harlene Miller

Answered
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Irvine, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: As a bankruptcy attorney, I can address one issue: So long as your husband remained on title, he was responsible for paying the HOA fees even after the conclusion of this bankruptcy case. If a foreclosure actually took place, but new title was never recorded, he would have remained as the title owner and still responsible for the HOA fees. Or it is possible that a foreclosure sale never actually occurred. I suggest you seek further advice from a real estate attorney.

1 user found this answer helpful

David Keith Hicks

Answered
  • Dunsmuir, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Get a lawyer with an office near the courthouse where the case is pending. Don't wait until your default is entered. Have that lawyer interpose the discharge order from the bankruptcy and move to dismiss the complaint. Meanwhile, get your husband's bankruptcy lawyer to threaten the suing party for disregarding the discharge order.

This might not work if your husband failed to list the time share as an estate in the bankruptcy case. HOAs can foreclose, and when they get title they are likely to become obligated on any underlying earlier bank loan.

1 user found this answer helpful

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