HOA lien not found during search

10 Replies


Does anybody know a good attorney is south Florida for HOA issues after wining a bid in an auction.


Yes, I know a few RE attorneys, who deal from the foreclosure defense, and plaintiff, sides. But what are you looking for. If you bought a property at amortgage foreclosure, any past HOA dues, whether a public lien was filed, or not, belong to you. Unrecorded HOA debts are the constant unknown, to most people, in bank foreclosures here. And unfortunately, the bank knows you paid cash, have no debt on the house, so if they foreclose on it will certainly sell for much more than their debt, so there's no incentive for them to negotiate.

@Wayne Brooks

Thank you for your quick reply. I won a bid in Broward County. It was a bank forclosure. I did a title search prior to purchasing the condo and found no HOA liens. After talking to the management, it looks like there is a lien on the condo that was not reported.

What is the best route to take? Do I try to negotiate myself with the HOA? Do I hire an attorney? Or are there any other suggestions that you have that would be more appropriate given the predicament I am in.

Thank you again,

Yechiel Abekassis

Don't count on much, if any, negotiation. To be clear about the semantics involved; an HOA "lien" is when the HOA actually records a lien in the public records, where you could have found it, as opposed to an "outstanding HOA debt" which is simply the debt owed, not recorded as a "lien", but still transfers to your as the new owner, by law. Outstanding, unrecorded HOA debts are the hardest to determine when bidding on these properties. How much is the debt?

@Guy Gimenez   NO , a title company was not involved.I did a title search on the county website.

@Yechiel Abekassis

Ouch...use this as a learning lesson Y.  Never step over a dollar to save a dime.  Use a title company so you have something to fall back on.  

@Guy Gimenez  

A title search, or at least a lien search, would have been of no additional value here. It's not a recorded lien. It would require an estoppel letter from the HOA, which they wouldn't even be obligated to respond to, since there was no sale contract.

@Wayne Brooks

My mistake...I was relating it to Texas. Here, the title company won't insure (unless Buyer excepts prospective HOA liens from coverage) when property is in an HOA without the resale certificate from the HOA which states the status of liens. When the T.C. orders the Tax Certificate, an HOA certificate is included notifying the title company that there is an HOA involved. HOA's are required by law to provide this information upon request. If the HOA lien were neither recorded, nor disclosed by the HOA, the title company makes the buyer whole under the owner's policy.

Banks in Florida sell real property without a purchase/sale contract? 

@Guy Gimenez  

This was bought at the foreclosure auction (courthouse steps, online).

@Wayne Brooks

I made a bad assumption. I wrongly assumed when he said he won the bid, he was talking online (HUD foreclosure, Auction.com, etc.) so was curious why no contract or title company would have been involved.

Thanks for the clarification Wayne.  

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