Tag Archive 'HOA partial payments':

Huntington Continental VOICE













This website is a work in progress;





Special thanks to Sam Walker, a quality attorney, who has been instrumental in winning this battle. If you have real estate or HOA issues, or if you have litigation or appellate needs, Sam may be able to help you too: sam@samwalkerlaw.com (Sam Walker is in northern California). Sam Walker is a great appeal lawyer. That is his speciality.


If you are in Southern California contact Joseph Rosenblit: rosenblitlawyer@gmail.com – Mr. Rosenblit practices in Orange County and all Southern California areas. Mr. Rosenbilt stood firmly behind me in the litigation against the 14 defendants including the lawyers I sued: Stanley Feldsott, Jacqueline Pagano, and James Harkins. If you have problems with any of the people mentioned in this website, or others who do not play by the rules, I suggest you sue them too! Remember, document every issue, every email, every letter. Take photos, keep each and every items they send to you, and make copies of every item you send to them. The more people who sue their association, including the lawyers, and the management companies the better it will be for everyone.


DO NOT SIGN AGREEMENTS WITH ANYONE – this will take away your rights! This is what the agreements are all about – you agree to pay them all they want and YOU give up your rights at the same time. Before you sign any agreement contact Sam or Joe.


My opion is that it is better not to talk on phone (unless they allow you to record the conversation). People have a habit of forgetting EXACTLY what was said and that won’t be good for you. Make certain your emails ‘repeat’ every detail you wish to get across. In court you will not believe how things are twisted. If you repeat each and every issue in your response emails that will be less likely.


EXAMPLE: Mr. Smith if you pay $100 today we will drop the lawsuit. Instead of just saying ‘okay’ you say “Okay Mr. Jones, you state that if I pay $100 today you will drop the lawsuit. I agree to pay $100 today and will send it to you.” Be very ‘clear’ and leave no ambiguity in any correspondence with whomeever you correspond with. If you have a meeting RECORD THE MEETING – People tend to tell the truth when the truth is recored or in writing.


This whole thing gets somewhat complex but here it is in a nutshell.


War #1) Owner got behind in his payments. He then sent the Association full payment for all assessments. Association’s attorney sent the full payment back to owner. The owner sent the money back. The Association sent the money back to owner and tried to foreclose in his home in a lawsuit. The owner fought the lawsuit. The lawsuit was a bloody battle that went all the way to the court of appeal just below Supreme Court of California. The Court ruled the owner was the winner. Wars are costly. Association must pay for everything associated with the losing the war. You lose the war when you don’t play by the law. I won, they lost.




War #2) Association, while going through the other battle, started a new battle and tried to sue owner in Small Claims Court AFTER Erica Griffith added about $15,000 in bogus attorney fees to owner’s ledger. Owner would not allow this and stood for battle once again battling James Harkins (lawyer), the Association’s attorney, and Keystone. The events are listed below. Basically, the Association’s agents were pulling another ‘fast one’ doing things that were again illegal (my opinion). Again we went to battle, and again the Association lost, as the new Judge finally reversed their short victory and now has forced them to put their battle on in a upper level court where again we have attorneys and evidence, and witnesses. You have none of this in Small Claims.




War #3) Now that I have proven what had been done to me was illegal. I now sue everyone involved. Normally everyone would need to defend themselves, but in this case Rustan Laine has signed contracts forcing Association to pay and defend the Attorney, the management company etc! So why is my HOA defending these subcontractors for their mistakes? Ask Rustan Laine and Myra Kuck. Call your HOA President and tell her you want your money back from these wasteful service providers!


WINNER! (SETTLEMENT) While I can not give details of my personal settlement – I will have a very nice Christmas 2015 and all of 2016 for that matter!




Bottom line this member’s opinion is that Myra Kuck and Rustan Laine have made some very very very bad decisions, allowing all this to happen, costing this association and it members hundreds of thousands of dollars… and we are not done yet! All my personal opinion of course. “The quickest way to lose all your money is to put someone in charge who faces no consequence when losing it.” The Directors are supposed to be the ‘watchful eye’ over the agents (lawyers, managers) who wish to waste (spend) all our money; and suffer no consequence when they accomplish their goal and our balance is zero. 


Below are the sideline issues where the association chose to sue in Small Claims…. it lost again, the case now consolidated with the new case against Kuck and Laine. There is a huge history to all this: all you really need to know is that these particular directors have made some very bad decisions that have cost each and every homeowner about $500! A total of $250,000 and we are not done yet… it could be another $800,000 that could bankrupt this entire HOA! Then it would be time for a huge SPECIAL ASSESSMENT from each owner! When the dust settles we will know what this has cost in total. Right now the estimate is $250,000 but the next war could cost this Association another $800,000!


<<<<<<<<<< PAST UPDATES >>>>>>>>>>


UPDATE 5/2014! Owner who won major victory for all California HOA homeowers now under savage financial attack by Keystone Pacific Community Manager hired by the Huntington Continental Board of Directors. Coincidentally this Keystone Pacific Community Manager is a long term and “personal friend” of a specific director who authorized the previous attempted foreclosure. The Keystone Pacific Community Manager, approved by the same director, is now arbitrarily adding (added) 1000s and 1000s of dollars in attorney fees monthly to the owners account! it’s our opinion this is an obvious targeted attack of malicious retribution against anyone who stands up to these people when they don’t abide by the law!


This Community Manager has now added more than $25,000 in attorney “phone call” and “email” fees to the owners account. Beware this could happen to you!


UPDATE 6/2014! After publicly exposing the link between the board member and  the Keystone Pacific Community Manager, this community manager has been removed! However, they have not removed all of her daily phone calls and emails to the attorney and malicious additions to my ledger.


UPDATE 10/2014! Enough is enough. All owners at Huntington Continental are being victimized by this complete mis-management. Imagine $12,000 (old amount) in attorney fees (60 months of assessments) paid to an attorney when the entire situation was caused by the association itself! Association, directors, and management company named in legal action.


UPDATE 7/2015! A Superior Court lawsuit has been filed, and now is being amended.


HOA foreclosure victims – If you have been foreclosed on by ANY HOA attorney who refused payments that may have allowed you to keep your property I would advise you to contact an attorney and sue the HOA and HOA attorney who refused your money. Refusal of your payments was unlawful!!!


Additionally, we allege these “service providers” should pay back the monies to Huntington Continental (unjust enrichment). If you are an owner in Huntington Continental we believe these ‘service providers’ owe our association about $250,000!!!


If you also believe these ‘service providers’ should pay back the wasted fees they charged and were paid by your HOA directors, you should contact us via the contact links. The amount is about $500 for each and every owner at the Huntington Continental. (that is 2.5 months with no dues!!!!). Obviously one can not get paid for doing a bad job or pursuing an illegal collection and wasting literally many hundreds of thousands of dollars.


If you live in an Association you may know of these providers named below and you may want to check and see if they are doing the same things at your Association. Those things would be: 1) refusing partial payments (any payment you make MUST go to your assessments, 2) suing you in Small Claims court and charging Attorney fees (we believe this to be a new illegal scam happening with debt collection managers and ‘consulting’ attorneys.


  • An updated list of defendants that have been sued on the amended complaint are:
  • 1 – Huntington Continental Town Home Association, Inc.
  • 2- Rustan Laine (former President)
  • 3 – Myra Kuck (former Treasurer)
  • 4 – Feldsott and Lee (a law firm)
  • 5 – Stanley Feldsott
  • 6 – Jacqueline Pagano
  • 7 – Tyler Jones
  • 8 – Keystone Pacific
  • 9 – Cary Treff
  • 10 – Erica Griffith
  • 11 – Renee Barger
  • 12 – Brittany Bennett
  • 13 – Cane Walker Harkins (a law firm)
  • 14 – James Harkins
  • 15 – Arturo Chayra (dismissed as to some counts)
  • 16 – Richard Sheldon Bar (dismissed as to some counts)
  • 17 – Diann Robertson (dismissed as to some counts)


YOUR NEW SECRET WEAPON! – As a mandated member of your association you are effectively a ‘stock holder.’ When the directors are idiots and let the attorneys or management company fleece your operating account for every dollar you take in every month… or the directors are self-dealing in some way. If your lawsuit would benefit the Corporation as a whole and not just you – file a Shareholder Derivative Action against your management company or your HOA attorneys…. the law is that your attorney can get attorney fees!


Shareholder Derivative Actions – Your Secret Weapon!


association, manager, management company ‘now have’ added $25,000+ in attorney fees over a $120 debt the association created. Attorney fees 200 times the amount of dispute! We believe these are: $25,000 in bogus (unlawful) attorney fees and charges over a $120 small claims dispute!



  • Association continued it’s bad acts after trial. Long story.
  • Owner sued in Small Claims for specific performance. Could not be granted.
  • Association had filed new lien and attempted to sue in Small Claims.
  • Association (improperly) dismissed first Small Claims suit, and filed a second.
  • Association sued again in Small Claims and convinced Judge to give Association $5,000 judgment!
  • Owner filed motion to vacate based on correct law. Stubborn Judge refused.
  • Owner filed a writ petition. Writ Judge denied, said remedy in Small Claims Appeal.
  • Owner appealed to Small Claims Appellate Division.
  • Small Claims appeal trial got delayed and delayed…. (good luck)
  • Owner filed Unlimited Civil complaint against Association and it’s bad actors.
  • Owner notified new Judge he filed the Unlimited Case. Judge said to file motion for consolidation.
  • Association’s attorney ‘Pinocchio’ danced on the tables playing his flute, his nose grew like a garden hose!
  • Judge did not buy his twisted BS story and ordered a consolidation of case.
  • This may have been same attorney ‘advised’ to file a Small Claims Action ‘after’ filing a lien! Civil Code prohibits this!
  • (real estate lien is a limited civil issue – civil code gives two options, sue in Small Claims or file lien – not both – read history of law!)
  • 2/9/15 – Judge says ‘legal issues’ – Judge consolidates…. another $15,000 of Association’s legal fees out the window!!!
  • We believe Pinocchio has been paid. Another attorney who pocketed the Association’s dwindling money!
  • Now on to Unlimited Civil against this malicious group.
  • When a motion was filed to consolidate the Association’s lawsuit against me in small claims – the Association dismissed their lawsuit against me!! Another waste of $25,000 paid to an HOA attorney.





Note – this site is not authorized by the Huntington Continental Town Home Association.

Collections primer

If you have ever been owed money, and you were a reasonable businessperson, you know that you would never hire a $300-$600 per hour attorney to collect just $1800 in debt unless you wanted to completely harass and intimidate the debtor and by law you were entitled to recover attorney fees if you won [and you had a lot of cash in your pocket to waste on attorney fees]. This occurs only in the HOA world, not in the real world. It wastes time, it wastes money and it makes lots of enemies – not good for a close knit “community.”


But what if you don’t win? Who pays the attorney fee then? The HOA does. All the HOA members share in the loss TWICE. Why twice? You paid the HOA attorneys to sue, and now you have to pay the winning [prevailing] party’s attorney fees too! Some HOAs have been hit with $500,000 in attorney fees by listening to some attorney who eventually lost the case. Law is complex but in most cases the ONLY winning parties are the attorneys. Ask anyone who has been in litigation and they is what they will tell you. It’s no coincidence there are so many attorney jokes.


Think about this – what person would ever hire an attorney to sue for this itty bitty amount of money? Credit card companies don’t even sue for that much. We have all heard of ambulance chaser attorneys. Effectively we have the same thing going on here with these HOA collection attorneys; it’s the new ambulance chaser.


This is generally about an amount of money, $1800, less than costs to buy a good set of patio furniture today. Even a set of tires for your car could cost that much.


Ambulance chaser attorneys take personal injury cases on because they are practically 100% certain they will be paid, and paid well. When money is collected it goes into the attorney trust fund and they have complete control over the money. The take the cases on contingency, but not until they have met in the back room and done their due diligence to see if you will get paid.




This ad is from the front page of http://www.liencollections.com


“The procedure for turning over a delinquent account to S.B.S. is actually as simple as filling out a few forms, sending them into us and we will handle the rest and there is NO DEPOSIT REQUIRED TO START THE COLLECTION PROCESS. All fees and costs incurred by S.B.S. are based on our set fee schedule and are billed directly to the homeowner. Fees and costs will only be invoiced to the HOA if the result of the collection action is a senior lender foreclosure or the HOA completes their foreclosure action.” [or if they lose in a legal battle and the owner is prevailing party]


Guaranteed; if you were hit broadside, in a crosswalk, by a drunk 18 yo guy [or illegal] driving a car with no insurance, living in an apartment with roommates, working at McDonalds, you would not find an attorney on planet earth to take your case. It would not matter if you legs were severed, you lost an eye, and your face was smushed.  On the other-hand, if the 18 yo had $1,000,0000 insurance, lived at home with his folks, driving their Mercedes, and lived on the cliffs of Corona Del Mar… you have to beat the attorneys off your doorstep. The first thing my attorneys ask is every time: do they have insurance or own real estate. Remember this – attorneys do not takes cases where they will not get paid. This is why they love the HOA collection cases – they can be assured they will get paid from the sale of your home and they can spend $60,000 in fees taking you to court for $3,000 in debt and unpaid assessments. The new ambulance chaser.


I had an epiphany recently – I highly doubt if these collection attorneys are used much in “rich” HOAs like Big Canyon, or the Vintage, or Shady Canyon. Why? Because there are owners in those associations that have big bucks and bigger badder attorneys and when the dust settles, the HOA may have to pay both sides of a very expensive legal battle that could be more than $500,000 just in attorney fees. It’s just the opposite in an entry level HOA. At the Huntington Continental it’s more like theft. Most people in this association, if late on their HOA assessments, have NO money for an attorney.  It’s easy money for any attorney who is selected by a Board to work in these HOAs…. every month it’s like taking money from defenseless person. A guy points a gun in your face and says “give me your money” what do you do?


$1800 is the current threshold amount the legislature has set to “allow” foreclosure on a property to collect this unpaid debt. A HOA owners advocate group tried to raise the amount to $3600 but the HOA collection attorneys were able to stop it in the legislature.  The laws that govern this collection recommend simply using small claims court to obtain a judgment and for HOAs to collect their money that way. The best thing for the HOA is to get the debtor paying again and get their assessments, not to punish the debtor and put them in the poor house by allowing the un-fed attorney at the equity in their house.


Over the past few years attorney firms have been hard at work to weasel-in to the HOA Boards and “recommend” foreclosure. What they fail to tell you in their articles is this… every dollar collected FIRST goes to pay the attorney and if the home is sold and there is not enough money, the HOA pays the attorney out of HOA funds!!! While these are complex issues, the way the attorneys have set it up is that the attorneys get a lot of money, lots and lots of money, the association gets a little bit of money. That is the case at the Huntington Continental. No one in this Galaxy would spend $60,000 attorney fees to collect $3,000 debt. Not unless that $3,000 debt came with a nice condo at the Huntington Continental; your home!


The HOA collections is similar to this. Now, with the JM Trust case, using an attorney does not make sense; as far as the attorney is concerned. Here is why…. if the foreclosure can be stopped by the owner paying the assessments owed, and not the attorney fees, what happens? If the attorney can not foreclose and SELL your home to collect the fees the HOA will need to pay the attorney fees, and the HOA is never going to start doing that… right? So that just puts those collection attorneys right out of business. It no mystery why they are now fighting this decision.


When attorneys were assured of payment though the foreclosure of your home, they were lining up to take these cases hoping you would fight and they would make big paychecks. You can read Feldsott’s comment about making $60,000 on a $3,000 collection. That did not benefit the HOA one bit. It put some family out on the street and bought Feldsott a new Mercedes and that is criminal in my opinion. Like the old saying goes, you can steal more with a pen, than you can with a gun. The new saying should be you can steal more with a law degree than you can with a pen or a gun.


Here is a collection attorney’s overview of her thoughts on the JM Trust case. You can read between the lines.


In the world that benefits both parties, and where most cases could be worked out, you might just sue in small claims.


Small claims lawsuit filing fee: $50
Process server fee: $75
Total cost to obtain judgment on person: $125
Obtain abstract of judgment: $35
Record abstract with County: $35


Total cost: $320


Then if debtor did not pay within 6 months or 12 months, you “could” hire a collection attorney to force sale of property. Most likely most debtors would pay the debt by then. This is nothing like regular collections. You know where the debtor lives, you know they own real estate, they can not sell the real estate without paying you. No need for a collection attorney.


More to come.

HOA partial payment story – appeal continued

HOA partial payment story – more to come

HOA partial payment story – appeal victory

HOA partial payment story – more to come

HOA partial payment story – appeal

HOA partial payment story – more to come

HOA partial payment story – limited civil trial

HOA partial payment story – more to come


The limited Civil trial in front of Judge Robert H. Gallivan (now apparently deceased). Did not see a single condolence on his obituary. I put one in there as he was deserving of one. Seemed like a nice, but old and tired Judge.


Unfortunately the law means nothing if the Judge does not follow the law. While I can imagine that being a Judge gets pretty boring after 50 years in the legal profession – you still need to stay alert and awake at trial. My opinion is that Judge Gallivan heard so many of these lawsuits he had no interest or perhaps he was dealing with personal issues.



HOA partial payment story – small claims

HOA partial payment story – more to come

HOA partial payment story – pre trial

HOA partial payment story – unfortunately the whole story was not presented at trial. The issues were much more sinister. Once your account is transferred to a collection attorney they run roughshod over you. They don’t follow the law, and don’t appear to care about anything. While we presented the most basic of documents there was much more to the story.


Note that there was a lot of additional evidence that was not taken to court. I have uploaded some of this evidence for download. Letters written to the HOA Board of Directors. Letters refused by the Board of Directors. Letters written to Pagano, the collection attorney. Letters included with each and every payment made. The sad part about this is just how many times have these tired old Judges ruled in Feldsott’s favor and have not followed the law? How many people have lost their homes because they could not fight a bad trial Judge ruling?


  • Got behind on HOA payments
  • Property manager was not sending invoices to my office (or condo)
  • Condo had been rented for 8 years
  • Attorney sent me letter they would sue me (march or april I think)
  • Did not want to be sued so contacted attorney
  • I NEVER requested any kind of a payment plan – NEVER, NONE
  • Attorney’s assistant asked me how much I could pay
  • I simply answered that I would pay $2000 to start (simply to answer the mans question)
  • Apparently he sent me a payment plan in email. (never opened it)
  • I sent simple letter to HOA management company saying I would make payments (not payment plan per se)
  • “Payment plans” are contracts between you and the attorneys. There was no such plan.
  • I made about $3500 in payments and asked for my accounting
  • NO ONE would provide me with my accounting (very bizarre)
  • I asked in several letters to the managers and HOA for my accounting (no one would give it to me)
  • In December i received a letter – Attorney was asking for a default judgement!
  • I immediately called attorney and asked what this was about.
  • Never even knew there was a lawsuit! (why would attorney not contact me before default?)
  • Attorney stated that I was served at condo by process server.
  • I explained that I had not lived at the condo for 8 years, and had not been there in 3 years.
  • Asked attorney to vacate judgement. She would not.
  • Found that process server they use had been served for “gutter service” I have been contact by several people now
  • I had lots of money in bank and just wanted to pay my assessments. Had asked for accounting for months.
  • Asked for accounting and sent regular assessment payments.
  • Still no one would give me line item accounting so I could see what I owed and what for.
  • Attorney’s assistant was COOKING THE BOOKS!
  • Because he was doing this sketchy accounting my debt was far above what I owed – he tried to force me to pay attorney fees and applied my payments to ATTORNEY FEES rather than to assessments!
  • I have accounting background and calculated what I thought I owed
  • I then sent that full amount to the HOA President – he accepted and sent me an email saying so
  • About a week later I get letter from attorney with my check! She sent it back to me!
  • Still had not been served with lawsuit.
  • Paid my assessments if full, spreadsheet shows I overpaid
  • Still I had not ever received my itemized accounting
  • Sued association in small claims to get my accounting
  • Finally at small claims hearing was was given my line item accounting
  • Attorney’s assistant served me at small claims hearing for the foreclosure
  • Effectively I paid my assessments in full way before I was ever served with legal action


Imagine that. Attorney fees and attorneys are the tail that wags the Association dog. I met with two board members who don’t know the law and had NEVER read the CC&Rs!


Old retired Judge Galvan was no paying much attention at the trial.


Feldsott continues to tell untruths on his website. NO PAYMENT PLAN WAS ENTERED INTO!


Payment plans are drawn up by attorneys and are effectively contracts. I simply wrote a letter to the management company stating I would make payments. I never saw nor did I sign Feldsott’s payment plan.



HOA partial payment story – index

HOA partial payment story – index


Work in progress…


This is long drawn out story of how miserable a nasty HOA Board of Directors and their even nastier collection attorneys can make you.


In a nutshell what I have found out in this multi-year process is that my HOA Board of Directors don’t know the laws or even the CCRs. I literally had a meeting at a coffee shop with two Board members who did not know the laws or even that I had won the appeal of the partial payment issue. They were there at the meeting because the law requires they be there. I attempted to explain the situation and try to come to an agreement on a new issue. They may as well have been farm animals that I was negotiating with.


At that point I finally realized the Board Members (at least on this board) are simply puppets of the HOA attorneys and management company. These people don’t know the laws or the regulations and just rubber stamp everything. As Board members they have a fiduciary duty to the HOA.


HOA collection attorneys are in business to make money, big money. You don’t make any money unless you have a client. You don’t make any “real” money writing attorney letters… so what do collection attorneys do? They advise the Board to collect of course. And this is how they make big money.


Here is my favorite quote from Felsott and Lee’s Collection Attorney website:


You can read it here for yourself – HOA COLLECTION PROCEDURES


“The major disadvantage to judicial foreclosure is that, as compared to the private sale, the judicial foreclosure is easier to contest. The owner need only file an answer. Of course, the prevailing party may recover attorney fees. Not too long ago, our office litigated a case where the attorney fees awarded and paid (trial and appeal) were more than $60,000 in a suit over $3,000 in assessments.


I just love the part… of course the prevailing party may recover attorney fees, and I was just awarded $60,000 in a itty bitty lawsuit over just $3,000 in assessments – para phrased of course! Who benefited? The attorney or the HOA?


So… why are collection attorneys in business? To make money of course. How do they make money? They make money by REFUSING partial payments so they can litigate and pile on additional fees and costs! Of course!


The problem here is that ant is killed constantly by the elephant. Most owners are not simply withholding their payments, they can’t afford to make them. And if they can’t afford to make them, then they can’t afford an attorney. It appears to be a simple solution that one would be able to make just the assessment payments to stop foreclosure.


I can tell you the collection attorneys HATE the thought of this law being clarified. Feldsott’s own attorney stood up in court and stated: “your Honor, there is no law that we must accept partial payments”


Actually, if you read the law using it’s simple and common language that is EXACTLY what it states.


Back to the story… Is this system broken or what? In the Huntington Continental there are 450 people paying into an association with a Board of Directors who does not know the law and has not read their own CCRs! They then listen to some collection attorney who tell them to sue, keep suing, appeal, appeal the appeal and win at any cost. The board rejects a payment in full from a homeowner (because the attorneys SECRET contract tells the board that the attorney will make all decisions) and attorney attempts to squash the homeowner like a bug, take his house, and get paid $60,000 on a $3,000 collection? Effectively you yourself are paying the fees for the collection attorney who is there to steal your house over an insignificant assessment bill! There is no better racket than being a collection attorney and they is why they don’t want you to make partial payments to stop foreclosure. When their target is your secured asset, your home, they see a pot of gold at the end and will litigate until you lose everything. They don’t follow the law, and they don’t care about the law. Why? Because the only way to make them follow the law is to go to court, and they are ATTORNEYS using your HOAs money, that you paid in, to fight YOU. It just does not get any better than that.


The root of the problem are the people elected to the Board of Directors.


Back to the story…


Partial payment law



Civil Code §1367. Association’s Lien Rights.
[New: Civ. Code §5740]


(a) A regular or special assessment and any late charges, reasonable costs of collection, and interest, as assessed in accordance with Section 1366, shall be a debt of the owner of the separate interest at the time the assessment or other sums are levied. Before an association may place a lien upon the separate interest of an owner to collect a debt which is past due under this subdivision, the association shall notify the owner in writing by certified mail of the fee and penalty procedures of the association, provide an itemized statement of the charges owed by the owner, including items on the statement which indicate the assessments owed, any late charges and the method of calculation, any attorney’s fees, and the collection practices used by the association, including the right of the association to the reasonable costs of collection. In addition, any payments toward that debt shall first be applied to the assessments owed, and only after the principal owed is paid in full shall the payments be applied to interest or collection expenses.


Civil Code §1367.1. Notice of Lien; Priority of Payments; Payment Under Protest; Monetary Penalties; Applies to Liens Recorded After January 1, 2003.


(a) A regular or special assessment and any late charges, reasonable fees and costs of collection, reasonable attorney’s fees, if any, and interest, if any, as determined in accordance with Section 1366, shall be a debt of the owner of the separate interest at the time the assessment or other sums are levied. [New: Civ. Code §5650(a)] At least 30 days prior to recording a lien upon the separate interest of the owner of record to collect a debt that is past due under this subdivision, the association shall notify the owner of record in writing by certified mail of the following:[New:Civ. Code §5660 (intro)]

(1) A general description of the collection and lien enforcement procedures of the association and the method of calculation of the amount, a statement that the owner of the separate interest has the right to inspect the association records, pursuant to Section 8333 of the Corporations Code, and the following statement in 14-point boldface type, if printed, or in capital letters, if typed: “IMPORTANT NOTICE: IF YOUR SEPARATE INTEREST IS PLACED IN FORECLOSURE BECAUSE YOU ARE BEHIND IN YOUR ASSESSMENTS, IT MAY BE SOLD WITHOUT COURT ACTION.”(2) An itemized statement of the charges owed by the owner, including items on the statement which indicate the amount of any delinquent assessments, the fees and reasonable costs of collection, reasonable attorney’s fees, any late charges, and interest, if any.

(3) A statement that the owner shall not be liable to pay the charges, interest, and costs of collection, if it is determined the assessment was paid on time to the association.(4) The right to request a meeting with the board as provided by paragraph (3) of subdivision (c).

(5) The right to dispute the assessment debt by submitting a written request for dispute resolution to the association pursuant to the association’s “meet and confer” program required in Article 5 (commencing with Section 1363.810) of Chapter 4.(6) The right to request alternative dispute resolution with a neutral third party pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 1369.510) of Chapter 7 before the association may initiate foreclosure against the owner’s separate interest, except that binding arbitration shall not be available if the association intends to initiate a judicial foreclosure. [New: Civ. Code §5660(a)-(f)]


(b) Any payments made by the owner of a separate interest toward the debt set forth, as required in subdivision (a), shall first be applied to the assessments owed, and, only after the assessments owed are paid in full shall the payments be applied to the fees and costs of collection, attorney’s fees, late charges, or interest. When an owner makes a payment, the owner may request a receipt and the association shall provide it. The receipt shall indicate the date of payment and the person who received it. The association shall provide a mailing address for overnight payment of assessments. [New: Civ. Code §5655]


ALSO SEE Civil Code §5730 [Old: Civ. Code §1365.1]



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. (Section 1367.1 of the Civil Code)

An owner may, but is not obligated to, pay under protest any disputed charge or sum levied by the association, including, but not limited to, an assessment, fine, penalty, late fee, collection cost, or monetary penalty imposed as a disciplinary measure, and by so doing, specifically reserve the right to contest the disputed charge or sum in court or otherwise.



So… how is one supposed to contest a charge in court, after making a payment under protest, with the association then rejecting the payment? To me is sure looks like you can make any payment at any time whether under protest or not. When you go to court you can protest the payment or not. This last section under the old code 1365.1 underlines the fact you can make payments before court.


Note – nowhere does it say they can refuse payments. In fact it states just the opposite – Any payments made SHALL first be applied to assessments. I am not an attorney but three Superior Court Judges agreed with our argument and wrote a certified opinion in our favor.


The problem is this. How does a homeowner fight the big bad association by themselves? In the Huntington Continental 450 families are paying the Association per month – $90,000 monthly. The Association has a million dollars on reserve. The laws can be written in stone but if the Board of Directors and the HOA Attorneys don’t follow the laws what is a poor homeowner to do? This is a very dire situation for each and every homeowner in an Association.


You can show them the law, your can read them the law, you can explain the law but if they refuse to follow the law you lose and they they take your house. The attorney firms have made a racket out of stonewalling HOA members. They know its a Goliath v. David fight and they know they are Goliath. At every corner they threaten you with Attorney fees. The law states the prevailing party is rewarded attorney fees. It’s a scary battle to fight Goliath.