April 29, 2015 by Rachael Harrington and Shani Zakay, Esq.
Many associations face the problem of delinquency, as members that fail
to pay their assessments can cause great financial burden for the associations.
Many times the delinquency can only be cured by seeking legal action including
foreclosure of the property. The Civil Code explicitly provides for the
procedures in which an association must undertake to foreclose on the
It currently requires the board to personally serve the homeowner with
notice of its intent to foreclose on the member's separate interest.
This requires the notice to be directly and personally delivered to the
homeowner. Currently, Senate Bill 290 proposes to change this. SB 290
seeks to permit associations to serve the notice on the homeowner by personal
service or substitute service. Substitute service would allow associations
to provide notice indirectly to the homeowner. For example, the notice
could be delivered to the homeowner's place of work and left with
an adult who appears to be in charge.
If this bill passes, associations should be pleased. Personal service is
more difficult to achieve, and homeowners who are aware of the impending
foreclosure may attempt to evade such service. This can cause the process
to take more time and add to the legal fees as counsel continues attempt
service. Allowing substitute service can prevent these issues and, therefore,
expedite the process and prevent increased legal fees.
With the legislature having been on a streak of bills that are more beneficial
to homeowner rights, it is refreshing to see a bill that provides the
association with more tools to maintain its vitality and continued financial