Profile picture for user0472756

Buying a short sale with an hoa lien

We are under contract on a short sale that has a lien on it for back due hoa fees. In the contract the sellers said that we are responsible for the back due fees up to 3% of the purchase price. The problem is that we don't know what the amount is. Seller says he *thinks* it's around $2000. Monthly dues are $69. My realtor is saying that we cannot know until we pay to file some thing (can't remember what he called it) and that this won't be done until the end of the process. I'm feeling like this is a bit unfair. I would like to know now. Can the seller ask the hoa for exact amount? Is that unreasonable to ask of him? There is a $5000 difference between 3% of the purchase price and "about $2000" and for me that is a big deal. Also, am I able to negotiate the payment with the hoa? Say $4000 is due, can I offer $2000?
  • September 28 2012 - Riverside
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Answers (5)

Profile picture for AllureTM
Your local county recorder's office will have the lien information; you can usually visit the office and look it up by the address or parcel number. The seller is able to get a firm number from the management company or HOA, and should be able to provide it to you. It's unfortunate that they are making you work so hard for this!
  • October 30 2012
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If you are purchasing title insurance, your title company will perform a title commitment prior to closing. This should tell you what liens are outstanding on the property. Your title insurer won't sell you a property with known outstanding liens as they could become liable for them.

Often HOA's will charge a fee for this information and I am guessing the sellers don't want to incur the fee until they're absolutely sure the sale is closing.
  • September 29 2012
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The preliminary title report should show the lien and the amount. If it doesn't show up there, contact the HOA. This is part of your investigation of the property and you have a right to know prior to releasing your inspection contingencies.
  • September 29 2012
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Profile picture for user0472756
We have a realtor, but he has told us that we just have to wait until escrow. How would I find the public lien?
  • September 29 2012
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Profile picture for Outer Banks N C
Someone has to pay off the lien before title can transfer - period. If it is you or the bank, someone has to. The home owner surely has been sent requests for payment and there is probably a lien filed at the courthouse that is public knowledge, you just need to find it. Are you using a lawyer to close the deal? The owner should be able to contact the HOA, but it sounds like they are not lifting a finger to help == typical in a short sale where they don't care. Do more digging.

Tim
  • September 29 2012
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