Section 35-8A-316

Lien for assessments.

(a) The association has a lien on a unit for any assessment and any other moneys due the association for special assessments or services or charges, such as water or repairs, levied against that unit or fines imposed against its unit owner from the time the assessment or fine becomes due. The association's lien may be foreclosed in like manner as a mortgage on real estate provided the declaration is in conformity with Article 1A of Chapter 10 of this title and subject to the rights under Article 14A of Chapter 5 of Title 6. The association shall send reasonable advance notice of its proposed action to the unit owner and all lienholders of record of the unit. Unless the declaration otherwise provides, fees, charges, late charges, fines, and interest charged pursuant to Section 35-8A-302(a)(10), (11), and (12) are enforceable as assessments under this section. If an assessment is payable in installments, the full amount of the assessment is a lien from the time the first installment thereof becomes due.

(b) A lien under this section is prior to all other liens and encumbrances on a unit except: (i) liens and encumbrances recorded before the recordation of the declaration; (ii) a first security interest on the unit recorded before the date on which the assessment sought to be enforced became delinquent; and (iii) liens for real estate taxes and other governmental assessments or charges against the unit. The lien is also prior to the mortgages and deeds of trust described in clause (ii) above to the extent of the common expense assessments based on the periodic budget adopted by the association pursuant to Section 35-8A-315(a) which would have become due in the absence of acceleration during the six months immediately preceding: (i) the association's institution of a civil action to enforce its lien; or (ii) a foreclosure of a mortgage or deed of trust described in clause (ii). The association's six-month priority lien does not include the association's costs or attorney fees in enforcing its lien under this subsection. Notwithstanding anything in Act 2018–403 to the contrary, upon a showing by the holder of a mortgage or deed of trust described in clause (ii) that the instrument has been assigned to or is owned or guaranteed by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, the Federal National Mortgage Association, or the Government National Mortgage Association, the six-month priority lien is subject to and shall not be interpreted to exceed any period of time or amount allowed for priority under regulations, rules, guidelines, or requirements adopted by or applicable to any of the above entities. This subsection does not affect the priority of mechanics' or materialmen's liens. The lien under this section is not subject to the provisions of homestead or other exemptions.

(c) Unless the declaration otherwise provides, if two or more associations have liens for assessments created at any time on the same real estate, those liens have equal priority.

(d) Recording of the declaration constitutes record notice and perfection of the lien. No further recordation of any claim of lien for assessment under this section is required.

(e) A lien for unpaid assessments is extinguished unless proceedings to enforce the lien are instituted within three years after the full amount of the assessments becomes due.

(f) This section does not prohibit actions to recover sums for which subsection (a) creates a lien or prohibit an association from taking a deed in lieu of foreclosure.

(g) A judgment or decree in any action brought under this or the preceding section must include costs and reasonable attorney's fees to the prevailing party.

(h) Any unit owner, mortgagee of a unit, person having executed a contract for the purchase of a condominium unit, or lender considering the loan of funds to be secured by a condominium unit shall be entitled upon request to a statement from the association or its management agent setting forth the amount of assessments levied against the unit, including information regarding whether such assessments are past due and the amount past due together with late charges and interest applicable thereto against that condominium unit. Such request shall be in writing, shall be delivered to the registered office of the association, and shall state an address to which the statement is to be directed. Failure on the part of the association to mail or otherwise furnish such statement regarding amounts due and payable if specified in the written request therefor within 10 business days from the receipt of such request releases the association's lien against the unit for the amount of the assessment as of that date, but does not discharge the unit owner's debt to the association. The information specified in such statement shall be binding upon the association and upon every unit owner. Payment of a reasonable fee not exceeding twenty-five dollars ($25) may be required as a prerequisite to the issuance of such a statement if the condominium instruments so provide.

(Acts 1990, No. 90-551, p. 858, §3-116; Act 2018-403, §1.)