Things can get ugly when homeowners (members) fail to pay their assessments.

BUT every common interest community (CIC) should have a collection policy that standardizes the approach to resolving past due accounts.  Assessment revenue is the lifeblood that funds your operating expenses!  Please do not assume that you need to hire an attorney to collect on behalf of your community.  Attorneys are not debt collectors.  At least consider an approach where you pay nothing up front. 

State statutes vary greatly regarding collections and foreclosure.  In Washington State, recent House Bills 1482, 1349 and 1686 became effective May '21 and July '23 for all WA CIC statutes: RCW 64.90.485, 64.34.364, 64.38.100 and 64.32.200.  

The updated requirements to foreclose a lien are as follows: 

Ducks Have Sent this HOA Into the Lagoon

Multiple states prohibit foreclosing liens related to fines, late charges, interest and other fees or costs (see above as an example).  Read Governance Matters from CIC Info Bytes to learn how one association seems to have navigated itself into the lagoon.

Example Collection Policy (WA State)

EXAMPLE CIC Collection Policy - Washington State

Example Notice of Delinquency

Reference RCW 64.90.485, 64.34.364, 64.38.100 and 64.32.200

EXAMPLE Notice of Delinquency
Statutory & Governing Documents Hierarchy

Statutory & Governing Documents Hierarchy