(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 subdivision (b), shall be a debt of the owner of the separate interest at the time the assessment or other sums are levied.
(b) Regular and special assessments levied pursuant to the governing documents are delinquent 15 days after they become due, unless the declaration provides a longer time period, in which case the longer time period shall apply. If an assessment is delinquent, the association may recover all of the following:
(1) Reasonable costs incurred in collecting the delinquent assessment, including reasonable attorney’s fees.
(2) A late charge not exceeding 10 percent of the delinquent assessment or ten dollars ($10), whichever is greater, unless the declaration specifies a late charge in a smaller amount, in which case any late charge imposed shall not exceed the amount specified in the declaration.
(3) Interest on all sums imposed in accordance with this section, including the delinquent assessments, reasonable fees and costs of collection, and reasonable attorney’s fees, at an annual interest rate not to exceed 12 percent, commencing 30 days after the assessment becomes due, unless the declaration specifies the recovery of interest at a rate of a lesser amount, in which case the lesser rate of interest shall apply.
(c) Associations are hereby exempted from interest-rate limitations imposed by Article XV of the California Constitution, subject to the limitations of this section.
- Civil Code Section 5665. Payment Plans; Requirements and Limitations.
- Civil Code Section 5660. Pre-Lien Notice; Requirements.
- Civil Code Section 5658. Payment Under Protest.
- Civil Code Section 5655. Priority of Assessment Payments; Receipts; Overnight Payment.
- Civil Code Section 5600. Duty to Levy Assessments.
Related Case Law
- Huntington Continental Townhouse Association, Inc. v. Miner
(2014) 230 Cal.App.4th 590
[Assessments & Collection; Partial Payments] An association is required to accept partial payments made by a delinquent homeowner and allocate them in accordance with Civil Code Section 5655, even after the association has recorded an assessment lien.
- Brown v. Professional Community Management, Inc.
(2005) 127 Cal.App.4th 532
[Assessments & Collection; Collection Fees] An association’s vendors are permitted to earn a profit on the fees it charges in connection with collecting delinquent assessments owed to the association.
- Cerro De Alcala Homeowners Assn. v. Burns
(1985) 169 Cal.App.3d Supp. 1
[Assessments & Collection; Duty to Pay] A homeowner may not avoid his/her obligation to pay assessments levied by a HOA merely because the homeowner abandons possession of the property.
- Park Place Estates Homeowners Association v. Naber
(1994) 29 Cal.App.4th 427
[Assessments & Collection; Duty to Pay Assessments] An association member may not assert the homeowners association’s (HOA’s) conduct as a defense or “setoff” to an action brought by the HOA against the member for the member’s failure to pay assessments.