HOUSE BILL 1482
State of Washington
2021 Regular Session
ByRepresentatives Walsh, Orwall, Lekanoff, Leavitt, Sutherland, Jacobsen, Dufault, and Pollet
Read first time 02/04/21.Referred to Committee on Civil Rights & Judiciary.
AN ACT Relating to foreclosure protections for homeowners in common interest communities; and amending RCW 64.90.485
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
and 2019 c 238 s 211 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) The association has a statutory lien on each unit for any unpaid assessment against the unit from the time such assessment is due.
(2) A lien under this section has priority over all other liens and encumbrances on a unit except:
(a) Liens and encumbrances recorded before the recordation of the declaration and, in a cooperative, liens and encumbrances that the association creates, assumes, or takes subject to;
(b) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3) of this section, a security interest on the unit recorded before the date on which the unpaid assessment became due or, in a cooperative, a security interest encumbering only the unit owner's interest and perfected before the date on which the unpaid assessment became due; and
(c) Liens for real estate taxes and other state or local governmental assessments or charges against the unit or cooperative.
(3)(a) A lien under this section also has priority over the security interests described in subsection (2)(b) of this section to the extent of an amount equal to the following:
(i) The common expense assessments, excluding any amounts for capital improvements, based on the periodic budget adopted by the association pursuant to RCW 64.90.480
(1), along with any specially allocated assessments that are properly assessable against the unit under such periodic budget, which would have become due in the absence of acceleration during the six months immediately preceding the institution of proceedings to foreclose either the association's lien or a security interest described in subsection (2)(b) of this section;
(ii) The association's actual costs and reasonable attorneys' fees incurred in foreclosing its lien but incurred after the giving of the notice described in (a)(iii) of this subsection; provided, however, that the costs and reasonable attorneys' fees that will have priority under this subsection (3)(a)(ii) shall not exceed two thousand dollars or an amount equal to the amounts described in (a)(i) of this subsection, whichever is less;
(iii) The amounts described in (a)(ii) of this subsection shall be prior only to the security interest of the holder of a security interest on the unit recorded before the date on which the unpaid assessment became due and only if the association has given that holder not less than sixty days' prior written notice that the owner of the unit is in default in payment of an assessment. The notice shall contain:
(A) Name of the borrower;
(B) Recording date of the trust deed or mortgage;
(C) Recording information;
(D) Name of condominium, unit owner, and unit designation stated in the declaration or applicable supplemental declaration;
(E) Amount of unpaid assessment; and
(F) A statement that failure to, within sixty days of the written notice, submit the association payment of six months of assessments as described in (a)(i) of this subsection will result in the priority of the amounts described in (a)(ii) of this subsection; and
(iv) Upon payment of the amounts described in (a)(i) and (ii) of this subsection by the holder of a security interest, the association's lien described in this subsection (3)(a) shall thereafter be fully subordinated to the lien of such holder's security interest on the unit.
(b) For the purposes of this subsection:
(i) "Institution of proceedings" means either:
(A) The date of recording of a notice of trustee's sale by a deed of trust beneficiary;
(B) The date of commencement, pursuant to applicable court rules, of an action for judicial foreclosure either by the association or by the holder of a recorded security interest; or
(C) The date of recording of a notice of intention to forfeit in a real estate contract forfeiture proceeding by the vendor under a real estate contract.
(ii) "Capital improvements" does not include making, in the ordinary course of management, repairs to common elements or replacements of the common elements with substantially similar items, subject to: (A) Availability of materials and products, (B) prevailing law, or (C) sound engineering and construction standards then prevailing.
(c) The adoption of a periodic budget that purports to allocate to a unit any fines, late charges, interest, attorneys' fees and costs incurred for services unrelated to the foreclosure of the association's lien, other collection charges, or specially allocated assessments assessed under RCW 64.90.480
(6) or (7) does not cause any such items to be included in the priority amount affecting such unit.
(4) Subsections (2) and (3) of this section do not affect the priority of mechanics' or material suppliers' liens to the extent that law of this state other than chapter 277, Laws of 2018 gives priority to such liens, or the priority of liens for other assessments made by the association.
(5) A lien under this section is not subject to chapter 6.13
(6) If the association forecloses its lien under this section nonjudicially pursuant to chapter 61.24
RCW, as provided under subsection (13) of this section, the association is not entitled to the lien priority provided for under subsection (3) of this section, and is subject to the limitations on deficiency judgments as provided in chapter 61.24
(7) Unless the declaration provides otherwise, if two or more associations have liens for assessments created at any time on the same property, those liens have equal priority as to each other, and any foreclosure of one such lien shall not affect the lien of the other.
(8) Recording of the declaration constitutes record notice and perfection of the statutory lien created under this section. Further notice or recordation of any claim of lien for assessment under this section is not required, but is not prohibited.
(9) A lien for unpaid assessments and the personal liability for payment of those assessments are extinguished unless proceedings to enforce the lien or collect the debt are instituted within six years after the full amount of the assessments sought to be recovered becomes due.
(10) This section does not prohibit actions against unit owners to recover sums for which subsection (1) of this section creates a lien or prohibit an association from taking a deed in lieu of foreclosure.
(11) The association upon written request must furnish to a unit owner or a mortgagee a statement signed by an officer or authorized agent of the association setting forth the amount of unpaid assessments or the priority amount against that unit, or both. The statement must be furnished within fifteen days after receipt of the request and is binding on the association, the board, and every unit owner unless, and to the extent, known by the recipient to be false. The liability of a recipient who reasonably relies upon the statement must not exceed the amount set forth in any statement furnished pursuant to this section or RCW 64.90.640
(12) In a cooperative, upon nonpayment of an assessment on a unit, the unit owner may be evicted in the same manner as provided by law in the case of an unlawful holdover by a commercial tenant, and the lien may be foreclosed as provided under this section.
(13) The association's lien may be foreclosed in accordance with (a) and (b) of this subsection.
(a) In a common interest community other than a cooperative, the association's lien may be foreclosed judicially in accordance with chapter 61.12
RCW, subject to any rights of redemption under chapter 6.23
(b) The lien may be enforced nonjudicially in the manner set forth in chapter 61.24
RCW for nonjudicial foreclosure of deeds of trust if the declaration: Contains a grant of the common interest community in trust to a trustee qualified under RCW 61.24.010
to secure the obligations of the unit owners to the association for the payment of assessments, contains a power of sale, provides in its terms that the units are not used principally for agricultural purposes, and provides that the power of sale is operative in the case of a default in the obligation to pay assessments. The association or its authorized representative may purchase the unit at the foreclosure sale and acquire, hold, lease, mortgage, or convey the unit. Upon an express waiver in the complaint of any right to a deficiency judgment in a judicial foreclosure action, the period of redemption is eight months.
(c) In a cooperative in which the unit owners' interests in the units are real estate, the association's lien must be foreclosed in like manner as a mortgage on real estate or by power of sale under (b) of this subsection.
(d) In a cooperative in which the unit owners' interests in the units are personal property, the association's lien must be foreclosed in like manner as a security interest under chapter 62A.9A RCW.
(14) If the unit owner's interest in a unit in a cooperative is real estate, the following requirements apply:
(a) The association, upon nonpayment of assessments and compliance with this subsection, may sell that unit at a public sale or by private negotiation, and at any time and place. The association must give to the unit owner and any lessee of the unit owner reasonable notice in a record of the time, date, and place of any public sale or, if a private sale is intended, of the intention of entering into a contract to sell and of the time and date after which a private conveyance may be made. Such notice must also be sent to any other person that has a recorded interest in the unit that would be cut off by the sale, but only if the recorded interest was on record seven weeks before the date specified in the notice as the date of any public sale or seven weeks before the date specified in the notice as the date after which a private sale may be made. The notices required under this subsection may be sent to any address reasonable in the circumstances. A sale may not be held until five weeks after the sending of the notice. The association may buy at any public sale and, if the sale is conducted by a fiduciary or other person not related to the association, at a private sale.
(b) Unless otherwise agreed to or as stated in this section, the unit owner is liable for any deficiency in a foreclosure sale.
(c) The proceeds of a foreclosure sale must be applied in the following order:
(i) The reasonable expenses of sale;
(ii) The reasonable expenses of securing possession before sale; the reasonable expenses of holding, maintaining, and preparing the unit for sale, including payment of taxes and other governmental charges and premiums on insurance; and, to the extent provided for by agreement between the association and the unit owner, reasonable attorneys' fees, costs, and other legal expenses incurred by the association;
(iii) Satisfaction of the association's lien;
(iv) Satisfaction in the order of priority of any subordinate claim of record; and
(v) Remittance of any excess to the unit owner.
(d) A good-faith purchaser for value acquires the unit free of the association's debt that gave rise to the lien under which the foreclosure sale occurred and any subordinate interest, even though the association or other person conducting the sale failed to comply with this section. The person conducting the sale must execute a conveyance to the purchaser sufficient to convey the unit and stating that it is executed by the person after a foreclosure of the association's lien by power of sale and that the person was empowered to make the sale. Signature and title or authority of the person signing the conveyance as grantor and a recital of the facts of nonpayment of the assessment and of the giving of the notices required under this subsection are sufficient proof of the facts recited and of the authority to sign. Further proof of authority is not required even though the association is named as grantee in the conveyance.
(e) At any time before the association has conveyed a unit in a cooperative or entered into a contract for its conveyance under the power of sale, the unit owners or the holder of any subordinate security interest may cure the unit owner's default and prevent sale or other conveyance by tendering the performance due under the security agreement, including any amounts due because of exercise of a right to accelerate, plus the reasonable expenses of proceeding to foreclosure incurred to the time of tender, including reasonable attorneys' fees and costs of the creditor.
(15) In an action by an association to collect assessments or to foreclose a lien on a unit under this section, the court may appoint a receiver to collect all sums alleged to be due and owing to a unit owner before commencement or during pendency of the action. The receivership is governed under chapter 7.60
RCW. During pendency of the action, the court may order the receiver to pay sums held by the receiver to the association for any assessments against the unit. The exercise of rights under this subsection by the association does not affect the priority of preexisting liens on the unit.
(16) Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, the holder of a mortgage or other purchaser of a unit who obtains the right of possession of the unit through foreclosure is not liable for assessments or installments of assessments that became due prior to such right of possession. Such unpaid assessments are deemed to be common expenses collectible from all the unit owners, including such mortgagee or other purchaser of the unit. Foreclosure of a mortgage does not relieve the prior unit owner of personal liability for assessments accruing against the unit prior to the date of such sale as provided in this subsection.
(17) In addition to constituting a lien on the unit, each assessment is the joint and several obligation of the unit owner of the unit to which the same are assessed as of the time the assessment is due. A unit owner may not exempt himself or herself from liability for assessments. In a voluntary conveyance other than by foreclosure, the grantee of a unit is jointly and severally liable with the grantor for all unpaid assessments against the grantor up to the time of the grantor's conveyance, without prejudice to the grantee's right to recover from the grantor the amounts paid by the grantee. Suit to recover a personal judgment for any delinquent assessment is maintainable in any court of competent jurisdiction without foreclosing or waiving the lien securing such sums.
(18) The association may from time to time establish reasonable late charges and a rate of interest to be charged, not to exceed the maximum rate calculated under RCW 19.52.020
, on all subsequent delinquent assessments or installments of assessments. If the association does not establish such a rate, delinquent assessments bear interest from the date of delinquency at the maximum rate calculated under RCW 19.52.020
on the date on which the assessments became delinquent.
(19) The association is entitled to recover any costs and reasonable attorneys' fees incurred in connection with the collection of delinquent assessments, whether or not such collection activities result in a suit being commenced or prosecuted to judgment. The prevailing party is also entitled to recover costs and reasonable attorneys' fees in such suits, including any appeals, if it prevails on appeal and in the enforcement of a judgment.
(20) To the extent not inconsistent with this section, the declaration may provide for such additional remedies for collection of assessments as may be permitted by law.
(21) An association may not commence an action to foreclose a lien on a unit under this section unless:
(a) The unit owner, at the time the action is commenced, owes at least a sum equal to ((at least three months of common expense assessments))the greater of:
(i) Three months or more of common expense assessments, not including fines, late charges, interest, attorneys' fees, or costs incurred by the association in connection with the collection of a delinquent owner's account; or
(ii) $200 of common expense assessments, not including fines, late charges, interest, attorneys' fees, or costs incurred by the association in connection with the collection of a delinquent owner's account;
(b) The unit owner fails to repay the amount owed under (a) of this subsection within six months of the day that amount is accrued; and
(((b)))(c) The board approves commencement of a foreclosure action specifically against that unit.
(22) Every aspect of a collection, foreclosure, sale, or other conveyance under this section, including the method, advertising, time, date, place, and terms, must be commercially reasonable.
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