Guest-host Gary Laturno, a real estate attorney and broker, tackled your real estate questions yesterday as part of Savvy & Sage: Tips on Buying and Selling in 2009. Here’s his last answer:

Reader Leonard asked:

I am buying a condominium property that is a bank-owned foreclosure and the title policy says there is a $1,400 unpaid HOA lien on it from the prior owner before foreclosure. The bank who now owns it is not going to pay it. Am I responsible to pay this lien (aka can the HOA force me, as the new owner, to pay it) or was it wiped out during foreclosure?

Also, does that differ if I buy a short sale property?


Thanks for the question. My answer: You are not responsible for the lien. The bank would not pay it. It was wiped out at the trustee’s sale. The HOA can only file a claim against the prior owner or write it off. Hope that this is of help.


I just realized that I did not answer the last part of your question. If you are in a short sale situation, you will need to get all lien holders to release their liens. The HOA is not “wiped out”; they would need to be satisfied to get them to release their lien.

If you have more questions for Gary Laturno, you can reach him by email:; phone: 619.741.9652.; or on his web sites: and


Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.