If you live in a house, condominium, or townhome that is part of a common interest community in Nebraska, you are most likely responsible for paying dues and assessments to the homeowners’ association (HOA) or condominium association (COA). If you don’t pay, in most cases the HOA or COA can get a lien on your property that could lead to a foreclosure.
Read on to learn about the particular requirements for HOA and COA foreclosures in Nebraska.
The Nebraska Condominium Act (Neb. Rev. Stat. § § 76-825 to 76-894) governs condominiums created after January 1, 1984, while § 52-2001 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes governs HOA liens in the state. The two sets of laws are very similar.
Most HOAs and COAs have the power to place a lien on your home if you become delinquent in paying the monthly dues and/or any special assessments (collectively referred to as “assessments”). Once you fall behind in the payments, typically the lien will automatically attach to the property.
In Nebraska, an HOA or COA is entitled to a lien:
An HOA or COA lien for unpaid assessments has priority over all other liens on the property except:
Nebraska law sets out the types of charges that the HOA or COA may include in the assessments lien. Unless the association’s governing documents provide otherwise, the HOA or COA lien may consist of:
In addition, if the HOA or COA files for foreclosure and the court grants a judgment in favor of the HOA or COA in the case, the total amount of the judgment against the owner will include costs and reasonable attorney’s fees. (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 52-2001(6), § 76-874(f)).
If you make a written request to the HOA or COA, the association must provide you with a statement of the unpaid assessments against your home or condo within ten business days after it receives your request (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 52-2001(7), § 76-874(g)).
If you default on the assessments, the HOA or COA can foreclose. A common misconception is that the association cannot foreclose if you are current with your mortgage payments. However, the association’s right to foreclose has nothing to do with whether you are current on your mortgage payments. (Learn more about HOA liens and foreclosure.)
In Nebraska, an HOA or COA may only foreclose its lien by filing a lawsuit (called a judicial foreclosure). (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 52-2001(1), § 76-874(a)). This differs from most loan foreclosures in Nebraska, which are typically nonjudicial, meaning they take place without court supervision. (Learn more about judicial v. nonjudicial foreclosures and foreclosure laws and procedures in Nebraska.)
The HOA or COA has three years after the full amount of the assessments becomes due to start its lawsuit (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 52-2001(4), § 76-874(d)). After that time, it cannot foreclose on the lien. This is called the statute of limitations.
If you are facing an HOA or COA foreclosure, you should consult with an attorney licensed in Nebraska to discuss all legal options available in your particular circumstances. (See our HOA Foreclosure topic page for articles on HOAs, possible options to catch up if you are delinquent in payments, how bankruptcy can help discharge dues, HOA super liens, and more.)