The Davis-Stirling Act
1367.4 . Limits on Collection of Assessments
(a) Notwithstanding any law or any provisions of the governing documents to the contrary, this section shall apply to debts for assessments that arise on and after January 1, 2006.
(b) An association that seeks to collect delinquent regular or special assessments of an amount less than one thousand eight hundred dollars ($1,800), not including any accelerated assessments, late charges, fees and costs of collection, attorney's fees, or interest, may not collect that debt through judicial or nonjudicial foreclosure, but may attempt to collect or secure that debt in any of the following ways:
(1) By a civil action in small claims court, pursuant to Chapter 5.5 (commencing with Section 116.110) of Title 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure. An association that chooses to proceed by an action in small claims court, and prevails, may enforce the judgment as permitted under Article 8 (commencing with Section 116.810) of Title 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The amount that may be recovered in small claims court to collect upon a debt for delinquent assessments may not exceed the jurisdictional limits of the small claims court and shall be the sum of the following:
(A) The amount owed as of the date of filing the complaint in the small claims court proceeding.
(B) In the discretion of the court, an additional amount to that described in subparagraph (A) equal to the amount owed for the period from the date the complaint is filed until satisfaction of the judgment, which total amount may include accruing unpaid assessments and any reasonable late charges, fees and costs of collection, attorney's fees, and interest, up to the jurisdictional limits of the small claims court.
(2) By recording a lien on the owner's separate interest upon which the association may not foreclose until the amount of the delinquent assessments secured by the lien, exclusive of any accelerated assessments, late charges, fees and costs of collection, attorney's fees, or interest, equals or exceeds one thousand eight hundred dollars ($1,800) or the assessments are more than 12 months delinquent. An association that chooses to record a lien under these provisions, prior to recording the lien, shall offer the owner and, if so requested by the owner, participate in dispute resolution as set forth in Article 5 (commencing with Section 1368.810) of Chapter 4.
(3) Any other manner provided by law, except for judicial or nonjudicial foreclosure.
(c) An association that seeks to collect delinquent regular or special assessments of an amount of one thousand eight hundred dollars ($1,800) or more, not including any accelerated assessments, late charges, fees and costs of collection, attorney's fees, or interest, or any assessments that are more than 12 months delinquent, may use judicial or nonjudicial foreclosure subject to the following conditions:
(1) Prior to initiating a foreclosure on an owner's separate interest, the association shall offer the owner and, if so requested by the owner, participate in dispute resolution pursuant to the association's "meet and confer" program required in Article 5 (commencing with Section 1363.810) of Chapter 4 or alternative dispute resolution as set forth in Article 2 (commencing with Section 1369.510) of Chapter 7. The decision to pursue dispute resolution or a particular type of alternative dispute resolution shall be the choice of the owner, except that binding arbitration shall not be available if the association intends to initiate a judicial foreclosure.
(2) The decision to initiate foreclosure of a lien for delinquent assessments that has been validly recorded shall be made only by the board of directors of the association and may not be delegated to an agent of the association. The board shall approve the decision by a majority vote of the board members in an executive session. The board shall record the vote in the minutes of the next meeting of the board open to all members. The board shall maintain the confidentiality of the owner or owners of the separate interest by identifying the matter in the minutes by the parcel number of the property, rather than the name of the owner or owners. A board vote to approve foreclosure of a lien shall take place at least 30 days prior to any public sale.
(3) The board shall provide notice by personal service to an owner of a separate interest who occupies the separate interest or to the owner's legal representative, if the board votes to foreclose upon the separate interest. The board shall provide written notice to an owner of a separate interest who does not occupy the separate interest by first-class mail, postage prepaid, at the most current address shown on the books of the association. In the absence of written notification by the owner to the association, the address of the owner's separate interest may be treated as the owner's mailing address.
(4) A nonjudicial foreclosure by an association to collect upon a debt for delinquent assessments shall be subject to a right of redemption. The redemption period within which the separate interest may be redeemed from a foreclosure sale under this paragraph ends 90 days after the sale.
(d) The limitation on foreclosure of assessment liens for amounts under the stated minimum in this section does not apply to assessments owed by owners of separate interests in timeshare estates, as defined in subdivision (x) of Section 11112 of the Business and Professions Code, or to assessments owed by developers.