FL 4th DCA Holds HOA Foreclosure Filed After Recording of Mortgagee’s Lis Pendens Not Barred
Distinguishing its prior ruling in U.S. Bank National Ass’n v. Quadomain Condominium Ass’n, the District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida, Fourth District, recently held that a foreclosure of a homeowners association’s lien against the property owner filed after the recording of a lis pendens by a first mortgagee is not barred, where the association’s subordinate lien was imposed under the association’s declaration of covenants recorded before the first mortgagee recorded its lis pendens.
In so ruling, the Court confirmed that the homeowners association’s foreclosure action is inferior to the foreclosure of the first mortgage.
A copy of the opinion is available at: Link to Opinion.
The first mortgagee on real property subject to a homeowners association’s recorded covenants and restrictions sued to foreclose the mortgage in 2007, naming the association as a defendant and recording a notice of lis pendens at the same time. The homeowners association’s declaration of covenants and restrictions had been recorded prior to the recording of the mortgage.
The homeowners association recorded a claim of lien for unpaid assessments in 2011, sued in 2012 to foreclose its lien, and obtained a final default judgment. Later, the mortgagee’s successor in interest obtained a final judgment of foreclosure in the previously-filed mortgage foreclosure action.
The borrower then filed a motion seeking to vacate the homeowners association’s 2012 lien foreclosure judgment, relying on the Fourth District Court of Appeal’s earlier ruling in U.S. Bank National Ass’n v. Quadomain Condominium Ass’n, 103 So. 3d 977 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012). The trial court denied the motion and the borrower appealed.