HOA fee arrears appeared after home was purchased on a short sale 3 months ago. The HOA says new owners are responsible since it was not contacted for a closing statement. Who is responsible?

The new owner is responsible for any outstanding liens, arrears or other encumbrances that were not addressed at the closing. (The buyer's chance to have the seller pay any outstanding charges and liens evaporates when the consideration is handed over to the seller.)
  • If you were represented by an attorney you should contact him/her and ask why the arrears weren't paid. Your closing attorney is responsible for an examination of the title in the land records, to disclose any encumbrances, and for contacting the municipality and any HOA to ascertain any outstanding balances on taxes, municipal services and HOA fees, special assessments and arrears.
  • If you purchased an owner's title insurance policy the attorney can initiate a claim. However, if they were missed by that attorney, he/she will be ultimately responsible.
  • If you were not represented by any attorney then you must pay the arrears.