97-H 6345 am
Effective Without the Governor's Signature
Jul. 8, 1997


It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:

SECTION 1. Section 34-36.1-3.16 of the General Laws in Chapter 34-36.1 entitled "Condominium Law" is hereby amended to read as follows:

34-36.1-3.16. Lien for assessments. -- (a) The association has a lien on a unit for any assessment levied against that unit or fines imposed against its unit owner from the time the assessment or fine becomes due. The association's lien may be foreclosed in accordance with and subject to the provisions of section 34-36.1-3.21. Unless the declaration otherwise provides, attorney's fees, charges, late charges, fines, and interest charged pursuant to section 34-36.1-3.02 (a)(10) -- (12) are enforceable as assessments under this section. If an assessment is payable in installments, the full amount of the assessment is a lien from the time the first installment thereof becomes due.

(b)(1) A lien under this section is prior to all other liens and encumbrances on a unit except:

(i) liens and encumbrances recorded before the recordation of the declaration and not subordinated to the declaration,

(ii) a first mortgage or deed of trust on the unit recorded before the date on which the assessment sought to be enforced became delinquent, and

(iii) liens for real estate taxes and other governmental assessments or charges against the unit.

(2) The lien is also prior to any mortgage or deed of trust described in subdivision (b)(1)(ii) above to the extent of the common expense assessments based on the periodic budget adopted by the association pursuant to section 34-36.1-3.15(a) which would have become due in the absence of acceleration during the six (6) months immediately preceding the foreclosure of the interest of the unit owner by the holder of any such mortgage or deed of trust {DEL . DEL}{ADD , including any costs and reasonable attorney's fees not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), incurred in the collection of any delinquent assessment or other charges by legal proceedings or otherwise. ADD}

(3) This subsection does not affect the priority of mechanics' or materialmen's liens, or the priority of liens for other assessments made by the association.

(c) Unless the declaration otherwise provides, if two (2) or more associations have liens for assessments created at any time on the same real estate, those liens have equal priority.

(d) Recording of the declaration constitutes record notice and perfection of the lien. No further recordation of any claim of lien for assessment under this section is required but is permitted.

(e) A lien for unpaid assessments is extinguished unless proceedings to enforce the lien are instituted within six (6) years after the full amount of the assessments becomes due.

(f) This section does not prohibit actions to recover sums for which subsection (a) creates a lien or prohibit an association from taking a deed in lieu of foreclosure.

(g) A judgment or decree in any action brought under this section must include costs and reasonable attorney's fees for the prevailing party.

(h) The association, upon written request shall furnish to a unit owner or the holder of a first mortgage or deed of trust granted with respect to such unit owner's unit a recordable statement setting forth the amount of unpaid assessments against his or her unit. The statement must be furnished within ten (10) business days after receipt of the request and is binding on the association, the executive board, and every unit owner.

(i) The association may take action for failure of a unit owner to pay any assessment or other charges pursuant to this section. The delinquent unit owner shall be obligated to pay all expenses of the executive board, including reasonable attorney's fees, incurred in the collection of the delinquent assessment or other charges by legal proceedings or otherwise, such attorney's fees and other charges also being a lien on the unit. The delinquent unit owner shall also be obligated to pay any amounts paid by the executive board for taxes or on account of superior liens or otherwise to protect its lien, which expenses and amounts, together with accrued interest, shall be deemed to constitute part of the delinquent assessment and shall be collectible as such.

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.

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