Homeowner associations in Oregon are governed by the Planned Community Act, ORS Chapter 94. Under that statute, homeowner associations have an “automatic” lien on any lot that is delinquent on assessments or dues. The automatic lien exists without filing or recording a traditional paper lien in the county records.
That said, in the event that the HOA decides to foreclose on its lien, then a traditional lien must be filed and recorded.
But how long does the HOA have to foreclose on its lien or file a suit against the delinquent owner? Under ORS 94.709, the HOA’s lien is valid for six years. This is consistent with the statute of limitations for breach of covenant or breach of contract, which is six years: ORS 12.080(1): “An action on certain contracts or liabilities must be commenced within six years.”
In short, Oregon HOAs have six years to attempt to collect delinquent assessments. This applies to collecting the assessment through foreclosure or through a lawsuit against the individual owner of the property. Once a delinquent assessment is more than six years old, the association will be prohibited from collecting the delinquent assessment under the statute of limitations