Adams Stirling PLC


Although Civil Code § 2924b(b) requires that notices be sent by registered or certified mail, it does not require a signed receipt before an association moves to the next step in the foreclosure process.

Refusal to Sign. To require a signed receipt means a person could stop a foreclosure by refusing to sign for letters. Because owners often refuse to sign for certified mail, Civil Code § 2924b(e) also requires that notice be given concurrently by first-class mail. The court in Bear Creek v. Edwards addressed the issue of unsigned receipts and determined that notice cannot be defeated by a person's willful failure to accept certified mail. The court in commented that,

...while a signed return receipt may create a rebuttable presumption that the notice was received, the absence of such a signed return receipt does not negate any other presumptions concerning mailed items. Under Evidence Code section 641, "[a] letter correctly addressed and properly mailed is presumed to have been received in the ordinary course of mail."

Notice Requirements. A foreclosure starts with a Notice of Default (NOD). After three months a Notice of Sale can be prepared. For the NOD, there is an additional requirement of personal or substituted service for assessment lien foreclosures as set forth in Civil Code § 5710(b). Service of the NOD can be a problem when the owner cannot be located or is deceased. As for a Notice of Sale, it must be recorded, published, mailed and posted but not personally served.

Foreign Countries. Notices to owners living in Mexico or other countries are handled differently.

ASSISTANCE: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us. To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter.

Adams Stirling PLC