Section 7.1 Creation of the Lien and Personal Obligation of Assessments. Each Owner of a Lot by acceptance of a deed therefor, whether or not it shall be so expressed in such deed, is deemed to covenant and agree to pay to the Association any assessment duly levied by the Association as provided in this Declaration. Such assessments, together with interest, costs, late charges and reasonable attorneys fees, shall also be a charge on the land and shall be a continuing lien upon the Lot against which each such assessment is made. Each such assessment, together with interest, costs, late charges and reasonable attorneys' fees, shall also be the personal obligation of the person who was the Owner of such Lot at the time when the assessment fell due. The personal obligation for delinquent assessments shall not pass to his successor title unless the lien for such delinquent assessments had been properly recorded prior to title transfer or unless expressly assumed by that party. When ownership of a Lot changes, assessments payable in installments which have been established for the current fiscal year shall be prorated between the Buyer and Seller based on a 365 day year.
Section 7.2 Liability for Assessments. Any assessments which may be levied from time to time pursuant to the authority of the Board shall be established in accordance with this Article 7, except for assessments levied against an Owner for the purpose of paying or reimbursing the Association for costs incurred or to be incurred in connection with performing requested maintenance, repairs or reconstruction of facilities within the Private Joint Use Driveway Tracts or for the purpose of paying or reimbursing the Association for costs incurred or to be incurred in connection with bringing an Owner's Lot into compliance with the provisions of this Declaration. Declarant shall not be obligated to pay any assessment levied against any Lots owned by it unless a Home has been constructed on the Lot and the Home is occupied. No Owner may exempt himself or herself from liability for his assessments by abandoning the Owner's Lot.
Section 7.3 Association Budget. The Association shall prepare, or cause to be prepared, an operating budget for the Association at least annually, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The operating budget shall set forth sums required by the Association, as estimated by the Board, to meet its annual costs and expenses. Assessments on each Lot shall commence upon a date specified by the Declarant by notice to the Association or the Owners. The members of the Association who are obligated to pay assessments based on a particular budget may reject said budget at a special meeting of the Association by a vote of 51% of the votes of each class of Members. Until assessments have commenced, the Declarant shall pay the actual expenses of the Association.
Section 7.4 Levy Of General Assessment. In order to meet the costs and expenses projected in its operating budget, the Board shall determine and levy on every Owner a general assessment. The Association's operating budget shall be divided by the number of Lots to determine the amount of one assessment unit. Except as provided in Section 7.3 with respect to unoccupied Lots owned by the Declarant, each Owner's general assessment shall be calculated by multiplying the number of Lots owned by the Owner by one assessment unit.
Section 7.5 Amount of General Assessment. The Board shall make reasonable efforts to determine the amount of the general assessment payable by each Owner for an assessment period at least 30 days in advance of beginning of such period. Notice of the general assessment shall thereupon be sent to each Owner subject to assessment; provided, however, that failure to notify an Owner of the amount of an assessment shall not render such assessment void or invalid. Any failure by the Board, before the expiration of any assessment period, to fix the amount of the general assessment hereunder for the next period, shall not be deemed a waiver or modification in any respect of the provisions of this Article or a release of any Owner from the obligation to pay the general assessment, or any installment thereof, for that or any subsequent assessment period.
Section 7.6 Assessment Period. The general assessment fixed for the preceding period shall continue until a new assessment is fixed. Upon any revision by the Association of the operating budget during the assessment period for which each budget was prepared, the Board shall, if necessary, revise the general assessment levied against the Owners and give notice of the same in the same manner as the initial levy of a general assessment for the assessment period.
Section 7.7 Special Assessments. In addition to the general assessments authorized by this Article, the Association may levy an assessment or assessments at any time against all Lot Owners, applicable to that year only, for the purpose of defraying, in whole or in part, the cost of any construction or reconstruction, inordinate repair, or replacement of a Common Area, or for such other purposes as the Association may consider appropriate, including but not limited to maintenance of the Private Storm Drainage Easement and Street Trees; provided, however, that any such assessment must have the prior favorable vote of a majority of each class of Members. The amount of each Owner's special assessment for any year shall be calculated like the general assessment, except that the total special assessment shall be substituted for the operating budget amount and shall be payable in one or more installments, as determined by the Board. In addition, costs of the Association incurred pursuant to Section 2.10 for maintenance, repair or reconstruction of facilities shared in common within any Private Joint Use Driveway Tract shall be a special assessment against the Owners served by that Tract payable in one or more installments, as determined by the Board; and costs incurred by the Association for work done on the Owner's Lot pursuant to Section 6.1 shall be a special assessment against the Owner of that Lot. Special assessments may be levied either before or after the work is done, in the discretion of the Board.
Section 7.8 Manner and Time of Payment. Assessments shall be payable in such reasonable manner as the Board shall designate. Any assessment or installment thereof which remains unpaid for at least 15 days after the due date shall bear interest at the rate of 12% per annum, and the Board may also assess a late charge in an amount not exceeding 25% of any unpaid assessment which has been delinquent for more than 15 days.
Section 7.9 Accounts. Any assessments collected by the Association shall be deposited in one or more federally insured institutional depository accounts established by the Board. The Board shall have exclusive control of such accounts and shall maintain accurate records thereof. No withdrawal shall be made from said accounts except to pay for charges and expenses authorized by this Declaration.
Section 7.10 Lien. In the event any assessment or installment thereof remains delinquent for more than 30 days, the Board may, upon 15 days' prior written notice to the Owner of such Lot of the existence of the default, accelerate and demand immediate payment of the entire assessment. The amount of any assessment assessed or charged to any Lot plus interest, costs, late charges and reasonable attorneys' fees, shall be a lien upon such Lot. A notice of assessment may be recorded in the office where real estate conveyances are recorded for the county in which this property is located. Such notice of assessment may be filed at any time at least 15 days following delivery of the notice of default referred to above in this Section. The lien for payment of such assessment and charges shall have priority over all other liens and encumbrances, recorded or unrecorded, limited as provided in Section 9.1. Suit to recover a money judgment for unpaid assessments or charges shall be maintainable without foreclosure or waiver of the lien securing the same. Said liens may be foreclosed as a mortgage.
Section 7.11 Waiver of Homestead. Each Owner hereby waives, to the extent of any liens created pursuant to this Article, the benefit of any homestead or exemption law in effect at the time any assessment or installment thereof become delinquent or any lien is imposed pursuant to the terms hereof.
Section 7.12 Records and Financial Statements. The Board shall prepare or cause to be prepared for any fiscal year in which the Association levies or collects any assessments, a balance sheet and an operating (income/expense) statement for the Association which shall include a schedule of delinquent assessments identified by the number of the Lot and the name of the Lot Owner; provided, however, such documents need not be prepared by a certified public accountant unless requested by the Board or a majority of the Owners. The Board shall cause detailed and accurate records of the receipts and expenditures of the Association to be kept specifying and itemizing the maintenance, operating, and any other expense incurred. Such records, copies of this Declaration, the Articles and the Bylaws, and any resolutions authorizing expenditures of Association funds shall be available for examination by any Owner at convenient weekday hours.
Section 7.13 Certificate of Assessment. A certificate executed and acknowledged by the treasurer or the president of the Board (or an authorized agent thereof, if neither the president nor treasurer is available) stating the indebtedness for assessment and charges or lack thereof secured by the assessments upon any Lot shall be conclusive upon the Association as to the amount of such indebtedness on the date of the certificate, in favor of all persons who rely thereon in good faith. Such a certificate shall be furnished to any Owner or any Mortgagee of a Lot within a reasonable time after request, in recordable form, at a reasonable fee. Unless otherwise prohibited by law, any Mortgagee holding a lien on a Lot may pay any unpaid assessments or charges with respect to such Lot, and, upon such payment, shall have a lien on such Lot for the amounts paid of the same priority as its lien.
Section 7.14 Foreclosure of Assessment Lien: Attorneys Fees and Costs. The Board (or authorized agent), on behalf the Association, may initiate an action to foreclose the lien of, or collect any assessment. In any action to foreclosure the lien of, or otherwise collect delinquent assessments or charges, any judgment rendered in favor of the Association shall include a reasonable sum for attorneys' fees and all costs and expenses reasonably incurred in preparation for or in the prosecution of said action, in addition to all costs permitted by law. Said liens may be foreclosed as a mortgage.
Section 7.15 Curing of Default. The Board shall prepare and record a satisfaction and release of the lien for which a notice of assessment has been filed and recorded in accordance with this Article upon timely payment or other satisfaction of all delinquent assessments set forth in the notice and all other assessments which have become due and payable following the date of such recordation with respect to the Lot to which such notice of assessment was recorded, together with all costs, late charges and interest which have accrued thereon. A fee of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) or such other amount as may from time to time be set by the Board covering the cost of preparation and recordation shall be paid to the Association prior to such action. The satisfaction and release of the lien created by the notice of assessment shall be executed by the president or treasurer of the Association or by any authorized representative of the Board. For the purpose of this paragraph, the term "costs" shall include costs and expenses actually incurred or expended by the Association in connection with the cost of preparation and recordation of the notice of assessment and any efforts to collect the delinquent assessments, including a reasonable sum for attorneys' fees and costs.
Section 7.16 Delinquent Assessment Deposit: Working Capital.
7.16.1 A Lot Owner may be required by the Board, from time to time, to make and maintain a deposit up to three months' estimated monthly assessments, which may be collected as are other assessments and charges. Such deposit shall be held in a separate fund, be credited to the Lot owned by such Owner, and be for the purpose of establishing a reserve for delinquent assessments.
7.16.2 Resort may be had thereto at any time when such Owner is ten days or more delinquent in paying his or her monthly or other assessments and charges. Said deposits shall not be considered as advance payments of regular assessments. In the event the Board should draw upon said deposit as a result of a Lot Owner's delinquency in payment of any assessments, the Owner shall continue to be responsible for the immediate and full payment of said delinquent Assessment (and all penalties and costs thereon) and thus the full restoration of said deposit, and the Board shall continue to have all of the rights and remedies for enforcing such assessment payment and deposit restoration as provided by this Declaration and by law.
7.16.3 Upon the sale of a Lot, the seller/Owner thereof shall not be entitled to a refund from the Association of any deposit or reserve account made or maintained with respect to such Lot pursuant to this or any other section of this Declaration; rather, any such deposit or reserve account shall continue to be held by the Association for the credit of such Lot, and the seller/Owner shall be responsible for obtaining from the purchaser appropriate compensation therefor.
7.16.4 The first purchaser of any Lot shall pay to the Association, in addition to other amounts due, an amount equal to three months of monthly assessments as an initial contribution to the Association's working capital. Such working capital contributions shall not be used to defray Declarant's expenses in completing the construction or development of the Property, to pay Declarant's contributions to Association reserves or to make up any deficits in the budget of the Association.