On March 1, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals held that a condominium association acting on its six-month super-priority lien for unpaid condominium fees may not perform its foreclosure sale while leaving the property subject to a first deed of trust lien, even if the terms of the sale stated that the condo unit could be sold subject to the first deed of trust. The D.C. Appeals Court was tasked with deciding whether the mortgagee’s first mortgage lien was extinguished by foreclosure of the HOA’s super-lien under D.C. Code § 42-1903.13(a)(2). In the District of Columbia, condominium associations are granted a “super-priority lien” over first mortgage lienholders, which permits an association to collect up to six months of unpaid assessments upon foreclosure on a condominium unit. Foreclosure of a unit extinguishes all liens when the proceeds of the foreclosure sale are insufficient to satisfy them. The D.C. Appeals Court held that a condominium association could not foreclose on its super-priority lien while leaving the property subject to the unsatisfied balance of the first mortgage or first deed of trust.

The D.C. Appeals Court reversed the trial court’s order granting summary judgment to the mortgagee and remanded for further proceedings.