Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the Center for California Homeowner Association Law?
A: CCHAL is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the consumer protection of homeowners living in California's 47,000 homeowner associations. We are a membership organization; to become a member -- for free -- click on the JOIN US! box found on every page of the website. Our Mission Statement, Board of Directors, and other basic information about CCHAL are on the Homepage.

Q: Why do I have to register?
A: You don't have to register, if you don't want to. Many pages of this website are public, meaning anyone can access them without registering. However, registering for free lets you access additional pages of the website designed for Online Members, who are typically very serious about educating themselves in both their rights and responsibilities as homeowners.  Contributing Members usually want to go even more deeply into certain subjects so certain pages are set aside for them, including successful small claims filed by homeowners. They also get reduced rates at CCHAL workshops and conferences as well as NewsBriefs updating them on proposed legislation, new laws, and news articles.

Q: How do I SEARCH a topic on this website?
A: You can key in one of the words from the list below -- e.g. "foreclosure" -- or you can key in a word of your own choosing. After keying it in, press ENTER and all documents relating to the topic will be called up in a master list. Scan the list and click on the document you want. Where possible, each document is keyed BY CALIFORNIA COUNTY, so you can search for documents relating to a specific county.

Q: I don't seem to be able to get access to some of the documents.
A: Many documents on the website are "public"; meaning any visitor to the website can access them. Some documents require that you register -- for free -- to read them. Registration is helpful to the Center, because it lets us know which pages are visited most often and which need to be expanded. Finally, some pages are for people, who make a small donation to the Center and become Contributing Members. Pages on small claims court and sample small claims suits are benefits for Contributing Membership.

Q: I'm already registered, but I can't seem to log on.
A: Using your email address and your password (made up by you when you register), you can log in on any page of the website. Sometimes the password "auto fills", meaning it fills in the box for you with black dots. When this happens, we suggest you erase the password and key it in yourself.

Q: Can the website pages be translated into other languages?
A: Yes, they can.  Just use the Google translator on the top right on each page and choose the language you want.  The page will be instantly translated for you into one of dozens of language.  There is also a special BIENVENIDOS!/WELCOME page for our Spanish-speaking members along with links to translated pages of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the California Housing Finance Agency, and to the California Department of Consumer Affairs.

Q: I just registered as a Contributing Member, but I can't get into the Contributing Member pages.
A: Please give us at least 24 hours to process your contributing membership, so you can access the Contributing Member pages. We'll process your registration as soon as we can.

Q: What are the possible topics/keywords I can use in the SEARCH box?
A: 
No, at the moment CCHAL is not an attorney referral service. Again: IF you think you need an attorney, call your local county bar association for an attorney referral. If you do go to the bar association for an attorney referral, BE SURE AND ASK FOR ONE WHO KNOWS HOMEOWNER ASSOCIATION LAW AND WHO REPRESENTS THE INTERESTS OF HOMEOWNERS - NOT ASSOCIATIONS.

HOWEVER, in our experience, many homeowners think they need an attorney, when maybe they need another kind of referral, e.g. to a fair housing agency in their community. One service that CCHAL provides to Contributing Members is talking their case over with them to determine what kind of resources they need to solve their problem or get their questions answered.

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