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What is the statute of limitations on condo unit debt in Florida?

Posted on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 @ 07:00 AM
  
  
  
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I am a member of a Florida Condo Association, and have a legal question. A previous owner of one of the condo units, who is long-gone, owes the bank $75,000. The bank is refusing to sell, as they don’t want to be sued if the previous owner pays the debt.

What is the statute of limitations on paying off condo unit debts to the bank?

7 Comments Click here to read/write comments

New Jersey condo owner faces legal battle over maintenance fees

Posted on Mon, Dec 08, 2014 @ 07:00 AM
  
  
  
condo owner seeks legal advice over condo fee lawsuit 120214 resized 600

I own a condo unit in a New Jersey Condo Association. In January 2013, the HOA began claiming that they were due monthly maintenance fees that I had already paid. I was quite busy at the time with relocating out-of-state and getting my condo on the market, and was not getting anywhere with phone calls to the HOA.

It seemed that every time a payment was made, the HOA was applying it incorrectly. Payments were being made through a bill payment service through my bank, so I requested that my bank contact them to resolve the issue. A representative contacted the HOA in March 2013 and all were in agreement that the payments had been made, yet the documentation errors were never fixed.

After I had put my condo on the market, I stopped making payments and figured it would get resolved at closing. The HOA turned this matter over to their attorney, so I paid the HOA fees and thought the matter was resolved. My next statement, however, still indicated that they had not received payments.

I responded to their attorney, yet was sent letters indicating that he had not heard from me, even though sent by certified letter. He filed a claim against me and I received a notice to appear in court in June 2014. I appeared in court ready to resolve the matter, only to find out that the case was dismissed because the judge granted a Motion to Strike my Answer three weeks prior for failure to answer interrogatories without prejudice. A default judgment was entered for maintenance fees, which included accelerated fees for the entire year, even though the year was only half over at that point. In addition, a lien was placed on my condo unit, and legal fees totaled $4,146.66.

I filed a motion to vacate the default judgment and provided information to show discrepancies with HOA records going back to 2013, along with a bank statement, cancelled check, letter from the bank documenting conversation with HOA, and the certified letter receipt to the attorney. The attorney acknowledged the discrepancies and responded that they were researching payment.

On September 3, 2014, which I was in New Hampshire taking an exam (cell phones not allowed in testing area), the attorney left a voicemail stating the Court had asked him to notify me that there would be oral argument on September 5 at 10:45am. On September 4, I received another voicemail while at work from the Judge’s Law Clerk saying she wanted to make sure I was contacted about court the next day. It wasn’t until September 5 that I listened to my messages, after which I immediately called her back. After revealing she was new, I was told this was normal procedure. and that a judgment would be entered. She then gave me the number of another Court office for additional assistance, which I called and left message, but never received a response.

I sent a certified letter on September 9, and received a notice at the end of September that my Motion to Vacate the Default was denied, followed by a check for fees I had paid. On October 1, the attorney acknowledged that the HOA accounting was flawed, but proceeded to file a Motion to Suppress Defendant’s Answer with Prejudice. My response was to file an Objection and send a check for $1443. On October 27, the attorney returned my check. On November 3, the Judge granted the attorney’s motion.

At this point, I have no idea if the Judgment is even the same one entered in June. I’d never received anything on research results, and since then they’ve received payments from June –November 2014, which is part of the accelerated payments. I’ve researched going forward with an appeal, but realize I’m at a disadvantage. Does anyone have any legal advice?

4 Comments Click here to read/write comments

How does Massachusetts Homestead Act protect HOA's and condo owners?

Posted on Wed, Sep 17, 2014 @ 07:13 AM
  
  
  
Massachusetts condo association

Does the Massachusetts Homestead Act protect elderly condo owners from having liens placed on their property or having a foreclosure initiated from unpaid condo association fees. It looks like most liens and mortgage products are exempt from protection, but this is a new wrinkle I am dealing with?

5 Comments Click here to read/write comments

Condo association puts lien on owner's unit for non-payment

Posted on Fri, May 23, 2014 @ 08:45 AM
  
  
  
condo unit assessment delinquency results in lien 052314 resized 600

Can the condo association put a lien on my condo unit for non-payment of an additional set of special assessment fees? I make my monthly condo fee and one set of special assessment fees payments on time. I just cannot afford to pay for another set of assessment fees. Help!

12 Comments Click here to read/write comments

Management company places lien on property with no reason

Posted on Wed, Feb 05, 2014 @ 08:18 AM
  
  
  

My mother who is 83, can no longer live in her condo and it is now for sale. In April, 2010, my mother was notified that she owed $300. The management company refused to give specific info on what it was for. On closing day, the management company informed all that there was a lien on the property and that she owed over $4000. Proof of payment was provided and after one week the management company has not responded. If this is not resolved, she will have to go into foreclosure and having to continue to pay condo fees will drain her resources. Any suggestion?

22 Comments Click here to read/write comments

What are the rules about condo boards putting liens on owners?

Posted on Tue, Jun 25, 2013 @ 07:42 AM
  
  
  
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Can a condo board or management company put a lien on a condo if the items the lien is for are not common assessments? This happened to me because I refused to pay for the items I was forced to replace because the replacements were not the ones promised but ones worth less than 1/4 the price and the cheaper items were damaged during installation because the installer had to alter them to fit since they were the wrong size. All common elements are paid for out of our maintenance fees and I am the only person who has this lien on my condo which says the lien is for a common assessment when in fact the lien is for non-common elements which are different than those I was to receive as proven by the serial numbers on the items installed. Does anyone know if a lien can be made up for uncommon elements since I never thought this could happen and never thought the board would not replace them with the proper ones promised but they did not and then put the lien on my condo. Any advise would be appreciated as I was amazed to see that the condo attorney called the items the lien is for common assessments which I always paid my maintenance fees and common assessments but I refused to pay for items I never received and I never received the items promised but cheaper ones that were made defective during installation.

9 Comments Click here to read/write comments

Can condo association put a lien on property over assessment

Posted on Thu, Apr 11, 2013 @ 08:00 AM
  
  
  
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Can a condo association put a lien on my unit for not having to pay for another set of special assessment fee that they said that we have to pay? I do make my monthly condo fee and one set of special assessment on time. I just cannot afford to pay for another set of assesment. Help!

11 Comments Click here to read/write comments

Can a lien be put on your property in secret?

Posted on Fri, Mar 29, 2013 @ 07:55 AM
  
  
  
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A question that might be of general interest to many condominium unit owners arose during a March 2013 post: Can a lien be put on your property in secret? Can a lien be put on your property without documented notification; which might be 1) being served with a summons to court 2) receiving a certified letter or some other form of communication requiring official receipt. Under the law and under normal practice can an entity put a lien on your condominium unit without telling you? Opinions and comments on past experience would be interesting to this forum.

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How can condo owner see if there is a lien on their property?

Posted on Thu, Dec 27, 2012 @ 08:34 AM
  
  
  
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How can a property owner find out if the lien placed on their property for late dues (which have now been paid in full) has a release of filed with the court?

10 Comments Click here to read/write comments

Why does a property lien not take first position over a mortgage?

Posted on Sun, Sep 16, 2012 @ 08:25 AM
  
  
  
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I was surprised to learn that when an HOA files a lien against an owner's property for failure to pay their HOA fees, the lien does not take precedence over the 1st or 2nd mortgage. If you obtain a loan to purchase an automobile, take that automobile to a repair shop, and then refuse to pay the mechanic, he can file a lien against your car which is superior to that of the lender's lien. Similarly, if you hire a contractor to perform repairs on your home and then fail to pay him, he can also file a lien against your property which is superior to that of your mortgage lender. Why does this not hold true for HOAs? What can be done to change the law?

13 Comments Click here to read/write comments

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