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Does the Massachusetts Homestead Act protect elderly unit 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?
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There are 12 units in our condo association. There are two owners here that have taken over collecting condo fees and running the condo association. One owner has been collecting condo fees for a little over three years. He has called one meeting in three years to say he didn't want to collect condo fees any longer and he was also looking for help in running the condo association. There were six owners out of 12 at this meeting and we voted on another owner taking over treasurer duties, this owner as president and a third owner as secretary. If papers needed to be signed, this owner would knock on the ‘new treasurers’ door to have papers signed. Two years later the same owner still collects condo fees, because he refused to turn any paper work over to the new treasurer and told him, 'I was just looking for someone to have the label and sign papers as treasurer, I wasn't looking for someone to take over the duties'. There were no minutes transcribed for this meeting and if th e current president/treasurer is asked about the meeting, he says, "it wasn't a legit meeting, there weren't enough owners to vote". This owner has added extra fees to condo fees, document preparation, administrative fees, taxes, extra water fees, extra insurance fees. He has stated in court that him and the secretary had a private meeting and voted to add these fees to condo fees. When he is asked to show bills for proof that these bills exist, he either says, "Sue me" or " I haven't kept track of anything I'm doing". He has also stated that the association checking account is linked to his personal account. I sent certified letters to both acting officers demanding audits. It took three certified letters before I finally got a handmade internet printout of supposed bills he pays. There was no beginning balance, no running balance, and no ending balance. If I pay my condo fee, which is 135.00 a month, it is applied to other fees he is charging me. My condo fees are paid in full, but he set up a site on the internet he enters the condo fee information into and on this site there is a balance of over $3,500.00 I owe in condo fees. Some of the other owners are paying whatever he charges, because he threatened to sue them and they don’t want to be pulled into court. We have been through the courts about this and he just changes the name on the fee and charges it anyway. Then new fees are added and I am taken to court for the new fees. The first two times in court, because I held my condo fees, the judgment was for what I owed in CURRENT fees. The third time in court my fees were paid in full and the association won, so I have to pay all these fees I am charged. Our bylaws say, ‘all actions taken by the directors must be by unanimous vote’. I am in the process of appealing the decision to go in front of a jury, but haven't had much luck with the court system. I am currently working about 7 hours a week and not making enough to pay my household bills, so I can't afford a lawyer. Is there anything that I haven’t done that I can do about this?
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