In Massachusetts, the lien is automatic so nothing to file to establish the lien. The attorney in Massachusetts typically prepares the lasuit to froeclose on the condominium lien.
Marcus Errico Emmer & Brooks
The attorney 'froeclosed' (jeez) on my condo (which is pretty wild since he doesn't hold the deed) on my condo for non-payment of condo fees.
Considering not one person ever read these bylaws written in 1976 with the exception of myself after my Dad quit claimed the property to me, it's obvious it's ONLY a lien, even though the paperwork came equipped with a foreclosure deed.
HOW FUNNY !
The budget was sent to me along with the bylaws, none of the obvious budgeted items were performed and the items that required paperwork never came to fruition.
TO BOOT, i requested contracts or receipts for 6 months and never received either. According to their own bylaws (I'm not even sure I'm subject to the bylaws via a quit claim) they had 10 days to fulfill this request and didn't care to do so.
SOOOOOOO.... of course i'm gonna litigate that one and we'll see what goes where from here.
They're not even operating within their own bylaws in many areas, so now I'm lobbying against them to take away their right to maintain an association.
GOOD FOR YOU BELLE! my association tried to do the smae to me only they were returning payments and I still had to pay for their lawyer. so BS here in IL. My association does not operate with in thier own laws either so I was given some very wise advise thank god from someone on this site and I filed a MEANS OF EGRESS complaint with fire marshall. Remember the one who laughs last laughs the longest and the loudest! Keep fighting!
I highly recommend you to seek attorney advice no matter which state you are in.
In condominiums, a lien is created against each unit in order to secure payment.
In attempting to recover past due fees your eventual resolve and what you will need to do is foreclose. The requirements for the foreclosure process are very specific and require an attorney.
>> In attempting to recover past >>due fees your eventual resolve >>and what you will need to do is >>foreclose. The requirements for >>the foreclosure process are very >>specific and require an attorney.
"pro se" (for oneself) representation is perfectly within our constitutional rights.
The right of a party to a legal action to represent his or her own cause has long been recognized in the United States, and even predates the ratification of the Constitution.
HOWEVER, there is a code of conduct, as in any arena, that must be abided by and may not be the most efficient way to get'er dun. judgment of this conduct is scrutinized harshly in a pro se arena by the guy in the black robe (tha good ole boy network takes issue outside of the norm, if ya will.) i represent myself in court always. i don't know of any legal eagle that knows the ins and outs of my situation as well as i do, and i want to be judged fairly without a dog'n pony show.
for example, i just won my case against my mortgage company's foreclosure about 2.5 hours ago after doing the forensics, the paralegal investigation, etc. on my own home. i merely have to pay taxes, insurance, and ZERO on my mortgage. WHY? because i have faith in my ability to research, diagnose, and present. my lawyer of 30 years has faith in me, as well and says "do it all, but let me file... you'll screw that part up." (i listen to the voice of reason)
i would ALWAYS rather roll my own dice and lose than have someone else roll'em and win.
i'll also pay NO association fees because i believe in the power negotiation with just cause.
so i won in court, came home'n made a phone call, and BAM !
as dorky as i am, i know protocal. it just takes alotta time, and i got alotta that on my hands while running 17 tattoo shops and 3 unassociated businesses.
so NO, you do NOT have to have an attorney, that's incorrect.
been doin' it for 20 years and i ain't gotta fool for'ah client.
and AMEN, Amanda <wink>... hehe (i'm laffin'n i'll bet you will be, as well.)
I advise consulting an attorney whenever a board is considering filing a lien or considering foreclosure in order to ensure that the association's position is sound, supported by state law and the association's governing documents, and is handled properly. While anyone can draft and record a document, an attorney has the knowledge and skill to ensure it is done properly.
Filing condo liens for arrearages does not require an attorney. We're not attorney's and we file liens for our collection clients. To do it on your own, go to the land records office, pay for a copy of a condo lien an attorney did, and then simply recreate the form. If you are wise, you'll pay an attorney a few bucks to QC your form and make sure it's correct. Once you know it's good, sign it, notarize it, and then pay to record it.
Collecting on that lien is a different story. You can go to small claims court or start the foreclosure process. If you haven't done a foreclosure before, I would do all of the paperwork and have an attorney QC it. Most courts have local rules that the lawyers know about but can be specific to the county or a particular judge. You want to follow the proper procedure for the court you're foreclosing in.
The small claims court is generally the same way. Your local law library will have a guide written by an attorney on how to effectively obtain a judgement and collecting on said judgement.
PS-Belle, you should be subject to the bylaws since you are now a legal owner of the condo via a Quit Claim Deed.
who said i WASN'T subject to the bylaws?
don't make stuff up.
the contractor has the first obligation to abide by his contract, and that's in any arena, persuant to payment of contractual services.
when the association decides stop yawnin' away their responsibility to provide the service we are obligated to pay for within their own bylaws and start living up to their agreements that are inclusive of providing the services, applicable goods of their offering, necessities i would furnish personally if they weren't offered by the assn. and based on their less than lame, but non-existent attempt to provide their budgeted items, i have a legal issue with them.
when they get on the ball, pay the punitive damages which i've incurred based on their "oh, these people ain't gonna look at the bylaws or question the budget...er duhhhhh)then i'll hang tuff.
i ain't payin' nobody shit for services not rendered, i don't care if the price is 32 cents!
i do my homework, will continue doing my homework, and the only difference between a lawyer and myself is i know more about the particulars of my case than any lawyer and would rather take my chances on my own terms, do my own investigation of facts, i.e. paralegal stuff and win, lose, or draw based on my own attempts.
trust me, i know when ta hold 'em and when ta fold'em.
i've had a fool for a client for about 25-30 years and ain't lost'ah case yet.
i've also known when to walk away and when ta run.
so don'nt worry your pretty little head over belle... she'll be just fine.
i DO know my limitations, my lawyer that has 100% faith in my abilities knows them, i don't do my own filing. other than that, i can consult with him, he gets a kick outta me wipin' the floor with ostentatious legal eagles that think their sh*t don't stink.
i'm pretty well-known in tha legal arena, judges hold me in a modicum of esteem, and if i can do it, anybody can.
stop puttin' yer faith in sumbody that spent daddy's money in law school never passing ANY bar and finally passing THE bar... (and i have no clue how most of'em did that last part, other than through osmosis.
have faith in yourself.
I have a question which I hope someone can help me with. Our former treasurer transferred money from our account to his account twice and also paid his utlity bills with association money. This was confirmed through our bank statements and association checks. He was forced to resign but refused to hand over bank documents or cooperate in replacing the missing money. He is a loan officer with Bank of America and when the bank confirmed his actions they wanted to fire him; the new treasurer and I as the assistant treasurer requested that they not fire him and she told him that he had 5 days to replace the money or he would be fired. He finally replaced the money, but now is 8 months behind in his association dues and the board receives a new story each time we ask about his dues This has been going on for 2 years and I have had it. I resigned from the board and would like to take legal action against the board for breach of fiduciary duty and sue the former treasurer for back dues and place charges against him for theft of association dues. Our auditor is unable to confirm the exact amount which was taken due to poor recordkeeping.
Anyone have any thoughts on this? We are a small NJ townhouse association with only 12 units, the president is his buddy and refuses to take action againt the former treasurer and feels it's no big deal.
Thanks in advace.
Your lack of responsibility in paying your association dues is appalling. It hurts the association and you (your credit goes to shit!). Why don't you just pony up the monthly dues, pay them on time and go on with your life. You don't have to do any research nor be your own lawyer if you would just take responsibility as a condo owner and pay your assessments. If you don't want to pay association dues, BUY A HOUSE!
As an attorney and member of an HOA, you have to first look to your state laws to make sure there is no issue of "unlicensed practice of law." In Florida, the Board of an HOA or condo association can do it, because it is "the client." Otherwise, a lawyer has to do it.
That being said, it is not brain surgery, and some law firms charges hundreds for this routine "cut and paste" work. You should use an attorney to review the liens, however, and insure that you are doing them properly, because in Florida, for example, the lienor can be sued for "slander of title" if the lien is improperly filed.
Darrin is correct that you have to be careful of the unlicensed practice of law. However, in WA and in many other states, you can represent yourself in court if you are the officer of non-profit and you are not receiving pay. There is case law in WA supporting this. Now, Darrin is also correct that it would be very wise to have an attorney do your first one and send you a copy. Then, create a template of it in your system and copy the atty's form. As long as you have proof (through your ledgers or other account records) that the debtor does owe the association money, I think it would be difficult for them to press a claim for slander. However, I'm not an attorney nor am I providing legal advice. Please consult your lawyer.