Your situation is a mess.
It's great that you have made a long term effort to take care of your debt but while you are so far behind, your fellow owners must pick up the slack and pay your bills. It seems the board and attorney have tried to help you out. They have not communicated among themselves too well, but this is not their full time job. It is proper that the board put a lien against your property to protect the other owners. It is good to bring this in front of a judge to get the matter settled and set proper terms. If you don't keep your settlement exactly as it is set up, they may foreclose. That means the date and amount must be exactly as agreed. It is a shame that you have had a rough time the past few years but I'm sure the other owners are not prepared to take on your debt as their own. Time to step up and take care of it to releive your fellow owners of a financial strain.
Although what Lawrence says about the other owners having to pick up the slack of your delinquency, I have to give you a lot of credit for entering into a payment plan and sticking to it. With regard to your upcoming trial, all I can say is that I sincerely hope you have proof of the payment plan you entered into and also proof of all the payments you made. If all of what you say is true I can't imagine why the board allowed the treasurer to place a lien. When they discovered what she had done, IMO the process could have been stopped. If a payment plan is in effect, filing a lien would be an unconscionable act on the part of the board.
The reason for the Lien is to protect the other owners for the money they advanced for this owner. They paid under duress because they didn't have any choice unless they cut services for ALL other owners.
If this owner dies or winds up in a nursing home, the other owners MUST be financially protected. This is a legal issue, not a personal issue. The other owners MUST be protected. They community must be protected.
You are to be commended, far to many delinquent owners don't bother to even talk to the Board. The lien is fine, if you owe money still, all the lien will do is help the Association recoup losses.
If your statement above is correct and factual, then you appeared to have acted in good faith and made every reasonable attempt to pay back the owed money. When you go to court, which is disgraceful in itself, the judge will surely recognize you good faith. But as said above, have your documentation ready to prove your payments. Your bank should be able to assist you with this.
I personally would be please to have such an owner in my building. I honestly believe you Association officers are unsympathetic, have little common decency and will be judged by a higher authority than you and I.
I hope your past issues are better and wish you much luck and a wonderful holiday season despite your harsh board. board.
Sorry, Lawrence, but I don't agree with you. This OP has been very conscentious in paying off his debt and there is only $4,000 left. I see no reason to place a lien since he has not reneged on the payment plan. By placing the lien and now going to court, they have only added to his debt with lawyer's fees and court costs. I hope the judge throws the case out and does not grant lawyers fees and court costs to the HOA. It would serve them right to be stuck with these costs.
You have been making great strides in correcting your hardship, the HOA has been given the duty to collect all fees of which they are doing and I feel that the debt was between you and the Home Owners Association and they did not have a right to criticize you in front of all. In most states (you would have to check your docs or state laws), it is the responsibility to show how many fees are in arrears at the annual meeting, but I don't know that they can legally attack you at a meeting, nor with the new federal debt collection laws mention your name to anyone other than the board. I agree with placing a lien as protection for all the owners and it will be released as soon as the debt is paid. This part would be of public record when recorded at the court house.
I have a simple solution to bypass the board. Just go door to door and ask the other homeowners if they would mind increasing their dues so they can cover your shortage while you are in arrears. I am sure they can afford to do that and take the risk that you will continue to make regular extra payments to catch up. You can take all of those signed permission slips (I believe you will need over 90% of the ownership) and present them to the board. This will protect the board from not doing their "fiduciary duty" to protect the association funds. Since this seems highly unlikely that you will find that many homeowners willing to float your bad debt, I suggest you try to sell and move to a less exensive community.
If my comments seem sarcastic it is only because our association currently has $30,000 in bad debt and just about the same amount that has been writen off over the past 3 years. Your board is doing their best to protect the reserves in our current economic situation. I'll bet you would be appalled if you saw how many other bad debt situations they have dealth with over the past few years. They must get agressive if you even slip up one time from your payment plan. I do commend you for trying hard but maybe it is time to reduce your stress and get out of your situation. Good luck.
Demand a copy of the Board meeting in which the board agreed to your proposal. The court will only accept this contention if it is included in a sety of the official minutes of that meeting. A claim that the board entered into an agreement wityh you verbally will cause you yo lose the case. An agreement must be in writing for the judge to accept it as evidence.
I appreciate how you feel but as an owner of a Condo, I can't agree with you. You seem to want to make this a personal issue rather than a business /legal issue.
You say it would be correct, from a moral and legal standpoint, to have the judge throw out the issue and force the rest of the Condo owners to pick up his slack and pay his expense. I just don't get it.
I do agree with Renee. He should sell the condo and find a place he can afford. Why make all his neighbors suffer / pay for his situation.
It would be wonderful if the judge sets up a reasonable plan to repay the Association in a reasonable time. Let's hope All his neighbors continue to make their payments.
We have run into scenarios where people make payment plans and have not filed a lien as long as they are keeping up the payments. However, it only takes one person who renigs and files bankrupcy or goes into foreclosure to upset all that. Unfortunately we have learned to file a lien and then ask the homeowner to make payments -- that we will take off the lien when the debt is paid. We all have times that are hard -- but you signed on to a community and they really should not have to pay your share until you can pay the remainder.
I wonder why you didn't take a small loan from a bank and then just pay the amount to the board/association? I have already decided that if I get into a situation where I can't pay the condo fees I will sell and move elsewhere. It is only fair to the rest of the owners.
Hope 2012 goes better for you!
I did not say the rest of the assn should ". .pick up his slack and pay his expense." What I said is that the judge should throw out the lawsuit and require the HOA to pay the court costs and attorney fees. With a payment plan in effect and the OP making regular payments there is no reason to place a lien, especially at this this late date. If it was so critical to place a lein to protect the other owners, as you claim, why wasn't this done in the beginning when the delinquency was $16,000?
In my Association, the Board of Directors has authority to take legal action in the name of the Association, but as far as I can tell the Treasurer's duties do not include law suits and foreclosure. You might want to look into the Treasurer's responsibilities in your governing documents. Did the board authorize this foreclosure, and is it in the minutes? If not, the foreclosure may not be valid (and you save on paying the legal fees).
The HOA are the other owners. They are not the government or? ?? So you feel it is just fine for his fellow owners should pay ALL his bills and legal fees.
Mary: I am in your camp on this issue. It sounds as though some member of the board has a reason to want to grab his unit. Often it is not just a legal issue, but one of personal greed.
To the HO: keep paying so when the case gets before the judge you will have truly shown a "good faith effort". Send all payments by registered/certified mail with return receipt to prove your effort to the court. If your courts are as crowded as those in Texas, it will be several years before this gets before the judge with any suit, thus giving you time to actually pay the back dues.
Again, I did NOT say the owners (or HOA) should pay the OP's bills and legal fees. All I said is that the HOA should be made to pay the court costs and attorney fees for this lawsuit which I think is bogus. The OP has been paying his "bills" all along -- according to what he has said, he has not reneged on the payment plan that the board agreed to. Even if there is a new board in place the payment plan cannot be canceled w/o informing the OP.
The association should file a lien for protection. It does not cost that much.
In this case, there is little need to foreclose the lien, since the owner is paying back the debt. If the association looses, then they pay their own legal fees and those of the OP.
To the Original poster:
I would pursue your other means of controlling this. Go to the other owners and ask them if they would like their units foreclosed by an out-of-control Treasurer. BOD's sometimes throw their weight around, but foreclosure is a bit outrageous. Also go to each of the directors and ask for their position. Turn up the political pressure. If you get support of owners, there will be procedures in your governing docs to call a meeting of the membership to address this issue. Also procedure to remove a director or two (assuming that the Treasurer is a director). It is hard to imagine that there is a lot of popularity for foreclosure when you are paying.
I've read all comments and wonder if anyone noticed that this owner was originally in arrears over $16,000.00, compounded to $30,000.00 with fees and continuing monthly dues and has paid in good faith his financial responsibility down to a $4,000.00 debt. By God if this isn't an honest and decent owner of 18 years with the association, I have no idea what is!! Dragging this person to court was heartless and totally unnecessary in as much as they already had a lien in place. No one needed to purposely chose to foreclose on the lien. The is the act of a heartless Board or board member with an agenda or axe to grind. The association was legally protected with the lien, all they simply need do was to renew the lien annually. Of course the legal expenses should be borne by the owner.
MOVE OUT..bs!! This owner has lived there 18 years! Can't afford to live there, what, are you serious? If this owner can now afford to make these outrageously high monthly payment, then he has gotten back on his feet and certainly can afford to live in his own home.
Mary is absolutely correct, this suit is totally without merit and decency; it was completely unnecessary. It should be tossed out by the court and make the legal fees payable by the Board members specifically, not the entire association.
Now to possible assist the owner, you sir are remarkable!! Certainly after living in you home for 18 years and currently having the means to pay very high monthly payments, you could almost certainly go into any financial institution and take out a signature loan to payoff your remaining debt and get those heartless, gutless baste..ds of your back.
Of course this assumes you have equity in your unit, I can't believe you don't. I feel very sorry for you and feel you do not deserve that malicious treatment by your board, management company and their legal council and then get harsh comments from this blog. Finally sir, get a good lawyer yourself and countersue the Board and Association for the distress they have caused you. May you be blessed with good fortune and justice in your situation.
Please have a Happy Holiday and God Bless you.
I am sorry for what you have gone through. I hope you saved all your paper work and any agreements you made. Get to a lawyer and fast. Take care.
it's time the board which seems to be out to lunch to start a forecloser procedure. As a board president, you can only help so far and when a owner is so far in arrears, it,s time for the board members to protect the association for the paying membership. Though it,s nice to own a piece of the pie- real estate - not every one is suited to own real estate -
It appears that you also have been out to lunch. I suggest you read the OPs original posting noting that he has been paying all along. He certainly is not the typical deadbeat and does not deserve to have his home foreclosed. The fact that the treas filed a lien and a lawsuit against him is unconscionable to say the least.
JT; thanks for writing "Original Poster". I have been going crazy trying to figure out what "OP" meant. Everyone else; I would give a cookie to hear the board's side of the story. Something sounds fishy about his accounting of the board's actions. I wonder if a few critical facts have been left out.