What are you so mad about. Pay what you owe,pay on time in the future, wipe out the lean. You're transferring your own embarrassment at being a late payer, into a self-righteous, self-justification for something that is basically your own fault.
And--they're paying for a lawyer instead of paying up.
+3...pay your bills ontime and you won't have to worry about liens.
Our Condo has four hundred owners. If each owner were one month late we would be on the hook for about $200,000. Pay the maintenance. Don't ride on the other owner's backs.
I agree - pay what you owe and get it taken care of and pay on time in the future. They may have grounds to go after you for being one month late if you are systematically late.
We have 12 units - when even one owner is late, we struggle to pay bills. Your neighbors shouldn't have to cover for you, which is essentially what it means every time you're late.
When I am late I am quiet as a mouse, and I hide in the corner. I don't go around making problems for everyone else. I make an effort not to make myself disliked. I know that I am often late so I try to be nice and understanding of the Board's position.
The others are right about doing your best to pay your fees.
However, it looks like something else is going on here.nWhat do your bylaws say? Are they justified according to your condo docs? We have issues in our forty unit complex with board members selectively enforcing rules. This may be what is going on . I wonder what has happened to others who were in arrears. If no action was taken against them, you may have a case. The whole thing sounds meanspirited to me, but I also do not pay the condo bills.
Pick your fights carefully my friend. There is no wiggle room in paying these bills. your docs/bylaws spells this out clearly. Surely, you did not think that these bills are due only when YOU want to pay them. You are just making trouble for yourself. Now you in addition to the fees you owe, you will have court cost. Quit while you are ahead.
I agree with everyone here - if you paid your assessment on time this wouldn't be a problem. Seems like you have money for an attorney, but not for your bills.
With that said I'd like to address your actual questions. Your board should have a collection policy and they need to follow it. Lets assume that you are right and the policy states that a lien can be filed after 2 month. The board violated their policy and fled a lien after only one month.
What do you think a judge would do if this matter goes to court? Your best hope is that a judge will dismiss their lien. That's it. You are not going to get any monetary compensation. The judge will simply order the board to remove the lien. So far you seem like a winner.
How many month ago did this happen? How many month are you behind now? All your board needs to do is to go and record a new lien today.
Instead of suing your association why not contact them and see if you can settle your bill, pay waht you owe and move on.
Actually, you can file and win a Property Libel suit if you prove that their action was improper. But think of the time and expense. And the Association Insurance premiums you would be impacting and which you pay for.
Just pay your lien and pay your bills and save yourself a lot of wasted angst, scawflaw.
I do agree with the others about paying.
However you guys don't need to be so hard on this person. Sometimes there is unforeseen emergencies that come up and you really don't say why and for what reason you were late. If it was neglect on ur part then you know the rules. If it was something that was out of your control, then I think the board was a bit hasty.
We give our people a chance to straighten out their problem before jumping down their throats, and are very understanding when it comes to a major problem. And we lien people after the 3rd month only.
You need to explain some of ur reasons for us to see the whole picture here.
If it was a good reason then let ur lawyer handle it.
Also sueing the association only creates a bigger mess because now all the others are going be ur worst nightmare.
You are are really suing yourself along with the rest of the association. Your lawyer should know this if he is a good laywer who knows the condo declaration.
If your laywer does his job correctly I am sure the lien I'll be removed and you should be given credit for the second month you were not late with.
I hope this helps and in the future try and make those arrangements with the association before it gets to the lien point.
Bully's on a board are hard to get rid of, but it can be done. In your case I hope this is not the problem
Explain why you were late and if this was the only time this happened.
You do have the right file a complaint if they are not complying to the docs in a correct manner. But seeing them unless you want enemies and still live there should be ruled out, unless you plan on moving and have a very good reason for doing so.
We had one who sued us over a fall.. Was she right to sue for medical bills....by all means yes..but she stepped out of bounds when her lawyer tried to concoct her into sueing for much more just to make money off of her. Judge ruled for medical bills yes and no to the other.
She made some people pretty mad on dong this. Get what I am saying? Think before you speak and act....we are not the boad to push you around......we have bills to pay for also and most of us are good people who are understanding.
At least pay on time.
It is a good idea to try and pay in advance.
I SALUTE YOUR BOARD FOR ACTING RESPONSIBLY IN THE INTERESTS OF THE ASSOCIATION.
From some reason the majority of this thread seem to take it personal that the person has a problem paying his/her maintenance fee. It would seem that they see this person as a dead beat! Don't you all realize that this country is still in the worst financial,housing,employment shape since the 1920 depression? Maybe people should start to try and understand what EMPATHY means. You all put yourself on a high horse and blame the person that can't afford the house he/she may have been possibly paying for 10 years or more and because of the economy he/she lost their job and can't find another job that paid the same wage. The times we live in are not all black and white. There are many shades of gray but then unless you are put into that persons position you won't appreciate how difficult it can be.
Many of you throw blame on the homeowner instead of the dam housing and financial bubbles that have plagued this country over and over again. When are you going to wake up and realize sometimes it's not the homeowners fault but the system that puts us in a position of never get sick and if possible follow the outsourced jobs to India or China and become a slave to their market!
Church going seems to be a high rate but EMPATHY is not at a high level in this country. Everyone likes a winner and if a person fails he/she should be tossed aside like like yesterdays garbage.
You can possibly sue for discrimination as there seems to be a track record of treating you differently and you stated that at least one board member personally dislikes you.
Suing the association is NOT the same as seeing yourself. Condo and Home Owner's associations are absolutely out of control and most need to be sued otherwise people will no longer have any rights. Perhaps that is the point of it all - Big Brother implemented through Condo and Home Owners' Associations. Most board members seem to me to have a pentient for fascism.
Well, as you know the condo fees are used for expenses and upkeep.It should be a priority to pay the fees on time.I realize it is another bill to pay but that's how it goes.In past years we had some owners who would let the fees accumulate to $5000 but those days are over. One owner lost his unit and another finally paid up. The assn made arrangements for my fees to be deducted from my pay as my husband passed away 2 1/2 yrs ago. He used to pay the fees ahead.Last night an owner paid for 2 months much to my relief. The fees can make it difficult to pay for owners if renters are late paying.It should be a priority to pay the fees to prevent the powers that be from taking action. Remember they do have the right to to take any needed action to get what is rightfully theirs.
No sympathy here. I'm on the board of our association. We have not yet made the annoucement that we will file a lien, you better believe that will now happen. Thanks for the question and the idea.
the board of directors has a duty to all unit owners to collect past due assessments. As a director on a condo board myself, I have to say this has been a difficult past several years with delinquent assessments. However I have seen a noticeable trend in folks stiffing the association while they get numerous packages delivered from their internet shopping , bragging to others while they stiff the association and live rent free in their units for 2 years until they are foreclosed as some examples. Since owners share in the common expenses of the property it is imperative all owners pay their assessments on time. I agree hardships are the exception if owners have documented proof, we usually work out payment arrangements. At the same time the board needs to take the necessary steps to collect the assessments due. The Board is acting dutifully. I have to agree with other comments, the writer of this thread will spend more money and waste more time hiring lawyers as opposed to paying your assessments current and having the lien removed. Consider this the path of least resistance. If the board has erred I would definitely bring it to their attention. Folks, it takes a lot of work to keep an association thriving with all the increases in everyday expenses we are faced with on a continual basis. As a part of condominium ownership, sharing common property, it is each and every units responsibility to pay their assessments accordingly. If the writer were In a single family home risking not paying things like utilities they would risk disconnection. In pool ownership that doesn’t occur and you are safer so to speak when you fall behind. However you should respectfully understand a budget depends on its revenue to Live. Without the revenue the association cannot meet its obligations. When those obligations are not met, the costs will rise for everyone. I would encourage each reasonable person to get involved with your own condo association and learn how much things cost. The time involved in managing things like expenses, repairs and maintenance. It’s a thankless job and ours offers no compensation. However if you have a vested interest in your property and something to offer, you should consider being a part of a resolution and effecting changes to run more fairly and efficiently. I am quite proud of our board for the fairness we provide equally for all the residents, the tight line we hold on expenses and our stance on dealing with difficult situations we have to take when we represent the complex as a whole. The only way to understand and learn more, is to get involved.
VP 10 years served on association.
This column hit a sore spot for you,> I understand the frustration with the economy however, the writer claimed none of the difficulties you ascribe to him AND, had money for a lawyer, perhaps that is why people took the position they took re paying to avoid collection efforts.
Relax, this is not like you.
Kate it's a sore spot because of what I have stated and I have also been on my condo board. This board doesn't realize that you can file a lien but doesn't guarantee you money. Sometimes you end up spending more money on a lawyer and paperwork and you get nothing back because there are more people ahead of you including the town.
Thanks for the kind words Kate :)
Victor: no where did I get the feeling that people were jumping on this man for being out of work or money. I think the anger was expressed because he ran to lawyers instead of paying the money he owed. The Board liened him incorrectly. There would be no lien if he paid. Our Board waits 90 days before liening. How else to protect the Association? Associations are not banks.
You don't say what state you're located in, but in CA. the state Civil Code requires that an HOA have a written Delinquency Policy that must be made available to all owners. The contents of such policy is largely defined by CA. state law. Fairly recent changes in that state law set a minimum amount an owner must be delinquent before an HOA can file a lien. You should check on both these things in your case, in addition to your CC&R's.
And I agree with commentors who have said to lighten up a bit on this person, and answer the question instead. Some of the past BD's in my HOA have in fact been totally inconsistent in taking action against owners, and that's illegal and unfair no matter what you may think of delinquent owners. Most often there are good reasons someone is late. The best path for an HOA, as another person has said, is to work with owners in trouble to resolve the problem, establish a payment plan that can be met, so that both the owner and the HOA benefit and bad feelings are avoided for all.
~Board member and officer of HOA for 13 years.
Yes, it is curious how many people seem so mad at these people! It seems all the condo relationships are strained in way way or another. The fact of the matter is that most of us co-owners of condo associations don't realize we are "joined at the wallet" with people we wouldn't have necessarily chosen to be "joined" to should we have the choice. Some are lackadaisical in their accounting (as we were a couple of times--we each thought the other paid the dues, and there was a time when our dues weren't properly credited by the "management" company). There was also a recent event where we were fined for undocumented services following some common-area damage, and although the management company (and board) agreed, orally, to a settlement--not worth our time to fight the spurious charges--
they reneged and then filed suit and sought "forcible detainer" on us, including serving notice through the Sheriff ! ! ! Yes, the board, instead of taking suggestions at meetings, "takes it out on us (and others) and it is sad that the "board" virtually ran on the platform of "we don't have the time to take care of things" continues to make up new rules and regulations that single our family out ! ! ! They don't seem to care that they are out of compliance with most / all of the Illinois Condo act / much more, our bylaws. In fact, they seem to have acted in concert with our management company--hiring the management company's own company (can you say "conflict of interest"--no contracts are apparently awarded to lowest / best bidder, in fact we recently had a leaky roof since this same company was hired to simply replace the gutters only to have the resident/owners of the uppermost unit have dirty, stinky water wake them in the middle of the night as it dripped on them. And then these same unfortunate owners were threatened by the management company and then these same owners had to pay for the repairs ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Yes, this is the same management company hired by our incredible board. It seems to still hold true: Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely ! ! !
It still seems to be true:
First of all you should have paid your monthly fees like everyone else has said so they would not have had to file a lien on your property, they were correct to protect the Association's interest. According to your documents what is the time frame you have to be delinquent before a lien is filed? Delinquent owners put a strain on the Association and they steal services that others have to pay for. This is July 2012, stop wasting your time, the Associations time and money and yours too for that matter on legal fees. Bring and keep your account current.
If you can afford a lawyer, you can afford to pay your fees. It puts an enormous amount of stress on your neighbors to have to pay for themselves and to have to pay for you, too. The money to pay the site fees has to come from somewhere. What if everyone decided not to pay? Some of your neighbors may be struggling as well, but they are making it a priority to pay what they owe for the good of the community. Victor needs to stop blaming the economy and look around. A lot of us are in the same boat but instead of whining about it, we look for ways to mitigate the immediate circumstances. We have people who earn a lot of money who live in this association and are willing to pay the monthly condo fee for someone else who is willing to paint a room for them or clean their carpets. And suing the board IS like suing yourself as long as they are acting in the best interests of the association and are following the rules. Who do you think pays for their lawyers? Your fees do! (Unless, of course, you haven't paid your dues and in that case you are wasting your neighbors' money.) In my state, as long as you pay something, and let the board know, in writing, that you intend to pay what you owe, they can't place a lien unless your HOA has a limit (usually set in your HOA rules: Ours is $1000.)We are trying to put much-needed siding on aging buildings and we all had to pay extra in the assessment fee because one of our owners is very delinquent. Is this fair? I work 3 jobs and I pay my fees and my mortgage FIRST because having a roof over my head is important. A lot of my neighbors feel the same way I do.
Can you win a lawsuit because the board liened you for more than you owe? Generally no, because the association is entitled to add the cost of the legal fees to create and record the lien and fees for notifying you, and they may also accelerate your payments to the end of the year.
Can you win because the association liened you after only one month? Possibly. It depends on the circumstances, state law, and the judge. The association is entitled to reasonable attorney fees, but not for unreasonable fees. It is possible that the board did not act properly according to your governing documents and/or state law. What is their side of it?
I notice that many people are commenting on "the strain" put on Association finances, and I have to wonder if these associations are setting aside proper contingency and reserve funds as they should be? A minor delinquency like the one described should not imperil the entire finances of any HOA. From the comments in this thread and quite a few others I've followed, however, it's clear many HOA's are poorly run. Time for everyone to clean up their act it seems. These days, having a lien placed on one's property can also have very negative consequences on one's credit score and can even prompt a mortgage lender to take action to pay the lien and then take action against an owner which could result in default and foreclosure. So putting a lien on a property should be the last resort for an HOA to collect a minor delinquency, not the first. Having a property go into foreclosure, whether forced by the HOA or a lender, will have far worse consequences for the entire HOA.
With out knowing more on the situation, it is hard to comment.. We have a policy that states if you are going to be late for an reasonable reason, notify the board, no fines will appear. We go 3 months before any action is taken! Like others have said usually there is a reason for being late! However if this continues for a period of time , we can request 1 full years ahead payment! to many unknown factors here!
Reserves cannot be used to cover operating expenses. Many associations don't keep a lot of back-up money in operating expenses, nor should they have to.
My questions would be...is this particular homeowner consistently one month behind? We have a late fee of $25 if assessments are not paid on time. That's usually enough incentive to get most people to pay on time.
always pay ontime. if not write the bod's to see if you can pay in a few installments. also, just don 't get an attorney. get someone who speacilizes in association law.
bod tend to get out of control sometimes. i am on the bod of my association and have brought legal action against the association and bod. so far the association attorney has agreed with everything my attorney has said. and has told the other bod to get their crap together.
some things include violation of labor laws. collection laws, corporate law, elections, ballots, etc....
our association has a decision to make. comply with the current by-laws, ammend them or disolve the association. these are their options. this is what happens when the bod does not seek legal counsel on a regular basis.
the reason why the lien is,for more is because your paying court cost and legal fees for the BOD. Been there done that. I understand completely I been in your shoes. Everyone ASSUMES the attorney you have costs money however mine lawyer was free threw community provider. I dont think one month late requires the lien. I also think ppl were way to hard on you in their response to your ?. Disgusting ppl every where I tell you!!!