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Church members are in financial trouble with condo association

Posted on Tue, Mar 26, 2013 @ 07:19 AM

We are a small church in trouble with our condo association. We fell behind on our fees through a series of uncontrollable events. We made efforts to air our situation, but they chose to ignore us and demand their money. The original amount of $30,000 was in dispute from the beginning. When we found out about the debt, we collected all the money he church had, $14,000 and gave it to them. They took the money and continued to threaten us with fencing up the church to keep us out. We have been harassed, cursed out, fraudulently misrepresented to the power company which caused us to lose power on one half of church for one month. We have dealt with condo president placing his junk cars with rats, rabid animals and snakes round church building. He restores junky cars. The stress to church members is unbearable. We have no money and do intend to pay our debt, but in the mean time, we have not had any service as it leaks in our 13,000 foot facility -no service to leaking roof and the list is endless. We owe $$30,000, but they will not negoiate! Although we openly dispute the bill. They have been nasty. Do we have any recourse? We do intend to pay, provided everything is done legally when we regain our financial strength. A lawyer was consulted, but has done little to help.

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If you own the money, you own the money, church or not; business is business. You might think about moving. GR

posted @ Tuesday, March 26, 2013 7:36 AM by GR

Many things simply confuse me about this posting. Are you in an office park where there is a Condo Associstion. Do you rent or own? the thing about the power company, are you not paying them either? That's just to start but I'm sure other posters will have some reaction. I am not attempting to be harsh here, but my question is WHY should they negotiate? You are a church doesn't the Bible say such things as "Owe no man anything but the debt of Love" and "Count up the Cost". Sounds like you did not "Count up the cost" before you went in, as a contingency plan should have part of the overall master plan to sustain the Church, even if offerings decline, as with every Church in this country, since the economic downturn. i am an Ordained official in my church and a Condo Association President so I know what I am talking about.

posted @ Tuesday, March 26, 2013 7:40 AM by RCH JR

You dont ring up a $30,000 bill overnight. This must have been goin on for some time.. I feel there is a lack of communication. The Trustees are obligated to collect money from tardy residents. Its probably spelled out in your by-laws. I have a resident who owed $200 in a snow assessment, and refused all letters from the Board and also the lawyers after they got involved. It is now over $3000 from legal bills and late fees. No communication does this. I feel thats how you ended up at $30k. You need to talk to your board of trustees and work out a payment plan. Hopefully without a lawyer to save money.

posted @ Tuesday, March 26, 2013 7:41 AM by BIll Bondar

If you set up a payment schedule, they should stay off your back. If the condo is responsible for the leaky roof and refuse to fix it, file a complaint with the state. You don't say what state you're in. You don't need a lawyer for that, and if you want to seek legal advice, only hire a condo law attorney. Check your state statutes governing condo associations. You need to move out of there as quickly as possible.

posted @ Tuesday, March 26, 2013 7:45 AM by Kay Borden

The board is doing their fiduciary duty. Set up a payment schedule and expect to be sued if this organized superstition club does not pay in a timely manner.

posted @ Tuesday, March 26, 2013 8:00 AM by john_mastro

I agree with comments from GR, RCH JR, and Bill Bondar. 
While $30,000 was a large, disputed debt, you paid it down to $16,000. As a HOA President, I find that as a sign of good faith that the remaining balance will be paid. 
To settle the disputed amount will require litigation. 
Failure to negotiate a payment plan is just a bad business decision by the Board but not much you can do about it. 
If you feel you are being harassed, you need to obtain a cease-and-desist letter and deliver to HOA President or their representative. Some of what you described could be considered an attempt to do bodily harm consequently you may want to engage local law enforcement as well. 

posted @ Tuesday, March 26, 2013 8:01 AM by Ron-NC

I agree with Ron-NC - once an Association (HOA) takes a particle payment - the court l system in most states is in acceptant of the situation. Most board members are not of the legal understaning of what is code law -- Most states allow owners to make payment plans - what I find to be a trouble statement is the HOA board allowed you to get behind on the amount that was stated- if the board was doing their job correctly on this part, this should have been resolved many moons ago- it less expensive for everyone to stay out of court - sit-ing down with the board to talk about a payment plan is what needs to be done. The board does not have to hire the time of an attorney to resolve this. if you go in front of a judge thats time and money wasted --- which something like this can be done outside a court room. -- good luck JJJJ

posted @ Tuesday, March 26, 2013 8:48 AM by j

I am sorry, but I don't understand this post at all. 
First of all....how is a church part of a condominium association? I thought only homes were, but maybe I am misinformed.  
Or is it your home is part of a condo, and you are mentioning you are church-going folk to try to get sympathy?  
Or are you using your condo for a church?  
I don't understand how a condo can be a church. I mean, in our Master Deed it specifically says no unit my be used for business function. And a church is a business.  
Please explain!  
"We fell behind on our fees" I'd say! $30,000 sounds like you are behind for about 5 years or so!!! How much are your monthly maintenance dues?  
I also don't understand how you owed $30,000, paid $14,000....which brings you down to $16,000...but then you repeat that you still owe $30,000? HUH? NO. You owe $16,000. Why did you say you owe $30,000 at the end of your paragraph? Very confusing! 
You say "when we found out about the debt". How did you not know? Did you think you could live/operate there for free? This is pretty alarming that you did not know you owed $30,000!!!!!! 
I think this is NOT a condo, and you are posting on the wrong board. I think your church owes a landlord RENT. First things first, you need to understand what is going on. You can not move forward until you are clear about what you are involved in. Condo maintenance fees are not property rent. Two different things.  
I find it EXTREMELY alarming that your Condo Home Owner Association, if that is truly what you mean, allowed you to get to $30,000 in delinquent dues. EXTREMELY. With us, the first month a unit is delinquent, they get a warning and a late fee. Second month, another warning, another late fee. After that, we put a lien on the home. After 5,000, we sue them in court, and get the money from a judgement. It is the responsibility of the Condo Board of Directors to make sure all units pay on time, and to follow up aggressively to collect on outstanding debts.  
I always point this out--- 
Please read this and try to understand this one point. 
I am truly sorry you have no money. I really am. I am truly sorry you are hit hard time. I really am. Honestly. I have been there myself. You can not afford to live there. You must move and find something you can afford. 
If you are not paying your maintenance dues, the rest of the community in your condo association is paying your share. It costs money to maintain and operate a condo association. They need to pay a management company's fees, an auditor, lawyer, snow removal, maintenance, cleaning, landscaper, possible taxes, utilities, repairs, etc etc etc. None of this is cheap.  
Whereas I feel really bad for the lady in our association who is financially unable to pay, the way I look at it.... 
I can not in good conscience ask all the other families to pay her way. The single mom with cancer, the guy with multiple scelerosis, the lady whose husband just passed away, the three unemployed guys with families...everyone in our association has a story. If they are all able to somehow, somehow, somehow pay their dues....it is not fair to have to assess them a special assessment, or raise their dues because one member is not. So whereas I honestly feel bad for your situation, I think you are being SELFISH for only worrying about yourself and not worrying about the others in your condo association who are also struggling through rough times as well, and paying your way.  
Get your facts straight first.  
Do you owe Condo dues or rent?  
Exactly how much do you owe? $30,000 or $16,000? 
Then make a payment plan to pay your bills. 
Then, find another place to live that you can afford.  
Buy a Dave Ramsey book and work on improving your situation. It can be done.  

posted @ Tuesday, March 26, 2013 9:58 AM by tumbleweed

I was wondering how you got so far behind on the rent or do you own the unit? You may need to file a Chapter 7 if there is no means to pay.The association uses the payments for maintainence, repairs and, water and trash.I feel that you need to have someone discuss this with you. and help you set up a payment plan. Are you renting the church also? Believe me the association needs the money . Paying bills is not fun but has to be done. Since there is a group of you, get together and try to figure out how you can make payments because these debts need to be paid. I am still wondering about the church belonging to the condo assn. I never heard of that.

posted @ Tuesday, March 26, 2013 11:37 AM by Mari

Since I cannot understand the true nature of the problem, I dare not risk offering any solution!

posted @ Tuesday, March 26, 2013 2:11 PM by Frank - MA

Sounds to me like you need to find a job and a place you can afford, maybe leave the State!! You can't help others if you can't help yourself.

posted @ Tuesday, March 26, 2013 5:02 PM by Peggy J. D'Amato

Your message is puzzling. Are you renting commercial space within a condo property to operate a church? I am sorry for your troubles, but it seems to me that you have unwisely entered into a contract that you have no ability to pay in a timely way. You want repairs and other services that somebody has to pay, while you short change them of what you owe. Please take the advice that has been given and get out of there. Please don't sign any more contracts that you have no means of fulfilling. The Bible is clear, owe no man anything accept to love them. Another verse of scripture is to count the cost before hand to ensure that you will be able to pay what you owe.

posted @ Friday, March 29, 2013 4:32 AM by serola

It seems they are in over their heads. If they owe the money then they owe it, but there has to be some sort of plan they can work out. I know that getting advice from Ryan Bolton in St. George Ut could be a smart move.

posted @ Friday, August 09, 2013 12:13 PM by Elisa Jed

You might ask the assn if you can work off part of what you owe. At the same time you could keep paying. That is a lot of money that you owe. When my husband passed away I offered to keep managing for fees and have been doing so for almost 4 years.Sometimes giving of yourself and your time shows that you are sincere. It is worth a try. But do keep paying because it is a debt that you owe.

posted @ Friday, August 09, 2013 12:37 PM by Mari

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