A Homeowner’s Association has gotten a default judgment against me for a property I never owned and has revealed this

Asked 12 months ago - Minneapolis, MN

information to my family member.
In 2005, I lived with my then fiancé in a townhome he purchased in the Minneapolis area of Minnesota. He unfortunately purchased a townhome in a development where the developer abandoned the project, and soon similar units were selling for a small fraction of what he paid. Being completely ‘upside down’ on the mortgage, he rented the property for awhile and then abandoned it in 2008 and it was shortly foreclosed. The last payment he made to the HOA was in 2007. He was the only one that bought this property and we were not married. However, I have now found out that the HOA obtained a Judgement against us just this month. First question – I thought the Statute of Limitations was over. Second question – How can I have a judgment against me for a property I never owned? Third question – the HOA’s collection agency sent this information to my family member, which was embarrassing for me as I had not shared this situation with them before. Do I have grounds to file a lawsuit under the FDCPA? Thank you.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Tricia Dwyer

    Contributor Level 19

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Hello. Your legal issues are quite detailed. This website provides general information, not the detailed private legal advice and counsel you are seeking. You should contact a local attorney who will be happy to assist you with your needs and issues. You should not delay, because, should you have certain rights for action under law, you lose those rights by delay past the applicable statutes of limitations involved in your case issues. Some attorneys are available seven days for emergency legal needs. Many attorneys will confer initially at no charge. Then, if legal work is performed, some attorneys will provide a reduced fee for financial hardship. Some attorneys may also assist you in limited scope manner to conserve legal costs. All the best.

    Tricia Dwyer, Esq.
    Phone: 612-296-9666

    Twin Cities & St. Cloud, Minnesota licensed attorney, Tricia Dwyer, Esq.: Phone 612-296-9666. REAL ESTATE LAW,... more
  2. Jeremy Judson Cobb

    Contributor Level 14

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Yes, see http://pa.courts.state.mn.us/default.aspx and search for judgments. Then check the affidavit of service (you will have to pay the clerk, say, $8 for that).
    You will need to hire an attorney to fight the judgment, either on grounds that you were never served or that you are not bound by the note and mtg.

    I will say that I'm dubious that any HOA rule could make a resident liable on the note. More interesting is whether a lessee could be bound to HOA rules and liable to pay association dues. I'd have to research the issue.

    There may be problems with the foreclosure, also, though you may or may not have standing to sue.

    Finally, idk that you have a cognizable FDCPA claim bc a judgment is a public record. I'd have to research that also. But there may be other FDCPA violations.

  3. Matthew Scott Berkus

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Here is my answer from your same question: Please don't post your question more than twice.

    I think you need to prioritize your issues. If you have a judgment out there against you that shouldn't be, your energy and resources need to be focused on that issue, not who you can sue. You can sue people once you clean up the underlying problem.

    First, verify the existence of the judgment. Contact the court where the judgment was supposedly entered and obtain a copy of the court file (this would likely be the county court where the property was located). In addition, in the court file, you will want to find the affidavit or proof of service. That document will tell you how you were allegedly served with the summons and complaint.

    A word of caution, and I can't speak for MN law, but the CC&R's (HOA rules and regulations) can be and often are a separate agreement. "Residents" in an HOA can be bound to the CC&R's even if the resident is not on deed to the underlying property. So, the judgment could be valid...or, at least it is possible. But, as I said, first do some leg work to gather the necessary information to even figure out the next move.

    Then contact an attorney in MN to figure out your next step.

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