Can a Condo Association charge an owner for attorney fees that were generated from a collection letter and/or filing of a lien?

Asked over 1 year ago - Fort Lauderdale, FL

Owner was informed of a missed maintenance payment from 2011 in January 2013 and received a letter that if owner did not pay arrears, a lien would be filed. Owner disputed this and is paid up to date as of today. Now, the Condo Association is saying that owner must pay an additional fee of $500.00 for attorney fees generated from writing the letter and preparation of the paperwork for the lien filing.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Barbara Billiot Stage

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Florida law provides for associations to be reimbursed for attorneys fees without filing litigation and any payments are in fact applied to attorneys fees first, the interest and late fees, then assessments. This is in the statute. It means unless the bill is paid in full the owner is always delinquent?

    I think $500 is excessive for a form letter and a check of county records for the deed.

    This communication is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship. It is always recommended you consult... more
  2. Michael J Corbin

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If the master agreement allows for the imposition of attorney fees and costs, then yes. I'd say, however, that this is dependent upon the status of the dispute - if it was shown that the missed payment(s) were, in fact, made and that the association made the mistake, then I'd say you can certainly demand the waiver of the fees. But, if it was your mistake, then I'd say you're probably stuck.

    We can be reached at 507.334.0155 (Toll Free: 888.777.5009). Our web address is: www. corbin-law-office.com.... more
  3. Dorothy G Bunce

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Once a condo association has to contact their attorney about collection, the association has to pay legal fees. So of course those fees will be passed along to the delinquent homeowner even if payment was made before the legal papers were mailed out. Hope this perspective helps!

  4. Jeffrey David Solomon

    Contributor Level 11

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Attorneys fees to associations can be a real problem. And you will be charged for the time they spend communicating with you regarding the dispute fee.

    The questions and answers posted on AVVO are for general information and should not be treated as legal advice or... more

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