Can homeowner association or FL statute oblige owners current to pay for delinquencies (i.e. foreclosures etc.), or ruin credit?

Asked over 1 year ago - Hollywood, FL

My maintenance account is current but my homeowner association (HOA) states it is "delinquent." I can supply evidence of bank verified payment for the period in question. My condo association (peculiar structure --both cover me) failed to collect on some maintenance payments and HOA has a collector. I doubt they know who owes what, had a meeting, or can provide the minutes imposing the billing of all owners in my phase. I never received notice--until yesterday (attorney for the ass'n). I am being billed a pro rata share of the entire delinquency for multiple months, interest, attorney fees--and the balance is climbing (two figures 35 days apart). They reference it as the "ass'n v." me and gave me 30 days. Can they ruin my credit? Can I file a Motion to Dismiss? What are my options?

Additional information

The notice, “Westview Lakes Property Owners' Ass'n v. Cobb,” states,"Pursuant to Article V of the Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions of Westview Lakes, all unit owners within the Westview Lakes development are obligated to pay maintenance assessments and other charges to Westview Lakes POA. Section 6 provides that such assessments and/or charges shall be collected by the various condominium associations within Westview Lakes. However, if the associations fail to do so, Section 6 empowers (WLPOA) to *collect them from the individual unit owners* directly"—not “collect from ALL unit owners." What can happen if I don't pay the delinquencies? Does F.S. allow them to file a lien/foreclose on a current account? Importantly, I believe they have negligently handled the books (I’d like to see books/minutes); don't know who the real delinquencies are; and are wrongly accusing my account of being "delinquent." What are my options? Can I file a Motion to Dismiss now? Thank you for your most appreciated assistance.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Marshall C Deason Jr.

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Without reviewing your billings and the documentation of the association assessment, I cannot give you an answer to your questions. Rather than trying to get general advice from an online forum, you should consult an experienced real estate lawyer in your area. Your lawyer can review all of the documentation and give you advice on your specific situation.

    Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does... more
  2. Barbara Billiot Stage

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You probably received an Intent to Lien letter, which requires the association to give you 30 days notice before they can lien and another 30 days notice before they can foreclose. Without seeing the document I can't be sure, but if its a letter, then no court action has been filed yet.

    You have a master association (the HOA) and a sub association (your condo association). The master association levies assessments against your condo. It appears it is set up so that the condo association collects for the master and submits the funds to the master. Often this structure requires the sub-association to pay the amount due for all units whether the sub-association collects or not. Because of the economy your sub-association is probably not remitting the assessments for every unit. Depending on the language in the master document, the HOA most likely has the option of going after individual units or claiming each unit is delinquent for a pro rata share of the unpaid balance. While this seems very unfair, its legal if you bought your unit with this language in the documents. This is done to protect the master association from going bankrupt. Some sub-associations try to challenge these types of arrangements, but usually they fail. You have a claim against your condo association for not paying the assessments, but you will have to crossclaim them if you are sued.

    Only a review of your documents and the correspondence you received can determine if the HOA (master) is asserting a legal claim. You will need a personal consultation, which can be accomplished without a personal visit. We handle document reviews by telephone, email and fax. You will need a local attorney to represent you in court if it goes that far.

    This communication is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship. It is always recommended you consult... more
  3. Carol Anne Johnson

    Contributor Level 18

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Florida Statutes in question would be the Florida Rules for Civil Procedure pertaining to what happens if you ignore this filing. If you don't respond appropriately and are found in default, the HOA can obtain a judgment of lien against you and/or your property. Do not delay any further - hire a good HOA attorney to file a response to their motion. Otherwise, you could potentially have a lien placed that would prevent you from selling your property without first satisfying the lien. And, yes, it could show up on your credit reports if the collection agency reports it.

    Carol Johnson Law Firm, P.A. : (727) 647-6645 : carol@caroljohnsonlaw.com : Wills, Trusts, Real Property, Probate,... more
  4. Jaitegh Singh

    Contributor Level 7

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . This is something that an HOA defense attorney, such as myself, needs to discuss. there are a number of issues that you present in the question and this is not the right forum for those answers. I do believe a motion to dismiss is something that should be filed immediately. With regards to credit, if the debt is legitimately against you, then yes there can be some credit implications. We can fight those for you as well.

    Singh Law, P.A.
    Ft. Lauderdale - Miami - West Palm Beach
    (954) 586-6000
    Free Consultations Available

    DISCLAIMER: This answer is provided solely for informational purposes only. This answer does not constitute legal... more

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