Home owner's association used services of an attorney to collect delinquent condo fees from the owner. It is later discovered that fees were paid but applied to the wrong account in error by the property management. Homeowner then ends up overpaying due to collection activities and attorney fees. Once this is discovered does the attorney still have the right to collect a fee from the home owner and keep it once she is informed of the error? Thank you.
Estate Planning Attorney
Usually, when an HOA hires an attorney to collect on delinquent HOA fees, the cost of hiring the attorney is placed on the homeowner's ledger, and this extra cost becomes part of the total amount that the attorney seeks from the homeowner. However, the attorney can only pursue the homeowner for what the homeowner owes the HOA, which, yes, probably includes attorneys fees. The homeowner would not owe anything directly to the attorney. Therefore, if there is a possibility that you are due a refund or credit of attorneys fees, you would need to pursue that credit from the HOA, not the attorney. And then the HOA can go and hope to get a refund from the attorney for work done based on the HOA's error.