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Dealing with HOA Fines

Posted by attorney Barbara Stage

Before a HOA or Condo can impose a fine they must first give notice of the violation and the opportunity to appear before a committee of at least three members to present your case. The notice must be sent 14 days in advance and the committee, which must have at least three members, cannot have any members who are board members, employees, officers or agents, or any of their relatives. Even if you choose not to appear at the hearing, the committee must convene and vote whether or not to impose a fine. The board cannot override the vote of the committee. Here's where it gets tricky - the attorneys will assert that the costs of covenant enforcement are an individual assessment to your property which can then cause a lien and foreclosure. the very definition of assessments in the statutes governing HOAs and COAs (condos) is an owners equal share of common expenses. Individual assessments are nothing more than a fine and the statutes regulating the fining process were passed as a matter of public policy. An attorney cannot collect attorneys fees nd costs from the opposing party without a lawsuit being filed and the court giving them a judgment except for the collection of past use regular and special assessments ( meaning assessments everyone has a duty to pay).

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