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Association suing for unpaid dues

Chicago, IL |

My association is suing me for unpaid association dues and is seeking to terminate my rights to possession of the unit. If that is granted do I still owe the debt?

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Attorney answers 4


It depends on the language of the Condo Declaration.

Please note that this answer is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or an offer to form an attorney-client relationship. It is always advisable to seek the help of an attorney licensed in your state before proceeding on any legal matter. Please feel free to contact me with the information listed below. Good luck! Napleton Law, Ltd. 312.255.0115

Martin L Bearg

Martin L Bearg


A debt for unpaid condo maintenance usually results in a lien on the unit; an enforceable debt that can be satisfied by foreclosure, or by waiting until you sell and collection at that time, with interest. HOWEVER you utilized the phrase "right to possession of the unit," which is generally associated with a co-op. You have shares in a co-op and a lease to utilize your particular apt. or unit. Failure to pay monthly maintenance results in all other units having to pick-up the burden, and therefore the lease is more likely to be cancelled and possession of the apt. taken. Not being an expert on co-op law, I cannot advise of, as in a rental unit, eviction proceedings must take place, but yes, even if you are forced to vacate the unit, or denied privileges like the pool or parking, the debt needs to be paid.


You need to review all the terms and provisions of your bylaws. Go speak to an attorney to learn your options and the best way to handle this lawsuit.


An association whose bylaws would not require you to pay the debt would be putting it's financial stability at risk. Most likely, you will still be liable for the debt. An attorney could review the bylaws and any contracts associate with the condo to determine what you might owe.


Though I agree with attorney Napleton that the answer to your question depends on the association's governing documents, it is extremely common for associations to have the right to take possession of a unit and rent it out to cover unpaid association dues.

In my experience associations do not take possession until you are quite far behind on your dues and it is unlikely that the rent generated will ever get you caught up on your debt. You will also likely be responsible for the attorneys fees incurred by the association.

Are you currently in foreclosure? Is this an investment property or your home?

Losing possession of your condo is pretty serious and you should consult with an attorney to try to avoid losing the unit and having your debt spiral out of control.

Though we strive to provide accurate legal information in our answers on AVVO, our answer should not be construed as legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Our firm only forms attorney-client relationships by written agreement signed by both our firm and the client. Please seek an in-person consultation with an attorney immediately as almost all legal matters are time sensitive and failing to meet deadlines can result in adverse consequences.

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