Any debt collector can be held accountable for violations under the FDCPA. The definition of a debt collector under the FDCPA clearly defines the collector of a debt. You should contact an attorney regarding this matter.
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You are part of a large group of people facing the same problem. You give your home to the bank, but until the bank takes title you are still the legal owner and responsible for any dues that continue to accrue. While the HOA received the check, it is entitled to receive the dues that accrue and actually need them to maintain the association since they rarely have any other source of income.
The problem occurs when the HOA attepmts to collect because legally they can only go after the owner on the deed, which is you. Your dispute is actually with the bank for breach of contract.
This communication is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship. It is always recommended you consult an attorney in person to discuss your case. The Law Offices of Stage & Associates practices state-wide and represents homeowners and community associations. Please visit our website at www.stagelaw.com.
Yes, they can be sued, but you have bigger fish to fry first. First go see an attorney, this sound really messy and is too much to discuss on here. It sounds like you did make an agreement with the bank, but if you continued to live there, the HOA was/is trying to collect on the assesments that became due after they got their check and you continued to live there. This is how I'm interpreting your question. "Illegality"(for the misdemeanor) is a good claim and a good affirmative defense if this goes to a lawsuit. This type of misdemeanor, I don't recall it. I do criminal law, but it is not something prosecutors charge very often--probably never. But just about anything that is a criminal act can be brought as a civil action in a civil court if a prosecutor is not interested in prosecuting the criminal act. Like if you punch me and the prosecutor does not want to press charges, I can still sue you in civil court. I'm saying that you should use this misdemeanor of which you speak and run out as quick as you can and file a lawsuit. I'm saying go talk to an attorney and if there ever is a lawsuit, the misdemeanor may be a claim or defense if it gets to that point.