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Who has the burden of proof that condo fees were paid late?

Holland, MI |

Association uses a drop box at mail house. Board alleges check was not in box at morning pickup on day after due date, but was there at afternoon pickup. Member asserts check was in box on due date. Board assessed late fee which was contested. Board refuses to remove late fee and placed lien on home. Member refuses to pay late fee and threatens lawsuit.

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Attorney answers 3


Board has burden of proof


If the board does not act in the best interest of the association, they could be held personally liable. Thus, a lawsuit should be avoided. There could be a bad-faith claim which could expose the association to damages if the member finds a zealous attorney.


From a practical point of view, it is a mistake for the Board to insist on a late fee, and lien the member's property, as it exposes the association to a significant amount of liability for a wrongful lien. It makes sense to remove the lien and credit back the late fees, rather than put the entire association at risk.

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