Serving on your Homeowners or Condominium Owners Association board of directors, no matter how committed and accomplished you may be, can be time consuming, complicated and exasperating. Legal assistance can save your Association money and many communal (and personal) headaches by improving efficiency and addressing situations before they escalate into expensive problems.
As your legal counsel, Dunlap Kucmierz, PLLC can help you to better understand the Association laws and your Bylaws (that were most likely drafted many years before you became board members). In addition, we can also assist in:
- Collecting delinquent assessments, yielding outstanding results
- Development and enforcement of articles of incorporation, bylaws, CC&R's (Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions) and other governing documents
- Counseling on interpretation of governing documents
- Notification of CC&R violations
- Construction defect litigation
- General legal questions
Collecting Delinquent Association Dues
In today’s economy, Homeowner’s Associations are frequently and increasingly having a difficult time collecting association dues from its homeowners. There are many legal avenues and alternatives for associations to use in order to collect past due assessments. Our firm has become specialized in the collection of outstanding homeowner’s and condo association dues.
As you may or may not know, your association most likely has the legal right, according to its Bylaws, to collect and recover past due association dues. In most cases, unpaid association dues can be collected in one of two ways. One way is to file a lien against the property. This will prevent the sale of the property until all of the dues are paid current. The benefit to this method is that once the lien is filed on the property, it will remain in place until we remove it. This means that the lien is only placed on the property once and will remain in effect for every year going forward that the dues remain unpaid. The lien is not removed until the dues are brought current. This is very effective once the owners are attempting to sell the property because their outstanding dues will stop the sale of the property until they are paid in full. The only real downfall to this approach is that it may take years before the homeowners sell their home.
The other collection method is to file a civil action in your local district court. One the homeowner is served with the Summons and Complaint, they will often voluntarily enter into a payment agreement to avoid a judgment against them. The benefit to this method is that collection and recovery efforts can be much faster than waiting for the homeowner to decide to sell their property. However, the drawback to this method is that each year the homeowner falls behind on their dues, a new lawsuit must be filed. Further, if a voluntary payment plan is not entered into, collection on the judgment can be difficult, time consuming and expensive.
Our firm can assist you in the collection of outstanding association dues. Once we receive a request for collection, we will open a file and send a Demand Letter to the delinquent owner, which includes the amount due, payment arrangements and the proper debt collection language as required by law. If no payment is made in response to the demand letter, we will file at your direction either a Homeowners Association Lien against the property or file a lawsuit in your local district court. Along with the outstanding association dues, we can collect interest, costs and actual attorney’s fees based on the language in your Bylaws.
If you would like more information regarding the collection of outstanding association dues, please feel free to contact our office at (248) 474-4000.