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Being sued by HOA. Need help!

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Valued Member

Being sued by HOA. Need help!

I owe $1200 for 4 yrs of hoa dues. I found out there were 2 leins against my property for $1590 each. I contacted them to found out what the liens were for. The HOA directed me to the collection agency/atty's office they use. The agency informed me that there should only be 1 lien not 2 and that the 2 liens reference the same $1200 balance plus an additional $300 assessment for an improper paint job plus interest. (I haven't painted my home, back to that later) I informed them that I had been in contact with the HOA manager and wanted to make arrangements to repay as I would like lein removed. 1 week later I was served suit papers stating the HOA is suing me for $3900. I filed a response indicating that I disagree with the $$ but that I was in contact with the HOA and we were working it out. I contacted HOA mgr. again to solidify repayment arrangement. She gave me the web address where payments can be made and referred me back to collector. I contacted the collector and asked for a breakdown of all charges. They sent me a ledger which still included the improper paint fee in addition to court costs, litigation fee, atty fee. I informed them that the improper paint fee should be removed and why and asked about the additional fees and the total is now $4103 and the only diff I see is that they changed the atty fee amt. She told me that those fees are non negotiable and that the HOA would remove the improper paint fee once we work it out. She phoned me on Tues of this week saying they received notice that I filed a response to the lawsuit and emailed me the ledger again she stated that the HOA would likely want me to pay bal within 12 mos and keep up with future dues. I called HOA mgr to ask about removal of the paint fee b4 I begin any payments. She now states she legally cannot discuss the account with me anymore.??? Friday I received emails from the collection agency indicating they are requesting a summary judgement for the balance. I am not sure what to do at this point. I am not opposed to paying the fees we owe plus interest and court costs. I do have issue with the litigation and atty fees. My biggest concern is I do NOT want this appearing on my credit. I've worked hard to rebuild over the past 2 years. Any advice as to how I should proceed to prevent damage to my credit? Can I respond to summary judgement petition? Can they agree to make arrangement and then pursue judgment anyway?
Please help!
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Message 1 of 29
28 REPLIES 28
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Senior Contributor

Re: Being sued by HOA. Need help!


@mrshulkisloislane wrote: I am not sure what to do at this point.

- Hire an attorney.

 

MyFico is a good place for credit & personal finance advice, not legal advice - and free legal advice is usually worth what you pay for it.

 

It is very hard to fight HOAs, they almost always win. I assume you filed your response to the lawsuit yourself, without any legal advice? The Motion for Summary Judgement indicates they think this is an easy win for them, so you need to file a carefully worded response with specific legal arguments why the Judge should not grant the Summary Judgement. If the Judge grants it there is no negotiation on fees or amounts, you owe it and they will collect it one way or the other which can include garnishment of wages and/or seizure of property.

 

If they thought filing a Collection on your Credit Report was the easier way to get you to pay what they think you owe they likely would have done it already, but if they win the Summary Judgement they may file that as a Collection on your credit report, but more likely will file to garnish wages and or seize your property. If it were me I'd be more worried about court judgements and the $4103 amount than my credit.

 

Good luck


Message 2 of 29
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Established Contributor

Re: Being sued by HOA. Need help!

Your question is a legal matter. It is not a credit related question other than if you lose will this be reported. By the way if the judge does find in the HOA's favor you can expect it to be reported on your reports.

 

Here is the only advice we can give you for legal matters: Get a lawyer!

 

On HOA matters though be aware that the fees charged are generally jacked up. Also if they are going for summary judgment you should be getting paperwork in the mail from the courthouse that you need to look through and answer. If you do not have the paperwork they are lieing. Lastly be aware that they can record your calls as evidence as well as lie about charges.

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Message 3 of 29
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Senior Contributor

Re: Being sued by HOA. Need help!

OK, here's something that occurred to me: The Judge cannot grant the Summary Judgement because it would be a form of "Double Jeopardy", being tried twice for the same crime, which is very illegal. There's probably a better legal term a good lawyer will come up with, but: They already filed two liens against your property for $1590 each. When you sell your property you have to pay those off. If the Judge grants a Summary Judgement you have to pay that, and when you sell your property you have to pay off the liens, paying the HOA twice for what they claim you owe, which is not legal. 

 

Hire a good attorney and they can get the Motion for Summary Judgement dismissed on that basis. If you can't afford an attorney google "legal aid (your city)" for free or low cost legal representation.


Message 4 of 29
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Super Contributor

Re: Being sued by HOA. Need help!

He needs a lawyer quickly.

 

They already have a lien, so only reason for judgement is if they plan to foreclose.

 

Get a lawyer fast!


Message 5 of 29
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Regular Contributor

Re: Being sued by HOA. Need help!

Hire an attorney and explain to him/her the situation. When you take this to court, your counsel will request the HOA and their attorneys to explain each line of default, when it occurred and their reasoning. The judge will decide what is owed by the defendant (you). HOA's do not like going to court because they can lose a lot of money if they are gouging their owners. 

Your real estate attorney knows how to handle these situations that will save possible further litigation.

 

Message 6 of 29
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Community Leader
Mega Contributor

Re: Being sued by HOA. Need help!

Judgements can no longer be reported to the credit bureaus. A collection agency can report if they're attempting to collect. Hire a lawyer.







Message 7 of 29
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Established Contributor

Re: Being sued by HOA. Need help!


@DaveInAZ wrote:

OK, here's something that occurred to me: The Judge cannot grant the Summary Judgement because it would be a form of "Double Jeopardy", being tried twice for the same crime, which is very illegal.


The OP is not being charged with a crime, this is a civil case. The concept of double jeapardy only applies to criminal cases.

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Message 8 of 29
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Moderator

Re: Being sued by HOA. Need help!


@FlaDude wrote:

@DaveInAZ wrote:

OK, here's something that occurred to me: The Judge cannot grant the Summary Judgement because it would be a form of "Double Jeopardy", being tried twice for the same crime, which is very illegal.


The OP is not being charged with a crime, this is a civil case. The concept of double jeapardy only applies to criminal cases.


 

In civil cases there is similar concept, it's referred to as dismissal "with or without prejudice " 

 

If case is dismissed without prejudice, it can easily be brought before same court again. 

 

Cases dismissed with prejudice would need to be appealed to higher lever court. 

While that's a possibility, it's usually not something done in cases with trivial monetary amounts due to high litigation costs 

 

Message 9 of 29
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Frequent Contributor

Re: Being sued by HOA. Need help!

You need legal representation asap!

 

Contact your local bar associaton for a referral if you don't have an attorney. 

Message 10 of 29
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