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Sunday, February 18, 2018
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Subject: Settlement not being disclosed
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Author Messages
JenniferM15
(Illinois)

Posts:6


02/07/2018 12:44 PM  
My condominium building located in the West Loop of Chicago has been involved in a lawsuit for seven years. The building manager disclosed to my friend and another resident that the lawsuit had finally been resolved. It has been two weeks and I have not received an email or letter mentioning that the lawsuit has finally been settled. Does the board have the right to not tell the residents?

Our condominium dues have gone from 250.00 to 550.00 to 900.00 due to the lawsuit and an additional special assessment. Can we receive any of the money spent back that have resulted in large financial losses?

Our building spent over a 500,000 in attorneys fees. I read that another party that was involved in the same lawsuit has spent a 100,000. Are we allowed to ask for a copy of the attorneys billing and what they have been working on this entire time.





TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15245


02/07/2018 2:39 PM  
Jennifer,

Expecting your governing documents are like mine, you should be able to request billing.

I'm sorry to say that you won't get any money back. Your Association was/is involved in litigation and has incurred fees. Those fees had to be paid.

Both parties verbally agreeing to a settlement vs. having all the paperwork signed, filed and terms of the agreement met are different things. It's possible that your Board is waiting to see a follow through before announcing anything to the membership. Attend your next board meeting and politely ask your questions.
JenniferM15
(Illinois)

Posts:6


02/07/2018 3:50 PM  
The special assessment we received was to pay for fixing the building issues. The lawsuit was about the building issues that we received a special assessment on. The attorneys fees have been paid by the increases in our regular assessments.

I Believe the residents that paid an extra 200 per month for the last seven years for attorney fees and were assessed a special assessment and were unable to sell their condominium for seven years due to the lawsuit might be unhappy to not receive some money back.

Our building is three blocks from The new Google Building and we are the only building in the area that Is under water.

I noticed in the 2018 a budget of 100,000 more for attorneys is there a reason to keep paying attorneys.

Last thing. I noticed a 30,000 jump for basic cable. I mean really basic. I receive large bills for Direct TV. Can I email the board and get a breakdown of the 30,000 fee. I cannot figure it out.

Why can’t boards be more translucent?



KerryL1
(California)

Posts:4791


02/07/2018 3:53 PM  
Until you see the settlement, it's hard to answer your questions.

For now, it could be the PM spoke out prematurely and all of the little details of the settlements have yet to be signed off by your board. Once signed, etc., I feel sure that your own governing documents or IL state law require that the amount of the settlement (if any!) be revealed to all owners via US mail.

Haven't your HOA attorneys been keeping you posted via US Mail on the progress of the lawsuit--perhaps quarterly or so?? Haven't they offered occasional Town Hall Meetings with updates?

Can't say if you'll get any money back. Instead of a special assessment, our board took out a loan, per Owners' votes, for $800,000. We repaid the loan with the settlement proceeds we collected in our construction defect lawsuit. Depending on how well your HOA did, I'd say it's very possible your dues may go back down.

What was the special assessment for? Didn't Owners have to vote to approve it?

Meantime, why don't you personally ask your PM? for an update? Or do ask at your next open board meeting (which I think are required in IL)
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:4791


02/07/2018 4:40 PM  
Your & my posts crossed, Jennifer. IF your settlement "reimburses" your HOA for all of the expenses to fix the "building issues" that caused your special assessment, it's very possible owners will see some sort of refund. It depends on the remainder of the settlement and if it covered everything that was expended PLUS what needs to be be spent of the remaining defects that must be repaired or replaced.

I can't possibly guess why you're budgeted for $100,000 attorney's fees for '18. Ask your board at an open meeting. Ditto, cable TV. Your board via your management company should send you a breakdown of that cost--in the contract-- if you request it in writing.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:1822


02/08/2018 8:32 AM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 02/07/2018 4:40 PM
I can't possibly guess why you're budgeted for $100,000 attorney's fees for '18.

Wild speculation... maybe the lawsuit was settled not in the association's favor and it is on the hook for paying the other side's attorney fees.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:4791


02/08/2018 11:56 AM  
I'd say your guess is a pretty good one, Geno.
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