Get 2 months of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!
Thursday, December 12, 2019
Get 2 months of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!
Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.
Subject: HOA didn't remove charge on account: litigate or ignore it?
Prev Next
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Author Messages
JohnS111
(New York)

Posts:165


04/14/2019 5:09 PM  
I am an owner of a property governed by a homeowners' association. I caught the HOA's board, among other things, violating the HOA's governing documents.

I told the board to shape up; the board put all sorts of fines on my account; I threatened to sue the board; we reached an agreement that the board violated; I sued the board and the HOA; and in good faith, I withdrew the suit but preserved my claims. Other owners found the lawsuit's paperwork online and I notified other owners about the litigation, and the board president was voted out of office, and a majority of the board is now new, following the most recent board election, which happened just after I notified others about the litigation.

It's been almost 3 months and one of the fines is still on my account. I've asked the new board president if he wants to settle the litigation (which would just involve signing a release) and if he is going to be removing the fine. I get answers very slowly, and they're always, "Let me talk to my counsel" or "Let me talk to the board", and then nothing.

I know the law (I'm a lawyer) and I can re-file the suit and will win, and I will recover damages from the HOA. The HOA has insurance and so it will be expensive, but I will win.

I'm not asking for legal advice, but I'm asking for advice about how to deal with a board that is dragging its feet on removing a fine from my account, which shouldn't be on my account:

1. Would you play tough, give the board a deadline and demand that the fine be withdrawn?
2. Or would you play nice and just give the board time to take the fine off?

The HOA has not taken any actions to collect the fine, other than sending a few letters many months ago; it hasn't put a lien on my property. I'd definitely refile the suit if the board took any affirmative steps to collect the fine.

Thanks.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1504


04/14/2019 5:37 PM  
Ha, yeah, sounds like you’re a lawyer.

I think you should talk to a lawyer about it.
JohnS111
(New York)

Posts:165


04/14/2019 5:43 PM  
OK, I lie on the Internet. Whatever.

Back to the question:

If a prior HOA board unlawfully put a fine on your account, but the new board is friendlier and hasn't really done anything to enforce it, would you act nice and ignore it, or be demanding and push for the fine to be taken off?

This is a question of how to handle the relationship overall, and how difficult to be to a hopefully friendly board.

MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8764


04/14/2019 7:05 PM  
Yeah your NOT a lawyer... If you were then you would know better than to sue. Especially your HOA and it's board members. So calling your bluff here on all of that. Stop with the threats of lawsuits. Why? Because the HOA can charge you for their legal expenses each time they need to contact their REAL lawyer.

So next time you come here... Tell some truth. Otherwise, you come off as someone who most likely deserved the fines they are getting...

Former HOA President
JohnS111
(New York)

Posts:165


04/15/2019 2:31 AM  
Actually, you can sue a HOA under statutes that allow the plaintiff (me) to recover MY legal fees.

I’d appreciate any responses but will be ignoring ones that star that I’m not a lawyer.

Thanks.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16555


04/15/2019 2:42 AM  
John,

Per your posting, most of the board is new and doesn't really know the details of the issue.

If it were I, I would ask once more with a reasonable deadline that the fine be removed or you will refile the litigation. Reasonable to me is 30 to 45 days.
JohnS111
(New York)

Posts:165


04/15/2019 4:54 AM  
TimB4, thanks- just what I was looking for. Will do!
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8764


04/15/2019 5:57 AM  
Thanks for giving the poster the answer they are looking for. We no longer have to post to BS like this... Sorry people but this one was full of it...

Former HOA President
RoyalP


Posts:0


04/15/2019 6:23 AM  
Posted By JohnS111 on 04/15/2019 2:31 AM
Actually, you can sue a HOA under statutes that allow the plaintiff (me) to recover MY legal fees.

I’d appreciate any responses but will be ignoring ones that { star } that I’m not a lawyer.

Thanks.





Hope your filed 'briefs' are better written.

(my poor grammar is the reason i failed the exam)
JohnS111
(New York)

Posts:165


04/15/2019 6:45 AM  
Posted By RoyalP on 04/15/2019 6:23 AM
Posted By JohnS111 on 04/15/2019 2:31 AM
Actually, you can sue a HOA under statutes that allow the plaintiff (me) to recover MY legal fees.

I’d appreciate any responses but will be ignoring ones that { star } that I’m not a lawyer.

Thanks.





Hope your filed 'briefs' are better written.

(my poor grammar is the reason i failed the exam)




I’m not paid by clients to post to a message board so typos in messages online are not important to me.

JoeB4, thanks again.

There’s no need to insult each other and fight online, and so I am ignoring posts that do either.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8764


04/15/2019 7:03 AM  
It's so nice of you to offer to remove your litigation. I am sure that made everyone so happy... Now they will do whatever you want them to do...

The issue here is just basic fundamentals. Your suing over a fine? First thing you do is file litigation over a fine? Gee, the first thing most people do is present their evidence to the board they did not deserve the fine. Not run off and file a lawsuit. Oh and then manipulate their way by saying "I will drop the suit if you give me what I want".

Plus any real lawyer would see your fallacies on what your posting. So you can file a suit to get your legal fees back? Okay so what? You MUST sue now because you can? There are so many OTHER options than suing your HOA. You come off as not a very smart "lawyer" and full of it when you start out that way.

Suing your HOA is suing yourself and your neighbors. Suing over a fine is about dumb. If you knew the law, then you would know that is just about the dumbest thing you can sue your HOA over. If you knew basic fundamentals of law, you would know why...

Former HOA President
RichardP13


Posts:0


04/15/2019 7:20 AM  
There was a 44 unit HOA in Fairfax, VA that sued one of their owner over a Obama political sign that was 4 inches over HOA regulations. It cost them $400,000.00 and their town square.Boards do this type of thing all the time without consulting with the membership who end up paying the bill.

So, if justified, why not turn the table on out of control, power hungry boards? Melissa, quite frankly, you are full of it!
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8764


04/15/2019 7:29 AM  
That wasn't a fine, that was a violation. Fine is a punishment for not correcting a violation. A lawsuit is used to forcibly correct the violation. A big difference. This person is suing over a fine they received. Which there are no details about. The HOA did not sue them or threaten to. Just placed a fine as punishment.

Don't see a power hungry board as much as I see someone who is holding their HOA hostage with holding a possible lawsuit over their head...

Former HOA President
RichardP13


Posts:0


04/15/2019 7:35 AM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 04/15/2019 7:29 AM
That wasn't a fine, that was a violation. Fine is a punishment for not correcting a violation. A lawsuit is used to forcibly correct the violation. A big difference. This person is suing over a fine they received. Which there are no details about. The HOA did not sue them or threaten to. Just placed a fine as punishment.

Don't see a power hungry board as much as I see someone who is holding their HOA hostage with holding a possible lawsuit over their head...



Apparently, you don't know the difference.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8764


04/15/2019 7:41 AM  
I know this guy is holding his HOA hostage by playing the passive aggressive game. Plus not going about it kind of snaky like a lawyer would... The whole situation smells of fish and manipulation. Anyone else not smell it let me know... I'd like to use the air freshener your using...

Former HOA President
RichardP13


Posts:0


04/15/2019 7:49 AM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 04/15/2019 7:41 AM
I know this guy is holding his HOA hostage by playing the passive aggressive game. Plus not going about it kind of snaky like a lawyer would... The whole situation smells of fish and manipulation. Anyone else not smell it let me know... I'd like to use the air freshener your using...



Same air freshener Boards use ALL the time.
JohnS111
(New York)

Posts:165


04/15/2019 8:12 AM  
Everyone: I do not fight/argue/insult online. I also do not respond to posts that fight/argue/insult.

TimB4, thanks again for your post.
BobD4
(up north)

Posts:916


04/15/2019 8:17 AM  
Posted By JohnS111 . . . This is a question of how to handle the relationship overall, and how difficult to be to a hopefully friendly board.




A respectful recommendation to JohnS111 ALONE :

Respectfully, this Forum can be a microcosm of recurring dialogues within thousands of neighbourhoods.

You may consider respectfully notifying the auditor - if there is one.

It's not unusual that "kitchen table" volunteer scenarios get even more chaotic after Board changes.

Further, IF your association instead relies on a management company & amidst change has replaced it, it is not unique that the outgoing PMC may be leaving a "scorched earth behind" rather than something helpful for the next PMC. Went through that myself. Whatever the scenario, one hopes that the better angels of human nature, prevail.

I would have concern that someday an invalidated charge could cause mischief like a notorious type of "civil demand" abuse. You may want to risk another friendly but written request which - if ignored - could be followed by discontinuing PAD or auto deposit.

Further starting to make payments into escrow without a judicial umbrella , isn't payment in my own jurisdiction. But it might at least allow you to hurdle some issues at the risk of the sort of comments & backlash that may well follow this suggestion. Yes escrow has issues, but your reputation & property's title are out there. Good luck.

GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1504


04/15/2019 8:28 AM  
John,

Sure .. but, you started out by lying? Really?
JohnS111
(New York)

Posts:165


04/15/2019 8:44 AM  
BobD4, excellent advice. Thank you!
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:1466


04/15/2019 9:29 AM  
This thread is the poster child for why this forum is not nearly as useful as it could be for new posters with questions. Until Tim replied the responses were hostile and totally devoid of useful information.

Escaped former treasurer and director of a self managed association.
JeffT2
(Iowa)

Posts:501


04/15/2019 10:27 AM  
Consider this from the new board's perspective.

If I were on this board of directors, I would be very slow and careful in any response and check everything with a lawyer, since there was litigation against the HOA. You are not just asking them to remove the fine, you are a lawyer asking to settle litigation. Per your post you have "preserved my claims." This isn't as simple for them as signing a paper. There may be other consequences from their perspective.

Some of the board members are new and getting up to speed. Every time a board member has a question, it goes to the lawyer and the matter gets put off until the next board meeting, which can make it drag on and on. And a few members may still be defensive and dragging their feet. The President probably feels they can't tell you anything given the circumstances, but that doesn't mean nothing is happening (or maybe it does).

You can't expect them to act quickly under this scenario.

They have made a good faith gesture in removing all but one of the fines. That should give them some time to work everything out.

I'm not saying they are right, just providing some ideas of what might be going on.

In other words it will take longer than usual. Hang in there.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1504


04/15/2019 1:30 PM  
Douglas - you read the part about the OP starting out by lying, right?
JeffT2
(Iowa)

Posts:501


04/15/2019 1:37 PM  
Posted By GeorgeS21 on 04/15/2019 1:30 PM
Douglas - you read the part about the OP starting out by lying, right?



When he said he was lying, he was lying.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8764


04/15/2019 1:41 PM  
No one has asked what the fine was about have they? What if it's something your HOA would fine for too? If he is a lawyer, would not hire him as mine. Lawsuit happy and using them to be passive/aggressive. My purpose of suing an HOA would not be to hold a lawsuit over their heads but to resolve an issue instead.

Former HOA President
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6726


04/15/2019 2:26 PM  
So good to see Tim & Jeff's advice. Makes complete sense to me. AND, welcome back BobD from UpNorth. NpS just rejoined us recently too--I think.

And agreeing with Dougas, not sure, JohnS, WHO the others think they're impressing. It's rare to see this much nonsense from so many posters in one thread. Even RoyP was producing jabberwocky.
JohnS111
(New York)

Posts:165


04/15/2019 4:16 PM  
JeffT2, thanks-- your comments seem right on point. KerryL1, thanks as well.

I find the whole thing strange--it could all be wrapped up in a 5-minute phone call between friends, from my perspective, but now I see where they're coming from.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1504


04/15/2019 4:26 PM  
Jeff,

Oh, I see now.

What?

On the other hand ... the word attorney was used.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8892


04/15/2019 4:53 PM  
The difference between my lawyer and another lawyer is one of those scumbags is mine.
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:1466


04/15/2019 8:25 PM  
Posted By JohnS111
OK, I lie on the Internet. Whatever.




Posted By GeorgeS21 on 04/15/2019 1:30 PM
Douglas - you read the part about the OP starting out by lying, right?



I read the OP's sarcastic response in post 3 blowing you off, I agree with Jeff that this was likely not an actual admission of lying. Considering your first reply was hostile, I'm not surprised the OP was sarcastic in return. Right to the left of the smiley face image on every screen it says "a positive place for community association leaders to share ideas and learn". I interpret that a bit more broadly to include residents who post here. If you have trouble trying to be positive and helpful to newcomers looking for advice, maybe you should just pass on that thread.

Escaped former treasurer and director of a self managed association.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1504


04/15/2019 8:32 PM  
Definitely not hostile.
RichardP13


Posts:0


04/15/2019 9:07 PM  
Posted By JohnS111 on 04/14/2019 5:43 PM
OK, I lie on the Internet.



I beat Tiger Woods twice at golf...

Well, actually only once..
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8764


04/15/2019 9:15 PM  
I am just pointing out the facts this person claimed to be a lawyer but then needs advice from non lawyer people? Plus it sounds like they are negotiating holding a lawsuit over the HOAs head. Or did I read that wrong too? How best to re do the lawsuit if they do not recall the fines? Of which we do not know the details other than claim of retailation?

Not one for these type tactics. Plus if a lawyer, then why are they sweating fines? Any lawyer knows the limited power of fines. Or did we forget how fines work? Basic Law fundamentals. Believe it was on my exam...

Former HOA President
RichardP13


Posts:0


04/15/2019 9:27 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 04/15/2019 9:15 PM
I am just pointing out the facts this person claimed to be a lawyer but then needs advice from non lawyer people? Plus it sounds like they are negotiating holding a lawsuit over the HOAs head. Or did I read that wrong too? How best to re do the lawsuit if they do not recall the fines? Of which we do not know the details other than claim of retailation?

Not one for these type tactics. Plus if a lawyer, then why are they sweating fines? Any lawyer knows the limited power of fines. Or did we forget how fines work? Basic Law fundamentals. Believe it was on my exam...



You just need to let it go.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8764


04/16/2019 4:07 AM  
Here is the deal... If you go to court to sue over fines, you must have had to paid them first. It's then called DAMAGES. You can't just go to court to sue your HOA because they issued you a fine. Especially if you did not go through the process of disproving the fine. Getting a letter your being fined isn't enough to take it to court. It's enough to take it to the board and prove your case.

The HOA has to have the right to issue fines. There should be an existing fine schedule defining what is to be fined and at what rate. This would be sorted out during the fine process.

So what is this lawsuit about that they dropped out of the kindness of their heart only to return it if did not comply to their demands? Maybe I am the only person here who doesn't play these games?

If your such a lawyer then they would know court ONLY makes one "Whole". There is no damages here other than them bringing a lawsuit against their HOA. They are the same damages the HOA experienced by having to defend. The HOA has a possible lawsuit against this person or the ability to collect those legal cost damages as well if they keep pursuing. Endless loop of lawsuits when this ALL could be resolved without ever have gone to court.

Former HOA President
RoyalP


Posts:0


04/16/2019 6:27 AM  
bs-meter
Please login to post a reply (click Member Login on the menu).
Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > HOA didn't remove charge on account: litigate or ignore it?



Get 2 months of free community web site hosting from Community123.com!



News Articles Provided by: Community Associations Network
News, articles and blogs about condos/HOA's

Only members have access to all features.
Click here to join HOATalk for Free! Members click here to login and access all features.







General Legal Notice:  The content of forum messages are from the posting member and have not been reviewed nor endorsed by HOATalk.com.  Messages posted by HOATalk or other members are for informational purposes only, are not legal or professional advice and do not constitute an attorney-client relationship.  Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.  HOATalk is not a licensed attorney, CPA, tax advisor, financial advisor or any other licensed professional.  HOATalk accepts ads from sponsors but does not verify sponsor qualifications nor endorse/guarantee any sponsor's product or service.
HindmanSanchez Legal Notice:  (For messages posted by HindmanSanchez) This message has been prepared by HindmanSanchez for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Members of HOATalk.com should not act on this information without seeking professional counsel. Please do not send us confidential information unless you speak with one of our attorneys and get authorization to send that information to us. If you wish to initiate possible representation, please contact an attorney in our firm. Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in the state of Colorado only.

Legal Notice For Messages Posted by Sponsoring Attorneys: This message has been prepared by the sponsoring attorney for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Readers of HOATalk.com should not act on this information without seeking professional counsel. Please do not send any sponsoring attorney confidential information unless you speak with the sponsoring attorney or an attorney from the sponsoring attorney’s firm and get authorization to send that information to them. If you wish to initiate possible representation, please contact an attorney in the firm of the sponsoring attorney. Sponsoring attorneys that post messages here are licensed to practice law in a specific state or states as indicated in their message signature or sponsor’s profile page. (NOTE: A ‘sponsoring attorney’ is an attorney that is a HOATalk.com official sponsor and is identified as such in the posted message or on our sponsor page.)

Copyright HOA Talk.com, A Service of Community123 LLC ( Homeowners Association Discussions )   Terms Of Use  Privacy Statement