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Subject: Homeowner being sued by NC HOA
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Author Messages
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4215


02/20/2015 11:01 AM  
I agree to disagree Jon. We will only know when Howard reports something concrete back to us.

A few comments on your post.

Posted By JonD1 on 02/20/2015 10:17 AM
How many lawyers walk away from clients without good reason? None around here.

Better question: How many lawyers have poor follow through when it doesn't involve going to court of filing papers in court?

Posted By JonD1 on 02/20/2015 10:17 AM
The OP seems to be willing to confuse the real issues with personality reviews, tactics and how many chairs were purposely placed in the room.

I think Howard read the room well. I have seen those tactics used quite often.

Posted By JonD1 on 02/20/2015 10:17 AM
As as far a mediation I have beenthrough a few hearings always with our lawyer. Never has the judge, mediator or anyone else attempted to muzzle or shut our attorney down. They are our legal representation and if you arrive in court unrepresented we don't then give up our counsel to level the playing field.

Not what I said. I said that the HOA lawyer will not be able to run roughshod over Howard if a judge, arbitrator, or mediator is present. He can't run the show without restraint (which is apparently what he did at the meeting) because the judge, arbitrator, or mediator won't let him.

So IMO, we should wait to hear again from Howard on the next chapter of this saga.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
JonD1


Posts:0


02/20/2015 4:11 PM  
Yes,hopefully the OP will let us know how things go moving forward.

HowardC2
(North Carolina)

Posts:80


02/20/2015 5:16 PM  
Thanks for all the input and opinion. I try my best to look at all views and use anything that may benefit me. This forum has been a great asset to me in dealing with this case.

JonD1-if there are any specific questions you may have for me that may help clarify anything in your mind I'd be happy to address them. I agree this is a mess, no question about that. If I can help by answering specific questions I would be happy to do so. My answers will not include any emotional comments or personal opinion. Anything I state I will back up with the facts as I know them.

I was very disappointed with the attorney I initially hired and I can't explain his behavior. I first thought it was something about me he was not comfortable with but, on the two times we met in his office, he was very energetic and enthused about the case. He even said he liked me and liked that fact that I was going to fight this charge. He said he felt I had a great case yet was clear in explaining even cases that are no brainers cost money to litigate and his estimate was in the ballpark of 1/2 the amount I was said to owe. He was giving me fair warning and I knew there may come a time where I would be spending good money after bad or I would decide to offer a settlement amount. Everything seemed like we were partners in this fight and I was confident he was going to be the guy for me. Then things changed. I (I thought "we" at the time)had sent a letter to the HOA attorney requesting a meeting. Weeks went by and had not heard anything. I emailed my attorney and heard nothing back. I called and left messages as I was never able to catch him on whenever I called. I finally sent an email directly to the HOA BOD asking if they would please accept this meeting because I wanted to get this over with and not have it hanging over me for the upcoming year. About two days later I get an email from my attorney with an attachment from the HOA attorney stating that I called the BOD about a meeting and questioning my attorney regarding a letter the HOA attorney had sent him with proposed dates fro a meeting that he never responded to. It turned out that my attorney totally forgot about the letter (email actually) from the HOA attorney. So my attorney asks me if such and such dates were OK for a meeting and I answered any date is fine. A couple of more weeks go by and I leave a message. All this time I am thinking it is the HOA attorney that is dragging his feet and it was my attorney not being attentive. So I cannot explain his behavior.

As for psycho BOD members I don't think I ever used that term. Perhaps I did. I am not interested in looking back through this thread to confirm yes or no. I do not think these people are card carrying psychopaths. I do think they are bent in the head however. I am not alone in this opinion and I'd be in the minority in this HOA if I said they were fine upstanding, clear thinking individuals. They have made so many extremely expensive decisions in the last 3, or so, years that there are people talking about starting a facebook page to aid in HOA communication and to discuss some of the decisions this board has made that have cost the community tens of thousands of dollars. These decisions were made after open meetings in which almost everyone at these meetings were attending to voice their opinion against the decisions this BOD made. These people were trying to tell the BOD that they do not like these decisions yet the BOD went ahead with their "ideas" and it cost the HOA a lot of money.

If you feel that the majority of HOA BOD members are folks that are completely open minded and in lock step with the general pulse of the HOA members I will gladly disagree. It has been my experience that most HOA BOD members are self indulgent little caesars with power trip egos and almost zero ability to listen to other people. They are the "my way or the highway" types that we all have run across in life. These folks are never wrong in their minds. In my opinion this is the type of people that HOA BODs attract. It happens with a lot of committees in many walks of life. Certain personality types get off on volunteering for these positions and I'll stand by that. I've lived 57 years and I have seen more than my fair share of human behavior. This is the profile that fits. That's just how it is IMO.

Thanks
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17766


02/20/2015 6:08 PM  
Posted By HowardC2 on 02/20/2015 5:16 PM

If you feel that the majority of HOA BOD members are folks that are completely open minded and in lock step with the general pulse of the HOA members I will gladly disagree. It has been my experience that most HOA BOD members are self indulgent little caesars with power trip egos and almost zero ability to listen to other people. They are the "my way or the highway" types that we all have run across in life. These folks are never wrong in their minds. In my opinion this is the type of people that HOA BODs attract. It happens with a lot of committees in many walks of life. Certain personality types get off on volunteering for these positions and I'll stand by that. I've lived 57 years and I have seen more than my fair share of human behavior. This is the profile that fits. That's just how it is IMO. Thanks




Howard,

The issue I have with this paragraph, and yes you did specify that it was based on your experiences, is the broad brush used to paint members of an HOA Board of Directors. I certainly won't disagree that your experiences have led you to believe that your board deserives to be painted with that brush. However, keep in mind that:

1) This site is made up of many individuals who are serving now, or have served previously, on their Board of Directors and/or committees of their Associations.

2) News stories focus on the Bad Associations and not the properly ran Associations. Reporting that an Architectural Committee properly approved a shed to be built or that an HOA BOD approved funds to repair a playground swing doesn't sell papers or increase viewers like reporting an Association denied a vet to have a flagpole does.

2) Per the Community Association Institute (CAI), in 2013 there were over 328 thousand HOAs/COAs in the united States, and that number likely increased.

3) Per merriam-webster, "most" means the majority.

Therefore, per your statement, at least 164 thousand Assocaitions have Board members who are "self indulgent little Caesars with power trip egos and almost zero ability to listen."

I'm 56, served in the military for 26 years, work in the metro DC area, dealt with major politicians, political staff and have certainly experienced my share of individuals who fit your description. However, I certainly couldn't make such a statement that at least 165 thousand HOAs/COAs are ran by those type of individuals.

Nobody is saying that there aren't bad Boards or Boards made up of the individuals you describe. There are.

Most of those who post on this site are saying that it's unrealistic to proclaim that "most" Assocaitions are ran by power mad individuals based on your experience with one (or even 10) associations and what is printed in the newspapers or put on the news. Even if we say that those stories add up to 5,000 associations, that is still only 1.5% of all the Associations (which is a far cry from 50% plus 1. Personally, I think that even 1 association being ran that way is 1 too many.

I'm just saying, don't use such a broad brush when painting Board members. You may be insulting those whom you have asked to provide assistance.
JonD1


Posts:0


02/20/2015 7:32 PM  
Posted By HowardC2 on 02/20/2015 5:16 PM
Thanks for all the input and opinion. I try my best to look at all views and use anything that may benefit me. This forum has been a great asset to me in dealing with this case.

JonD1-if there are any specific questions you may have for me that may help clarify anything in your mind I'd be happy to address them. I agree this is a mess, no question about that. If I can help by answering specific questions I would be happy to do so. My answers will not include any emotional comments or personal opinion. Anything I state I will back up with the facts as I know them.

I was very disappointed with the attorney I initially hired and I can't explain his behavior. I first thought it was something about me he was not comfortable with but, on the two times we met in his office, he was very energetic and enthused about the case. He even said he liked me and liked that fact that I was going to fight this charge. He said he felt I had a great case yet was clear in explaining even cases that are no brainers cost money to litigate and his estimate was in the ballpark of 1/2 the amount I was said to owe. He was giving me fair warning and I knew there may come a time where I would be spending good money after bad or I would decide to offer a settlement amount. Everything seemed like we were partners in this fight and I was confident he was going to be the guy for me. Then things changed. I (I thought "we" at the time)had sent a letter to the HOA attorney requesting a meeting. Weeks went by and had not heard anything. I emailed my attorney and heard nothing back. I called and left messages as I was never able to catch him on whenever I called. I finally sent an email directly to the HOA BOD asking if they would please accept this meeting because I wanted to get this over with and not have it hanging over me for the upcoming year. About two days later I get an email from my attorney with an attachment from the HOA attorney stating that I called the BOD about a meeting and questioning my attorney regarding a letter the HOA attorney had sent him with proposed dates fro a meeting that he never responded to. It turned out that my attorney totally forgot about the letter (email actually) from the HOA attorney. So my attorney asks me if such and such dates were OK for a meeting and I answered any date is fine. A couple of more weeks go by and I leave a message. All this time I am thinking it is the HOA attorney that is dragging his feet and it was my attorney not being attentive. So I cannot explain his behavior.

As for psycho BOD members I don't think I ever used that term. Perhaps I did. I am not interested in looking back through this thread to confirm yes or no. I do not think these people are card carrying psychopaths. I do think they are bent in the head however. I am not alone in this opinion and I'd be in the minority in this HOA if I said they were fine upstanding, clear thinking individuals. They have made so many extremely expensive decisions in the last 3, or so, years that there are people talking about starting a facebook page to aid in HOA communication and to discuss some of the decisions this board has made that have cost the community tens of thousands of dollars. These decisions were made after open meetings in which almost everyone at these meetings were attending to voice their opinion against the decisions this BOD made. These people were trying to tell the BOD that they do not like these decisions yet the BOD went ahead with their "ideas" and it cost the HOA a lot of money.

If you feel that the majority of HOA BOD members are folks that are completely open minded and in lock step with the general pulse of the HOA members I will gladly disagree. It has been my experience that most HOA BOD members are self indulgent little caesars with power trip egos and almost zero ability to listen to other people. They are the "my way or the highway" types that we all have run across in life. These folks are never wrong in their minds. In my opinion this is the type of people that HOA BODs attract. It happens with a lot of committees in many walks of life. Certain personality types get off on volunteering for these positions and I'll stand by that. I've lived 57 years and I have seen more than my fair share of human behavior. This is the profile that fits. That's just how it is IMO.

Thanks



Howard

Thank you for taking the time to respond. To be brief, I agree you have an unfortunate mess on your hands.

Again, IMO you need good legal advice. Because you don't want to throw good money after bad in legal fees and then find out you also lost the case.

Trying to follow the details through your posts makes me dizzy. To be honest I can't offer an opinion whether you have a strong position or weak one that's a lawyer's job.

In my mind whether you have a chance to prevail or not and finding out should be job #1.

I am 59, have served on this board since 1987. I have been to court several times on HOA related matters.
Won most. Won ALL the big ones. What I have learned is what you think or feel means little. Many people go to court with the perception they can't possibly lose. In their minds they are 100% in the right. And guess what they lost!

You have to do whatever necessary to win the war. Anything else simply does not matter.
What you think about The HOA lawyer does not matter. What you think about the members of your board has no baring
on the outcome of this matter. WHAT OTHERS IN YOUR COMMUNITY THINK OR FEEL WILL DO LITTLE TO HELP YOU UNLESS YOU PLAN TO OVERTHROW THE EXISTING BOARD. Which might turn out to be not such a bad idea. But that requires a little effort and time.

IMO for what it is worth you need a lawyer. You need to provide them with the pertinent details ONLY. ABCD, Name rank and serial number. Just the facts.
Not the side issues or details of psychological warfare. Perhaps in a written form with copies of all documents and correspondence included. Plus you documents, By-Laws, Articles.
You need a clear, unattached review of the facts and a legal opinion as to where you stand. Not an opinion formed out of your own perception of what is right or wrong.

Sorry to hear your first lawyer did not work out. Generally, speaking I have not met many I have any use for. Most are money hungry whores.
Pick carefully and LISTEN much more than you speak.

As to your review of the shortcomings most of us board members possess I don't take what you said personally.
But as Tim pointed out as in life you have both good, bad and many times imperfect in all walks of life including board members.
My guess the percentage of little Caesars you feel exist might be a little high. Or you might be so unlucky as to have gotten them all!
In any case I would hope to avoid that classification. Now TIM, you might be on the something.....LOL

Good luck Howard. Keep your eye on the ball and remain on point don't drive off into the woods with opinions, observations and personal perceptions.
In the legal realm they matter very little.








JonD1


Posts:0


02/20/2015 7:32 PM  
Posted By HowardC2 on 02/20/2015 5:16 PM
Thanks for all the input and opinion. I try my best to look at all views and use anything that may benefit me. This forum has been a great asset to me in dealing with this case.

JonD1-if there are any specific questions you may have for me that may help clarify anything in your mind I'd be happy to address them. I agree this is a mess, no question about that. If I can help by answering specific questions I would be happy to do so. My answers will not include any emotional comments or personal opinion. Anything I state I will back up with the facts as I know them.

I was very disappointed with the attorney I initially hired and I can't explain his behavior. I first thought it was something about me he was not comfortable with but, on the two times we met in his office, he was very energetic and enthused about the case. He even said he liked me and liked that fact that I was going to fight this charge. He said he felt I had a great case yet was clear in explaining even cases that are no brainers cost money to litigate and his estimate was in the ballpark of 1/2 the amount I was said to owe. He was giving me fair warning and I knew there may come a time where I would be spending good money after bad or I would decide to offer a settlement amount. Everything seemed like we were partners in this fight and I was confident he was going to be the guy for me. Then things changed. I (I thought "we" at the time)had sent a letter to the HOA attorney requesting a meeting. Weeks went by and had not heard anything. I emailed my attorney and heard nothing back. I called and left messages as I was never able to catch him on whenever I called. I finally sent an email directly to the HOA BOD asking if they would please accept this meeting because I wanted to get this over with and not have it hanging over me for the upcoming year. About two days later I get an email from my attorney with an attachment from the HOA attorney stating that I called the BOD about a meeting and questioning my attorney regarding a letter the HOA attorney had sent him with proposed dates fro a meeting that he never responded to. It turned out that my attorney totally forgot about the letter (email actually) from the HOA attorney. So my attorney asks me if such and such dates were OK for a meeting and I answered any date is fine. A couple of more weeks go by and I leave a message. All this time I am thinking it is the HOA attorney that is dragging his feet and it was my attorney not being attentive. So I cannot explain his behavior.

As for psycho BOD members I don't think I ever used that term. Perhaps I did. I am not interested in looking back through this thread to confirm yes or no. I do not think these people are card carrying psychopaths. I do think they are bent in the head however. I am not alone in this opinion and I'd be in the minority in this HOA if I said they were fine upstanding, clear thinking individuals. They have made so many extremely expensive decisions in the last 3, or so, years that there are people talking about starting a facebook page to aid in HOA communication and to discuss some of the decisions this board has made that have cost the community tens of thousands of dollars. These decisions were made after open meetings in which almost everyone at these meetings were attending to voice their opinion against the decisions this BOD made. These people were trying to tell the BOD that they do not like these decisions yet the BOD went ahead with their "ideas" and it cost the HOA a lot of money.

If you feel that the majority of HOA BOD members are folks that are completely open minded and in lock step with the general pulse of the HOA members I will gladly disagree. It has been my experience that most HOA BOD members are self indulgent little caesars with power trip egos and almost zero ability to listen to other people. They are the "my way or the highway" types that we all have run across in life. These folks are never wrong in their minds. In my opinion this is the type of people that HOA BODs attract. It happens with a lot of committees in many walks of life. Certain personality types get off on volunteering for these positions and I'll stand by that. I've lived 57 years and I have seen more than my fair share of human behavior. This is the profile that fits. That's just how it is IMO.

Thanks



Howard

Thank you for taking the time to respond. To be brief, I agree you have an unfortunate mess on your hands.

Again, IMO you need good legal advice. Because you don't want to throw good money after bad in legal fees and then find out you also lost the case.

Trying to follow the details through your posts makes me dizzy. To be honest I can't offer an opinion whether you have a strong position or weak one that's a lawyer's job.

In my mind whether you have a chance to prevail or not and finding out should be job #1.

I am 59, have served on this board since 1987. I have been to court several times on HOA related matters.
Won most. Won ALL the big ones. What I have learned is what you think or feel means little. Many people go to court with the perception they can't possibly lose. In their minds they are 100% in the right. And guess what they lost!

You have to do whatever necessary to win the war. Anything else simply does not matter.
What you think about The HOA lawyer does not matter. What you think about the members of your board has no baring
on the outcome of this matter. WHAT OTHERS IN YOUR COMMUNITY THINK OR FEEL WILL DO LITTLE TO HELP YOU UNLESS YOU PLAN TO OVERTHROW THE EXISTING BOARD. Which might turn out to be not such a bad idea. But that requires a little effort and time.

IMO for what it is worth you need a lawyer. You need to provide them with the pertinent details ONLY. ABCD, Name rank and serial number. Just the facts.
Not the side issues or details of psychological warfare. Perhaps in a written form with copies of all documents and correspondence included. Plus you documents, By-Laws, Articles.
You need a clear, unattached review of the facts and a legal opinion as to where you stand. Not an opinion formed out of your own perception of what is right or wrong.

Sorry to hear your first lawyer did not work out. Generally, speaking I have not met many I have any use for. Most are money hungry whores.
Pick carefully and LISTEN much more than you speak.

As to your review of the shortcomings most of us board members possess I don't take what you said personally.
But as Tim pointed out as in life you have both good, bad and many times imperfect in all walks of life including board members.
My guess the percentage of little Caesars you feel exist might be a little high. Or you might be so unlucky as to have gotten them all!
In any case I would hope to avoid that classification. Now TIM, you might be on the something.....LOL

Good luck Howard. Keep your eye on the ball and remain on point don't drive off into the woods with opinions, observations and personal perceptions.
In the legal realm they matter very little.








NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4215


02/20/2015 7:54 PM  
Posted By JonD1 on 02/20/2015 7:32 PM
Good luck Howard. Keep your eye on the ball and remain on point don't drive off into the woods with opinions, observations and personal perceptions.

On this we agree Jon.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
JonD1


Posts:0


02/20/2015 8:08 PM  
Posted By NpS on 02/20/2015 7:54 PM
Posted By JonD1 on 02/20/2015 7:32 PM
Good luck Howard. Keep your eye on the ball and remain on point don't drive off into the woods with opinions, observations and personal perceptions.

On this we agree Jon.




I knew if I kept trying we would reach common ground.

My work is done......LMAO

Have a good weekend and enjoy the milder temps.
BanksS


Posts:0


02/21/2015 5:20 AM  
Posted By JonD1 on 02/20/2015 8:08 PM
Posted By NpS on 02/20/2015 7:54 PM
Posted By JonD1 on 02/20/2015 7:32 PM
Good luck Howard. Keep your eye on the ball and remain on point don't drive off into the woods with opinions, observations and personal perceptions.

On this we agree Jon.




I knew if I kept trying we would reach common ground.

My work is done......LMAO

Have a good weekend and enjoy the milder temps.




JonD1,

My compliments to you. Your replies to Howard are quite respectful and well thought out. Good advice too. Hope to see more of your insightful responses to folks seeking some help on this site. - Banks
JonD1


Posts:0


02/21/2015 6:03 AM  
Posted By BanksS on 02/21/2015 5:20 AM
Posted By JonD1 on 02/20/2015 8:08 PM
Posted By NpS on 02/20/2015 7:54 PM
Posted By JonD1 on 02/20/2015 7:32 PM
Good luck Howard. Keep your eye on the ball and remain on point don't drive off into the woods with opinions, observations and personal perceptions.

On this we agree Jon.




I knew if I kept trying we would reach common ground.

My work is done......LMAO

Have a good weekend and enjoy the milder temps.




JonD1,

My compliments to you. Your replies to Howard are quite respectful and well thought out. Good advice too. Hope to see more of your insightful responses to folks seeking some help on this site. - Banks





For God's sake Banks cut it out I'm starting to get misty..........
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4215


02/21/2015 6:06 AM  
Posted By JonD1 on 02/21/2015 6:03 AM
For God's sake Banks cut it out I'm starting to get misty..........

You're not getting misty. You just peed yourself.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
JonD1


Posts:0


02/21/2015 6:22 AM  
Posted By NpS on 02/21/2015 6:06 AM
Posted By JonD1 on 02/21/2015 6:03 AM
For God's sake Banks cut it out I'm starting to get misty..........

You're not getting misty. You just peed yourself.





Truth be told, after reading all the compliments that were showered upon TIM I decided this year to catch him in total post numbers so as to bask in the glow of my fellow humans adoration.

I live for approval from others.

Now the math tells me I need 22 posts per day each day for 365 days. Certainly the prize being worth the effort.

Wish me luck!

I have to think of things to say.....
BanksS


Posts:0


02/21/2015 10:11 AM  
Posted By JonD1 on 02/21/2015 6:03 AM
Posted By BanksS on 02/21/2015 5:20 AM
Posted By JonD1 on 02/20/2015 8:08 PM
Posted By NpS on 02/20/2015 7:54 PM
Posted By JonD1 on 02/20/2015 7:32 PM
Good luck Howard. Keep your eye on the ball and remain on point don't drive off into the woods with opinions, observations and personal perceptions.

On this we agree Jon.




I knew if I kept trying we would reach common ground.

My work is done......LMAO

Have a good weekend and enjoy the milder temps.




JonD1,

My compliments to you. Your replies to Howard are quite respectful and well thought out. Good advice too. Hope to see more of your insightful responses to folks seeking some help on this site. - Banks





For God's sake Banks cut it out I'm starting to get misty..........




Ahhh, isn't that sweet that my words almost brought you to tears. Don't let it go to your head though. You haven't risen to the level of my "hero" yet.

Sarcasm aside, I have empathy for you Howard. I have been down the road of being sued by my HOA. From what you have written, it does appear that there is a good chance you will go to court. From my own experience after you find a lawyer you have confidence in, keep your communication as limited as possible. My attorney charged me for every e-mail and phone call no matter what. Every exchange is going to cost you money. In Iowa these cases are typically contract cases so attorney fees are rarely granted here. One must prove the opposing party rose to a level of connivance or fraud. I don't know about North Carolina but I would not count on being granted attorney fees even if you prevail.

The discovery process can be very expensive and time-consuming as well. And you never know what tricks the opposing attorney will try. In my case, the HOA tried to disqualify our attorney and used delay tactics every step of the way. Not only does it cost you money but the stress it can cause is enormous. Your life becomes all consumed with it and it's hard to find any joy in your life.

We were sure we would prevail in court but we ran out of money and stamina. A settlement was reached for far less that what we were being sued for. Perhaps you could make an offer of compromise. You never know. The HOA will be spending lots of money too and the difference is the money belongs to all of the members.

Good luck to you Howard.


HowardC2
(North Carolina)

Posts:80


02/21/2015 3:31 PM  
Posted By TimB4 on 02/20/2015 6:08 PM
Posted By HowardC2 on 02/20/2015 5:16 PM

If you feel that the majority of HOA BOD members are folks that are completely open minded and in lock step with the general pulse of the HOA members I will gladly disagree. It has been my experience that most HOA BOD members are self indulgent little caesars with power trip egos and almost zero ability to listen to other people. They are the "my way or the highway" types that we all have run across in life. These folks are never wrong in their minds. In my opinion this is the type of people that HOA BODs attract. It happens with a lot of committees in many walks of life. Certain personality types get off on volunteering for these positions and I'll stand by that. I've lived 57 years and I have seen more than my fair share of human behavior. This is the profile that fits. That's just how it is IMO. Thanks




Howard,

The issue I have with this paragraph, and yes you did specify that it was based on your experiences, is the broad brush used to paint members of an HOA Board of Directors. I certainly won't disagree that your experiences have led you to believe that your board deserives to be painted with that brush. However, keep in mind that:

1) This site is made up of many individuals who are serving now, or have served previously, on their Board of Directors and/or committees of their Associations.

2) News stories focus on the Bad Associations and not the properly ran Associations. Reporting that an Architectural Committee properly approved a shed to be built or that an HOA BOD approved funds to repair a playground swing doesn't sell papers or increase viewers like reporting an Association denied a vet to have a flagpole does.

2) Per the Community Association Institute (CAI), in 2013 there were over 328 thousand HOAs/COAs in the united States, and that number likely increased.

3) Per merriam-webster, "most" means the majority.

Therefore, per your statement, at least 164 thousand Assocaitions have Board members who are "self indulgent little Caesars with power trip egos and almost zero ability to listen."

I'm 56, served in the military for 26 years, work in the metro DC area, dealt with major politicians, political staff and have certainly experienced my share of individuals who fit your description. However, I certainly couldn't make such a statement that at least 165 thousand HOAs/COAs are ran by those type of individuals.

Nobody is saying that there aren't bad Boards or Boards made up of the individuals you describe. There are.

Most of those who post on this site are saying that it's unrealistic to proclaim that "most" Assocaitions are ran by power mad individuals based on your experience with one (or even 10) associations and what is printed in the newspapers or put on the news. Even if we say that those stories add up to 5,000 associations, that is still only 1.5% of all the Associations (which is a far cry from 50% plus 1. Personally, I think that even 1 association being ran that way is 1 too many.

I'm just saying, don't use such a broad brush when painting Board members. You may be insulting those whom you have asked to provide assistance.




Yes sir. You are correct. My comment was based on the experience of only one person and that would be me.
I'm sorry if I offended anyone on this board, or anyone period, with the remark I made. My remarks, accusations and opinions being stated here were uncalled for. My remarks served no useful purpose other than to air out some ill feeling I have stemming from my own personal BOD. Stating these remarks in this forum was selfish, self centered and self indulgent.
I am glad you posted your reply. You caused me to see what I should have seen before I hit the submit button.
Again, I apologize for this indiscretion and I deserved being set straight.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17766


02/21/2015 3:40 PM  
Posted By HowardC2 on 02/21/2015 3:31 PM

Yes sir. You are correct. My comment was based on the experience of only one person and that would be me.
I'm sorry if I offended anyone on this board, or anyone period, with the remark I made. My remarks, accusations and opinions being stated here were uncalled for. My remarks served no useful purpose other than to air out some ill feeling I have stemming from my own personal BOD. Stating these remarks in this forum was selfish, self centered and self indulgent.
I am glad you posted your reply. You caused me to see what I should have seen before I hit the submit button.
Again, I apologize for this indiscretion and I deserved being set straight.




Howard,

Thanks for the apology. The regular posters on this forum have pretty thick skin.
I wasn't personally offended and we all understand the need to blow off steam caused by frustration over an issue.

Go ahead and rant, just let us know it's ranting at the end of it.


HowardC2
(North Carolina)

Posts:80


02/21/2015 4:08 PM  
Thanks for the many great replies and great advice. I'll try to summarize my thoughts and provide a little more information.

First of all, every BOD member that ever took a breath on this Earth didn't deserve it. Each gulp of O2 they took was a complete waste of this pure element and.................um......................strike that.
Just trying to add a little humor. I thought maybe if I caused a chuckle or two folks might feel better about me and forgive/forget that rubbish I posted about BOD members. I am truly sorry for that and I slapped my own pee pee as punishment.

I am aware that lawyers, in general, charge for every little correspondence. I learned this early on but I still appreciate the tip.

I agree that being succinct in the best, excuse me, only approach. I am working on this. I am not a very big talked believe it or not and I should be better at sticking to the details only. I think the injustice in this case just keeps getting me riled up and I start thinking people want to hear the minutia when, in reality, they want to hear the most minimal facts and then punch my face. That's how I feel when I go back and read some of the "War and Peace" style posts I've made.

I'm going to make a list of facts for my meeting this coming week and I'll have a second copy as well. This way I can inform the atty of pertinent details without going into unrelated blather. The second copy may come in handy for him. He can read while he is on the can. Certainly he won't charge me for any time he spends on my case while he is on the can right? If he does maybe that line on my bill will be for a CANsultation. Get it? Consultation, CANsultation???? Sorry again. It sounded funny in my head.

BTW-the joy doesn't seem to ease up. My daughter got hit in a car I own about 3-4 weeks ago. The other driver was driving alone with a learners permit. No one got hurt thank God but I am in the process of fighting with the drivers insurance company. The other driver was totally at fault and was issued at least one citation that I know of. My car is a total loss and they are trying to make me take about 70% of what a comparable replacement vehicle will cost. Another completely unfair situation I've been plopped into. One minute my daughter is driving a nice car that I've kept up for four years and has never been an ounce of trouble. The next minute I'm faced with having to bend over for the insurance company and pay out of my pocket an additional 3K for a comparable car or go toe to toe with the insurance company. It has been a nightmare trying to deal with them so I'll be paying for some more atty time to see what options I have. I've already done all the back and forth with them myself that I can and we are no closer. What a drag.
AmandaR2
(South Carolina)

Posts:566


02/21/2015 4:14 PM  
Howard,
We've all been frustrated to that point at some time in our lives, no big deal. I personally wasn't offended and understood exactly where it was coming from. No big deal. What remarks?????
HowardC2
(North Carolina)

Posts:80


02/22/2015 3:38 PM  
Does anyone know if the meeting the BOD and I had would be considered an official bod meeting? I am under the impression that whenever the BOD gets together and talk hoa business that it is considered an official meeting. If it was an official meeting I should be able to find the minutes of the meeting on the community website in the future.
Thanks for any information. I don't know how I would determine if this was an official bod meeting.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4215


02/22/2015 4:09 PM  
Posted By HowardC2 on 02/22/2015 3:38 PM
Does anyone know if the meeting the BOD and I had would be considered an official bod meeting? I am under the impression that whenever the BOD gets together and talk hoa business that it is considered an official meeting. If it was an official meeting I should be able to find the minutes of the meeting on the community website in the future.
Thanks for any information. I don't know how I would determine if this was an official bod meeting.


Per the HOA attorney, it was a hearing. A hearing is official business of the BOD.

Even if you characterize it as a meeting - if at least a majority of the BOD was there, that number would have been sufficient to qualify the meeting as official business.

Either way - it's official business.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
JonD1


Posts:0


02/22/2015 6:44 PM  
Posted By HowardC2 on 02/22/2015 3:38 PM
Does anyone know if the meeting the BOD and I had would be considered an official bod meeting? I am under the impression that whenever the BOD gets together and talk hoa business that it is considered an official meeting. If it was an official meeting I should be able to find the minutes of the meeting on the community website in the future.
Thanks for any information. I don't know how I would determine if this was an official bod meeting.





I would doubt minutes would be published in regards to a meeting with the sole purpose of discussing an legal issue between one owner and the board.
Confidentiaity could be claimed by either party.

NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4215


02/22/2015 6:55 PM  
Posted By JonD1 on 02/22/2015 6:44 PM
I would doubt minutes would be published in regards to a meeting with the sole purpose of discussing an legal issue between one owner and the board.
Confidentiaity could be claimed by either party.

Good point Jon.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11507


02/23/2015 4:52 AM  
Posted By JonD1 on 02/22/2015 6:44 PM
Posted By HowardC2 on 02/22/2015 3:38 PM
Does anyone know if the meeting the BOD and I had would be considered an official bod meeting? I am under the impression that whenever the BOD gets together and talk hoa business that it is considered an official meeting. If it was an official meeting I should be able to find the minutes of the meeting on the community website in the future.
Thanks for any information. I don't know how I would determine if this was an official bod meeting.





I would doubt minutes would be published in regards to a meeting with the sole purpose of discussing an legal issue between one owner and the board.
Confidentiaity could be claimed by either party.





This would be my understanding also.

TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17766


02/23/2015 5:00 AM  
However, minutes should have been taken and Howard, having been a participant in the meeting, should be entitled to a copy of them.
HowardC2
(North Carolina)

Posts:80


02/23/2015 2:45 PM  
Thanks for the replies. I understand the confidentiality of the meeting and any minutes that may or may not be published. There have been several other meetings in which the bod discussed topics having to do with or my lot and the minutes simply had generic language with no specifics as to names, addresses etc.
BanksS


Posts:0


02/23/2015 5:11 PM  
Posted By HowardC2 on 02/23/2015 2:45 PM
Thanks for the replies. I understand the confidentiality of the meeting and any minutes that may or may not be published. There have been several other meetings in which the bod discussed topics having to do with or my lot and the minutes simply had generic language with no specifics as to names, addresses etc.



Howard,

I would recommend you take your own notes from your meeting. It's been my experience that the person taking the minutes leaves out important details. If the HOA proceeds with a court action against you, the minutes should be turned over in discovery. Your BOD sounds very similar to mine. They will manipulate the minutes to shed themselves in the best light and make you look like a complete trouble maker.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4215


02/23/2015 5:40 PM  
Posted By BanksS on 02/23/2015 5:11 PM
Howard,

I would recommend you take your own notes from your meeting. It's been my experience that the person taking the minutes leaves out important details. If the HOA proceeds with a court action against you, the minutes should be turned over in discovery. Your BOD sounds very similar to mine. They will manipulate the minutes to shed themselves in the best light and make you look like a complete trouble maker.


One of the nice things that Howard has done is to document the events as they occurred through this forum. I expect that Howard's notes (via this forum) are far more extensive and reliable than his board's record.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
HowardC2
(North Carolina)

Posts:80


02/28/2015 12:25 PM  
A brief update.
Lawyer #2 is convinced I would prevail if my case went before a judge however he has done many hoa dispute cases and he said that I would do well to go the mediator route.
I am very disappointed but the reality is I'll be getting screwed by the BOD no matter what.
I am still going to press the issue of the BOD doing away with the adjudicator committee and he is going to look into the legality of what they did.
I'm also going to ask him about a counter suit.
I am compelled to ask him about the liability that the contractor may have for the addition $7k. His invoice States the additional amount was due to "inaccurate information supplied by" yours truly.
The hoa attorney is a cocky arrogant piss ant. He has a reputation as such from every person who I've talked to that knows him. My fear is that he knows the hoa is a cash cow for him so I see no reason that he would be compelled to settle for much less than the full amount.
I'll keep th not here updated as information comes forth.
Thanks
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17766


02/28/2015 1:09 PM  
Howard,

Thanks for the update. It could be that even if you didn't go to mediation that the judge would order it prior to a trial. Therefore, lawyer #2 may be trying to save you money and/or build a stronger case for court.

As for the following quote:

Posted By HowardC2 on 02/28/2015 12:25 PM

The hoa attorney is a cocky arrogant piss ant. He has a reputation as such from every person who I've talked to that knows him. My fear is that he knows the hoa is a cash cow for him so I see no reason that he would be compelled to settle for much less than the full amount.




I only have the following comment:

When my father died, my mother needed to declare bankruptcy (survivor benefits in pensions just wasn't the thinking of the day then). She interviewed many attorneys and chose one that she called a Shyster. Her reasoning is that if you have to go through bankruptcy, you want a Shyster on your side fighting for you.

This may be the same for your Association. They probably know that they are wrong and want the type of attorney they have.
BanksS


Posts:0


02/28/2015 1:35 PM  
Posted By TimB4 on 02/28/2015 1:09 PM


When my father died, my mother needed to declare bankruptcy (survivor benefits in pensions just wasn't the thinking of the day then). She interviewed many attorneys and chose one that she called a Shyster. Her reasoning is that if you have to go through bankruptcy, you want a Shyster on your side fighting for you.

This may be the same for your Association. They probably know that they are wrong and want the type of attorney they have.




That strategy backfired in my situation. The HOA attorney brought a gigantic box of papers to court during the proceeding to disqualify our attorney (this was one of the few times I found some humor in the situation) and submitted an over 30 page brief to the judge. The box of papers was to intimidate us of course. Our attorney submitted a 4 page brief and just brought his brief case into the courtroom. The judge also admonished the HOA attorney multiple times during that proceeding. In Iowa there are 8 judicial districts and Iowa judges are assigned to one of those districts. This means that local attorneys will be in front of a few judges in the majority of their cases. These attorneys must walk a fine line. They have to keep in the good graces of the judges as well as providing representation to their clients.

By the way the judge ruled in our favor on this issue.
HowardC2
(North Carolina)

Posts:80


02/28/2015 4:10 PM  
My remark regarding the lawyer was not intended to insult lawyers. I am sure everyone knows this but I figured I would make it clear.
IMO the HOA has a great attorney. Great for them and not so great for me. I am not making off hand remarks about him. I've talked with other people as mentioned earlier and, of course, I dealt with him myself.
He is very well versed in being the aggressor/antagonist and he is not afraid to take something someone says and turn it completely around even to the point of being a bit absurd.
My current attorney is very highly regarded and does a lot of community service. He is not the type of attorney that an HOA would want however. He isn't about drama and such. I really like him and I'll listen to all he has to say.
Thanks
Howard
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4215


02/28/2015 5:53 PM  
Agree with Banks. The judges get to know who the jackasses are.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
JonD1


Posts:0


03/01/2015 4:24 AM  
Posted By NpS on 02/28/2015 5:53 PM
Agree with Banks. The judges get to know who the jackasses are.





Unless the judge themselves happens to be a jackass and then all's fair from that point on.

personalities aside what matters is what chance do you have to come out on top?

And which route might cost you least.

Principle, right and wrong or what you think or feel does not matter.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4215


03/01/2015 6:17 AM  
Posted By JonD1 on 03/01/2015 4:24 AM
Posted By NpS on 02/28/2015 5:53 PM
Agree with Banks. The judges get to know who the jackasses are.


Unless the judge themselves happens to be a jackass and then all's fair from that point on.


... and the lawyers get to know who the jackass judges are. If Howard has himself a lawyer who's been around the horn a few times, he should come out ok.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
AmandaR2
(South Carolina)

Posts:566


03/01/2015 12:01 PM  
Howard,
I'm glad to hear you get a good vibe from this new attorney. I still feel it would be in your best interest, to let the BOD and their attorney make the next move. There's still a possibility it won't be taken to another legal level by them. If they do pursue this matter further legally, then your prepared with an attorney you feel confident about. Be patient, trust your own intuition.
JonD1


Posts:0


03/01/2015 12:49 PM  
Posted By NpS on 03/01/2015 6:17 AM
Posted By JonD1 on 03/01/2015 4:24 AM
Posted By NpS on 02/28/2015 5:53 PM
Agree with Banks. The judges get to know who the jackasses are.


Unless the judge themselves happens to be a jackass and then all's fair from that point on.


... and the lawyers get to know who the jackass judges are. If Howard has himself a lawyer who's been around the horn a few times, he should come out ok.





I like a happy ending just as much as the next guy. Not sure we are headed in that direction in this matter.

I would doubt Howard's new lawyer is versed in HOA laws , regulations and standards. Many courts themselves lack knowledge specific the HOA issues.

Expensive learning curve to cover the cost of.

Once this genie gets out of the bottle and legal action begins the meter starts to run, you no longer have control and your chances are the same as a crap shoot. Sounds to me like this board and their lawyer intend to pursue this.

Only time will tell. My advice plan your next moves very very carefully.
AmandaR2
(South Carolina)

Posts:566


03/01/2015 1:32 PM  
All we can give you Howard is simply our "opinions" on the matter and wish you well. No one can predict any future moves to be made or how things will play out, like Jon said "Only time will tell". You seem well balanced and to have used good judgement so far in my opinion. Be prepared but don't panic, try to not have it consume your thoughts. life is too short to waste time thinking of this ___ all the time.
HowardC2
(North Carolina)

Posts:80


03/01/2015 4:32 PM  
My new attorney has experience with HOA disputes but, as mentioned here, there really are not too many attorneys that specialise in HOA law etc. I've heard that most attorneys don't even want to hear about an HOA dispute because the HOA almost always wins. I am very aware of this and I don't want to drag this out so I am unsure of what direction things will go.
As of the last meeting, the one where the HOA had their mouths taped shut by the lawyer, I got a strong feeling they were going to file the lien. The last thing their attorney said was, "do you want to schedule mediation? If not then I'll be filing a lien in 10 days"
I hope to hear from my attorney early this week because I'd like to talk to him about how certain things were worded and I'd like to ask him his advice on if I would be able to file counter suits against the HOA and the contractor that billed the HOA the extra $7k with an invoice that said "additional works required doe to inaccurate information provided by the homeowner"
I think the small claims court has a maximum of $5k.
If I end up settling in mediation I imagine there will be a stipulation about not being able to pursue the HOA about the issue once it is settled.
Thanks for the input.
AmandaR2
(South Carolina)

Posts:566


03/01/2015 4:59 PM  
The fact that their attorney's last words to you were "do you want to schedule mediation? and then "threaten" to place a lien, could be interpreted a number of ways. How long now have they been threatening a lien? So far they have done nothing but send you letters, that's all and you called/asked for the last meeting right? Interesting, too bad it all has to turn into such a "game", making your life miserable when you think of this mess I'm sure.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11507


03/01/2015 5:32 PM  
Howard

Though I have followed this for he get go, I am to lazy and have had to much to drink to back up and reread all, so a few a few simple questions to get this "lengthy" chat back on track.

1. What does the HOA believe you owe them?

2. What do you think you owe them?

Thanks

NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4215


03/01/2015 5:54 PM  
Posted By HowardC2 on 03/01/2015 4:32 PM
If I end up settling in mediation I imagine there will be a stipulation about not being able to pursue the HOA about the issue once it is settled.


Hi Howard

What happens in mediation will be what you and the board agree to and nothing more. Nothing can be imposed on you in mediation without your approval.

Maybe you will reach settlement. Maybe not. But you shouldn't feel like you have to reach a settlement. If all you can get is a lousy deal, don't take it.

What their attorney does doesn't count for much. He's trying to intimidate you. Ignore him. He's just doing the job that the board is paying him to do.

You have your own tactics you can use in mediation. Nothing you say in mediation can be used against you if doesn't settle and it goes to court.

If you want to hear the board members speak instead of their lawyer in the mediation, you can demand that they speak for themselves or threaten to walk out the door. And you can walk out of the mediation. Nothing forces you to stay if you aren't getting the respect that you deserve.

During the mediation, you can let the board members know that you will file a counterclaim against each of them personally because they violated the agreement you had with the board. Of course, if you do reach settlement, they will want the threat of your lawsuit eliminated as part of the settlement agreement.

Not sure how the lien process works in your state. In may state, the lien must be filed in the form of a complaint and you have so many days to file a counterclaim. Your lawyer should explain your filing options to you. Best of luck.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
AmandaR2
(South Carolina)

Posts:566


03/01/2015 6:02 PM  
Good info, opinion and advice given by NPS (IMO). I too wish you the best of luck.
JonD1


Posts:0


03/01/2015 8:23 PM  
I would seriously doubt anyone in mediation can demand any party represented by counsel speak for themselves only. And as board members facing pending litigation they would be fools to abide by such demands.

I would also doubt the members of this board could be held personally liable on this matter and I would avoid making threats especially those you can't back up in the end.

And just to be sure the filing of any counterclaims will come at a cost. Better be sure you have legal grounds to do so.

I would suggest Howard have his lawyer present if and when mediation takes place and if i were Howard I would allow the lawyer to speak while I listened.

The next step will be in the courts.

Mediation will be the last scheduled stop before this becomes a court battle that will be costly win or lose.

NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4215


03/01/2015 8:53 PM  
Posted By JonD1 on 03/01/2015 8:23 PM
I would seriously doubt anyone in mediation can demand any party represented by counsel speak for themselves only. And as board members facing pending litigation they would be fools to abide by such demands.

I would also doubt the members of this board could be held personally liable on this matter and I would avoid making threats especially those you can't back up in the end.


The mediator might demand it. Mediators want to get to the root of the problem and find a viable solution. They don't try to duplicate what happens in a courtroom. They typically understand how lawyers try to dig their heels in and posture their clients as immovable. But that's the show. The mediator might simply have the parties sit near her and the lawyers sit at the other end of the table. And the mediator will often ask the individuals - not the lawyers - to explain their situation.

There is something to be said for appearing reasonable. There is something to be said for appearing unreasonable. Studies have shown that the people who make the biggest opening demands typically get the best settlements.

The nice thing about mediation is you don't have to be right to get your point across. The mediator is not a judge making a decision about the law. Many mediators aren't even lawyers. The mediator will do what he can to work out a deal. Sometimes that means breaking out privately with each side - doing shuttle diplomacy - and then bringing everyone together when the mediator thinks there is a deal or no deal.

There is nothing that Howard has said that he can't back up. He has every right to claim that there was a deal and that the individual board members are personally liable. As long as there is the possibility that he can be successful with this claim - it's fair game.

As I said earlier. if it goes to court - NOTHING that Howard says in the mediation session can be used against him. Their lawyer cannot go to court and claim that Howard said this or that in mediation. It's off limits. The reason for this is that there is an understanding and an expectation that people will try to work things out - and they may need to be able to speak freely to accomplish anything. The mediator will explain all this to Howard.

Don't judge the process if you don't know how it works - 2/3 of all EEOC (employment) claims are settled in mediation - and for the remaining 1/3 many never get to court - but the only information that ever gets to the court is that the case did not settle in mediation.

Local practices vary, and this is not an EEOC claim. Howard's lawyer should be up to speed on what happens locally. Like anything else, sometimes you get a good mediator. Sometimes you don't. Either way, Howard will be better off being prepared.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
JonD1


Posts:0


03/01/2015 9:38 PM  
Posted By NpS on 03/01/2015 8:53 PM
Posted By JonD1 on 03/01/2015 8:23 PM
I would seriously doubt anyone in mediation can demand any party represented by counsel speak for themselves only. And as board members facing pending litigation they would be fools to abide by such demands.

I would also doubt the members of this board could be held personally liable on this matter and I would avoid making threats especially those you can't back up in the end.


The mediator might demand it. Mediators want to get to the root of the problem and find a viable solution. They don't try to duplicate what happens in a courtroom. They typically understand how lawyers try to dig their heels in and posture their clients as immovable. But that's the show. The mediator might simply have the parties sit near her and the lawyers sit at the other end of the table. And the mediator will often ask the individuals - not the lawyers - to explain their situation.

There is something to be said for appearing reasonable. There is something to be said for appearing unreasonable. Studies have shown that the people who make the biggest opening demands typically get the best settlements.

The nice thing about mediation is you don't have to be right to get your point across. The mediator is not a judge making a decision about the law. Many mediators aren't even lawyers. The mediator will do what he can to work out a deal. Sometimes that means breaking out privately with each side - doing shuttle diplomacy - and then bringing everyone together when the mediator thinks there is a deal or no deal.

There is nothing that Howard has said that he can't back up. He has every right to claim that there was a deal and that the individual board members are personally liable. As long as there is the possibility that he can be successful with this claim - it's fair game.

As I said earlier. if it goes to court - NOTHING that Howard says in the mediation session can be used against him. Their lawyer cannot go to court and claim that Howard said this or that in mediation. It's off limits. The reason for this is that there is an understanding and an expectation that people will try to work things out - and they may need to be able to speak freely to accomplish anything. The mediator will explain all this to Howard.

Don't judge the process if you don't know how it works - 2/3 of all EEOC (employment) claims are settled in mediation - and for the remaining 1/3 many never get to court - but the only information that ever gets to the court is that the case did not settle in mediation.

Local practices vary, and this is not an EEOC claim. Howard's lawyer should be up to speed on what happens locally. Like anything else, sometimes you get a good mediator. Sometimes you don't. Either way, Howard will be better off being prepared.





If you comment about judging the process without knowing how it works was intended for me let me explain.

I have been involved in legal matters more than a dozen times both in personal matters, HOA matters and criminal matters.
Village, town, county and state courts.

I have also been through attempted mediation maybe 8 times.

So I know a little about how it is supposed to work.

As you state this is not a EEOC matter so the settlement rate for such claims matters little.

I can tell you not ONCE were we able to avoid court through mediation.

I can tell you not once did the mediator tell our attorney where they were to sit or who was allowed to speak and why.

Not sure how it works in other areas but that is what I have seen.

And as I am unfamiliar with the laws in Howard's state I will tell you attaching personal liability to board members in this state is difficult if not impossible.
And any defense more than likely would be covered under the D&O coverage of the insurance policy.

In most states there are grounds for counterclaims that need to be satisfied not simply someone's idea of right and wrong.

In my view mediation is the last possible exit for Howard before this heads to a court resolution. That's a road I would avoid getting on.

Making threats, making demands, proving meaningless points all will go towards wasting this last best hope of a resolution.

Better plan your next move very very carefully. Not sure about Howard's state but in some and under some documents a lien can be used to begin foreclosure proceedings. Your home could be at risk then.

You had best have a damn good lawyer VERSED in HOA matters and listen to them carefully or this could get real ugly. And costly.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10521


03/02/2015 12:51 AM  
The problem is that Howard's board is shortsighted and uneducated. This can be used to Howard's advantage. So far it seems Howard has got some of his act together in all of this. He's playing the right moves by trying to do his best to sort this out NOT going to court. However, due to his board being deadest on going to court as only option, that's not going to happen. Yes, I am 100% positive the lawyer response to the board is "I will do whatever you tell me to do". Which a smart person would take as "There are other options available but I am not going to tell you unless you ask or know what they are." A smart lawyer knows this trick all too well...

My advice to Howard is to accept that he's going to court and to get his countersuit in. He needs to countersue them for his legal costs and efforts. He has the right to be returned to a "Whole state". Which is what the court is ONLY responsible for doing. There is the rare occasion of punitive damages being awarded for pain/suffering/outrageous demand. Meaning that the court could add this ONLY if Howard proves the case the HOA has against him is so off the wall bat crazy and offensive and he should never have suffered expenses to defend himself. Normally the court does not view these cases or awards Pain/Suffering in these type cases unless proven beyond reason it was avoidable/non-viable case. So when filing the countersuit you may file pain/suffering but don't expect to get it. It's best to just request to the court that the HOA pays for your legal expenses. If you don't put in a request for this or each party pays their own, then you could be out more money.

I saw it mentioned the HOA may file a lien on this. Which they can if they incurred expenses in repairing the issue or they get the court judgment in the end of the case. However, foreclosure process is for UNPAID DUES/SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS ONLY typically. You typically can not lien/foreclose for fines. You can not foreclose the lien for damages/court judgment. It will vary for each state so I am stating the word TYPICALLY as an indication to ask about this for your state as there are 50 of them in the union. (For those who want to make catty responses about what it is like in Alabama but not California or other states... Really? Common sense..)

I wish Howard luck in his defense. It's going to go to court and just needs to be prepared as best as possible. Good luck!

Former HOA President
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4215


03/02/2015 4:59 AM  
In general, I agree with Melissa except on the issue of pain and suffering / punitive damages. Makes you look greedy.

But recovering your out of pocket costs to defend against the HOA lawyer's threats would, as Melissa says, make you whole financially. Worth pursuing.

Local laws on liens and enforcement can vary a lot, so I have no comment.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4215


03/02/2015 5:22 AM  
Too bad about your prior experiences Jon.

I am sure that Howard is considering your concerns.

My only caution for Howard is that he shouldn't be so anxious to get things resolved. The HOA may actually do nothing - no filing - no lien - no anything. His best bet is to wait and see, especially if he wants to keep his legal fees to a minimum.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
AmandaR2
(South Carolina)

Posts:566


03/02/2015 6:17 AM  
Howard,
I think it's good to consider all possibilities but don't jump the gun, wait till the appropriate time, then react accordingly. In your situation it's so easy to over analyze and jump to conclusions about what may or may not happen. No one has a crystal ball, no one is certain of what the BOD and their attorney's next move will be. I would have to concur with NPS that you need to not be so anxious to get things resolved and to take the wait and see approach in order to control legal expense. Play it smarter than them, don't fall prey to any scare and intimidation tactics. Only deal with reality not threats.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10521


03/02/2015 6:24 AM  
I do not want to construde that filing for pain/suffering makes one look greedy... It is more that judges in these sort of cases do not usually award these claims unless they really consider things lesson teaching. Plus your really passing part of that expense unto yourself. The lesser the claim and having it dismissed is more important.

I would also point out that yes my rule is suing your HOA is suing yourself and your neighbors. It is NOT a personal opinion... With that said, another request instead of pain/suffering is to be EXCLUDED from any special asseesments the HOA may have to collect to pay their legal bills.

This is because ironically, that special assessment you would have to pay. If you do not, then that can be subject to lien with intent to foreclose. Hence, why you are paying for part of your own lawsuit award and costs on the HOA side. You can ask the court for this stipulation in the judgment ruling. Otherwise you can expect to pay for the special assesment or increased dues due to the legal actions cost along with everyone else.

Former HOA President
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:4215


03/02/2015 7:15 AM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 03/02/2015 6:24 AM
I do not want to construde that filing for pain/suffering makes one look greedy... It is more that judges in these sort of cases do not usually award these claims unless they really consider things lesson teaching. Plus your really passing part of that expense unto yourself. The lesser the claim and having it dismissed is more important.

I would also point out that yes my rule is suing your HOA is suing yourself and your neighbors. It is NOT a personal opinion... With that said, another request instead of pain/suffering is to be EXCLUDED from any special asseesments the HOA may have to collect to pay their legal bills.

This is because ironically, that special assessment you would have to pay. If you do not, then that can be subject to lien with intent to foreclose. Hence, why you are paying for part of your own lawsuit award and costs on the HOA side. You can ask the court for this stipulation in the judgment ruling. Otherwise you can expect to pay for the special assesment or increased dues due to the legal actions cost along with everyone else.


Agree about exclusion from assessment. P&S on the other hand is one of the most misused claims out there - it usually requires a physical injury which doesn't exist here.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11507


03/02/2015 8:09 AM  
Well said by Amanda:

Play it smarter than them, don't fall prey to any scare and intimidation tactics. Only deal with reality not threats.

Wait for them to make the next written/legal move.
JonD1


Posts:0


03/02/2015 1:15 PM  
The HOA lawyer stated a lien would be filed in 10 days.

Very soon Howard should find out if that was a threat or reality

It does not serve the HOA lawyer to bluff.

Let's see how this plays out we might all learn something.




AmandaR2
(South Carolina)

Posts:566


03/02/2015 1:38 PM  
JonD,
I believe the lien and lawsuit threat has been active since Howards 1st post back in November. But your right threat or reality may be answered soon. (I can think of a lot of reason it would serve the HOA lawyer to bluff.) Cases like this are always so unpredictable and each one is different, IMO we won't learn anything because what works here may not work in the next case. You do make some good points for Howard to consider JonD, he needs to think from all angles and even then cross his fingers and toes.
HowardC2
(North Carolina)

Posts:80


03/02/2015 5:22 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 03/01/2015 5:32 PM
Howard

Though I have followed this for he get go, I am to lazy and have had to much to drink to back up and reread all, so a few a few simple questions to get this "lengthy" chat back on track.

1. What does the HOA believe you owe them?

2. What do you think you owe them?

Thanks





The HOA believes I owe them $13,000.00. IMO I think they feel they can get it from me more they feel I truly owe them this money. I cannot see any rational person looking at the facts come to the determination that I owe this money. They made a motion at a BOD meeting several months after the work started to "Charge the homeowner for filling the pond". Obviously the motion was seconded and carried. I really believe it was an after thought by a BOD member to go after me for the money. I feel like this is the case for several reasons.
In reality an HOA, in most cases I've come to learn, is governed by documents that empower them to do just about anything they desire. I was thinking this today as I drove out of our gates at 6:00AM. There is one side of the gate that is not working AGAIN. I was thinking that the HOA could take a photo of a car going through the gate and decide that the owner of the car is going to pay for the gate to be fixed. They could just say this person broke the gate and threaten a law suit etc. Nothing has to be justified, factual or proven for them to put a lien on any homeowner for any reason they dream up. It is a very sick governmental system being in an HOA UNLESS the governing documents are different than the boiler plate HOA documents that most HOAs are run by.
As for the second question, it isn't a matter of thinking what I owe them. Plain and simply I know I owe them nothing. I am being shanghaied, bent over, rung up, screwed, you name it. I am a victim of an HOA BOD that is out of their collective minds.

Posted By NpS on 03/01/2015 5:54 PM
Posted By HowardC2 on 03/01/2015 4:32 PM
If I end up settling in mediation I imagine there will be a stipulation about not being able to pursue the HOA about the issue once it is settled.


Hi Howard

What happens in mediation will be what you and the board agree to and nothing more. Nothing can be imposed on you in mediation without your approval.

Maybe you will reach settlement. Maybe not. But you shouldn't feel like you have to reach a settlement. If all you can get is a lousy deal, don't take it.

What their attorney does doesn't count for much. He's trying to intimidate you. Ignore him. He's just doing the job that the board is paying him to do.

You have your own tactics you can use in mediation. Nothing you say in mediation can be used against you if doesn't settle and it goes to court.

If you want to hear the board members speak instead of their lawyer in the mediation, you can demand that they speak for themselves or threaten to walk out the door. And you can walk out of the mediation. Nothing forces you to stay if you aren't getting the respect that you deserve.

During the mediation, you can let the board members know that you will file a counterclaim against each of them personally because they violated the agreement you had with the board. Of course, if you do reach settlement, they will want the threat of your lawsuit eliminated as part of the settlement agreement.

Not sure how the lien process works in your state. In may state, the lien must be filed in the form of a complaint and you have so many days to file a counterclaim. Your lawyer should explain your filing options to you. Best of luck.




Posted By NpS on 03/01/2015 5:54 PM
Posted By HowardC2 on 03/01/2015 4:32 PM
If I end up settling in mediation I imagine there will be a stipulation about not being able to pursue the HOA about the issue once it is settled.


Hi Howard

What happens in mediation will be what you and the board agree to and nothing more. Nothing can be imposed on you in mediation without your approval.

Maybe you will reach settlement. Maybe not. But you shouldn't feel like you have to reach a settlement. If all you can get is a lousy deal, don't take it.

What their attorney does doesn't count for much. He's trying to intimidate you. Ignore him. He's just doing the job that the board is paying him to do.

You have your own tactics you can use in mediation. Nothing you say in mediation can be used against you if doesn't settle and it goes to court.

If you want to hear the board members speak instead of their lawyer in the mediation, you can demand that they speak for themselves or threaten to walk out the door. And you can walk out of the mediation. Nothing forces you to stay if you aren't getting the respect that you deserve.

During the mediation, you can let the board members know that you will file a counterclaim against each of them personally because they violated the agreement you had with the board. Of course, if you do reach settlement, they will want the threat of your lawsuit eliminated as part of the settlement agreement.

Not sure how the lien process works in your state. In may state, the lien must be filed in the form of a complaint and you have so many days to file a counterclaim. Your lawyer should explain your filing options to you. Best of luck.




I have a decent grasp of the mediation procedure I think. I know the mediator is there to help facilitate a deal between the HOA and the homeowner (me). They don't play any role in trying to judge the validity of any claim by either party and they are not hired to play judge and/or jury. It is my understanding they will not weigh any facts regarding the dispute in their role as mediator. They will facilitate the "discussion" between the lawyers and present the offers made by both parties.

A mediator, as I understand, is a deal broker. They know coming in that there is obviously a dispute but their job has nothing to do with the dispute itself, only the possible resolution.
I will be in a room with my attorney and the BOD will be in another with the HOA attorney and the mediator will be the go between and will ferry offers back and forth between lawyers/parties.

Their offer will be, "you owe us $13K"
My offer will be, PLEASE COVER YOUR EYES AND EARS AND PROCEED TO THE NEXT MESSAGE IF CRUDE LANGUAGE OFFENDS YOU-THIS IS FAIR WARNING!!, "Oh, I see. Well, um, $13k huh? Gee. Um. OK, I guess I need to make some sort of counter offer right? Yes? Oh, OK, my counter offer is suck my (^&%. Now take that across the hall and say it loud enough so I can hear you in this room and then I can go home."

That's how I see mediation going. I don't want to be crude or flippant or less than serious but I have had it with these people and I am going to do whatever I legally can to avoid paying them a red cent. They are so dead wrong in trying to extort this money. They are pulling an extremely warped power play on me and I'll pay a lawyer more than they are looking to get from me to defend my position.

It is an almost certain bet that a judge would order mediation prior to hearing any case so mediation is pretty much unavoidable. As far as counter suits etc I have no idea how or if this will play out. I was thinking small claims court would allow me a maximum of $5k and I would go after the contractor and the HOA for $5K each but this is nothing more than a dream at this point. I will mention threatening the BOD with a suit against them to my attorney and see what he thinks about this tactic.

When I got the first, one and only letter, stating that I owed the HOA money it was from the HOA attorney and it stated that I owed $13,000.00 for, "past due amounts". It also stated that if I didn't pay this amount that a lien would be filed against me. It went on to include something to the effect that the BOD can force foreclosure on my home if the amount is not paid. I could not find anything regarding the ability of the BOD to foreclose on a property for unpaid charges of this nature. I am aware that they can force foreclosure for unpaid fines and dues but I couldn't find anything about forcing foreclosure in other circumstances. I suppose they can force foreclosure if it is determined that I do indeed owe them money. The HOA attorney stated this in hiw letter to me so I'll assume he knows it is legal to do so per our governing documents and/or NC state law???

I agree that the time for wishing to put this matter behind me ASAP is past. I am in for the long haul now unless the HOA drop this which I feel is very unlikely. I'll pony up the money to my attorney and I'll let him handle things. I am not in any rush at this point. I'd like to be able to say it will all be over soon but that doesn't seem to be the outlook.

BTW-MelissaP1 - this BOD is made up of highly educated people. That is one thing that is so frustrating to me. These are not uneducated people. I am uneducated quite truthfully and I've probably made this fact very apparent in many of my posts . The majority of this BOD live on the water. All live in large custom built homes and all drive very high dollar cars, boats etc etc. They all appear to be living the good life. I don't know what part of their education prepared them for putting the screws to good old me but I'd say they got a PHD in this field. Some things higher education can never claim to be able to teach are common sense and decent behavior. If the BOD took these courses they must have dropped out with a failing grade.
Thanks all.
Howard

AmandaR2
(South Carolina)

Posts:566


03/02/2015 5:52 PM  
Honestly, I don't see how the HOA attorney could place a lien on Howard if it has not been determined that he legally owes anything to the HOA (although I'm not in the legal profession so I could be wrong). I would think it would have to be decided in court or agreed upon in a contract signed by both parties that the debt is owed.
JonD1


Posts:0


03/02/2015 9:03 PM  
How HOA and COA Liens Work
Most HOAs and COAs have the power to place a lien on your home if you become delinquent in paying the monthly dues and/or any special assessments (collectively referred to as assessments).
In North Carolina, an HOA or COA is entitled to a lien for unpaid assessments and related charges once the amount due is 30 days late. The lien becomes effective when the HOA or COA files a claim of lien with the clerk of the superior court in the county where the property is located (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 47F-3-116(a), § 47C-3-116(a)).
Charges the HOA or COA May Include in the Lien
State law and the HOA or COA’s governing documents, such as the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) and bylaws, will often set out the type of charges that may be included in the lien. In North Carolina, an HOA or COA is permitted to include the following in its lien (unless the governing documents provide otherwise):
past-due assessments
late charges (not to exceed the greater of $20 per month or 10% of any unpaid assessment) (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 47F-3-102(11), § 47C-3-102 (11))
fines for violations of the CC&Rs
interest on past-due common expense assessments (not to exceed 18% per year) (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 47F-3-115(b), § 47C-3-115(b)), and
other charges (such as those connected with the preparation and recordation of documents, including amendments to the declaration or statements of unpaid assessments). (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 47F-3-116(a), § 47C-3-116(a)).
Notice Required Before the HOA/COA Files the Lien
No fewer than 15 days prior to filing the lien, an HOA or COA must mail a statement of the assessment amount due to the property owner by first-class mail (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 47F-3-116(b), § 47C-3-116(b)).
Notice Required Regarding Attorneys’ Fees and Costs
An HOA or COA is entitled to recover the reasonable attorneys' fees and costs that it incurs in connection with the collection of any sums due, but first must notify the homeowner in writing of the association's intent to seek payment of attorneys' fees, costs, and expenses (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 47F-3-116(e), § 47C-3-116(e)).
Contents of the notice. The notice must include the outstanding balance due as of the date of the notice and give the owner 15 days from the mailing date to pay the outstanding balance without the attorneys' fees and court costs. If the owner pays the outstanding balance within this period, then he or she does not have to pay attorneys' fees, costs, or expenses (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 47F-3-116(e), § 47C-3-116(e)).
Payment plans. The notice must also give the owner the opportunity to contact a representative of the HOA or COA to discuss a payment schedule for the outstanding balance, as well as provide the name and telephone number of the representative (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 47F-3-116(e), § 47C-3-116(e)).
Notice of Lien Also Required
Before the HOA or COA files the actual claim of lien, it must serve (or attempt to serve) a copy of the claim of lien to the owner of the property by personal service or first-class mail (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 47F-3-116(c), § 47C-3-116(c)).
Lien Priority
Lien priority determines what happens to other liens, mortgages, and lines of credit if your HOA or COA lien is foreclosed. (To learn more about lien priority and its importance in HOA foreclosures, see What happens to my mortgages if the HOA forecloses on its lien?)
In North Carolina, an HOA lien or COA lien has priority over all liens and encumbrances except for:
liens and encumbrances recorded before the claim of lien is filed (specifically including, but not limited to, a mortgage or deed of trust), and
liens for real estate taxes and other governmental charges (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 47F-3-116(d), § 47C-3-116(d)).
HOA and COA Foreclosures in North Carolina
If you default on the assessments, the HOA or COA can foreclose. A common misconception is that the association cannot foreclose if you are current with your mortgage payments. However, the association’s right to foreclose has nothing to do with whether you are current on your mortgage payments. (Learn more about HOA liens and foreclosure.)
In North Carolina, an HOA or COA may nonjudicially foreclose the lien (which means the foreclosure takes place without court supervision) if the assessment remains unpaid for 90 days or more (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 47F-3-116(f), § 47C-3-116(f)). (Learn more about Judicial v. Nonjudicial Foreclosures.)
Pre-Foreclosure Notice Required
Prior to starting a nonjudicial foreclosure, the association must give the owner notice of the association's intention to initiate a foreclosure (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 47F-3-116(f)(5), § 47C-3-116(f)(5)).
Nonjudicial Foreclosure Limitation
If the lien consists solely of fines, interest on unpaid fines, or attorneys' fees incurred solely associated with fines, then an HOA or COA cannot use nonjudicial procedures to foreclose the lien. Instead, it must foreclose judicially by filing a lawsuit (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 47F-3-116(h), § 47C-3-116(h)).
AmandaR2
(South Carolina)

Posts:566


03/03/2015 5:19 AM  
Exactly, this situation does not seem to fall into the category of a HOA lien and of how HOA and COA liens work. This is not for an assessment, special assessment, fine, late charge, interest, preparation of documents etc.. This is a unsettled dispute. It has not been determined or agreed upon that Howard owes anything to the HOA. A typical HOA assessment lien is legally placed because the purchase of the property is proof that assessments are agreed to be paid by both parties (by purchasing the property you agree to pay assessments). This case is an entirely different animal IMO.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11507


03/03/2015 6:14 AM  
To play the Devil's Advocate. I believe the BOD is saying they had to spend money ($13K I think) to correct what Howard had improperly done and they want Howard to pay.

The BOD might well be within their rights to bill and lien if not paid.

As an example. A BOD has to pay to correct a situation such as an mow an unsightly lawn. The HOA bills the owner. The owner refuses to pay. I believe the HOA couild lien on the unpaid bill.

In Howards specific case there are many things at play but those things aside, I believe the HOA can lien on the unpaid bill.


TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:17766


03/03/2015 7:36 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 03/03/2015 6:14 AM
To play the Devil's Advocate. I believe the BOD is saying they had to spend money ($13K I think) to correct what Howard had improperly done and they want Howard to pay.




Except that the Board (different one but still the Board) said what Howard did was acceptable and considered the issue closed.

Posted By JohnC46 on 03/03/2015 6:14 AM

I believe the HOA can lien on the unpaid bill.




I agree that they can likely lien.
The lien can be challenged of course.
The ability to foreclose on the lien will vary from State to State
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10521


03/03/2015 7:41 AM  
Yes, a lien can be filed for an unpaid bill if the owner was told to fix the issue or the HOA would do it at their cost. If the HOA then did it at their cost after a certain amount of time, then the owner pays the lien. However, I believe Howard had already gone and fixed the issue prior and the HOA had signed off on the repair. The HOA then went and did another type of repair and it is that repair they are now assigning to Howard to pay. Which is kind of not subject to a lien if the HOA had signed off on Howard's work.

Just want to mention when you file for a counter-suit (Do NOT create a new suit), you file it for the costs you are out. NOT just the maximum limit. That's too erroneous. You need receipts and proof. Suing for 5K because it's the max does not reflect actual damages incurred. Which may or may not be 5K. Which this may go to a higher court due to the amount is more and damages a bit higher.

Court can ONLY make one whole not a profit...

Former HOA President
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