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Subject: Lien letter in Florida
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Author Messages
SusM
(Florida)

Posts:4


09/09/2020 10:19 AM  
I received notice that a lien would be filed after 45 days, for an overdue amount of less than $150. The letter stated that i had 45 days to pay the amount due or foreclosure proceedings would ensue. About half of that overdue amount was late fees that were owed based on a misunderstanding of the amount I needed to pay 3 months prior, in order to bring my account current. Also included was a $40 fee to mail the certified lien letter. I had contacted both my HOA and management company letting them know i was anticipating getting behind due to money owed to me which required a court order forcing payment. Due to covid-19 the courts closed to these type of cases and my judgement letter went unsigned for months until a judge signed it outside of a hearing.

I immediately paid my balance due upon receiving the latter, but requested that fees be returned as this was due to the pandemic and out of my control (my income stream went down to social security only for multiple months until this judgement was signed). I sent many emails to my management company, asking for fee reimbursement and asking if the lien/impending foreclosure letter was directed by my HOA BOD or if it was the mgmt company policy. After 3 weeks of no answer, i emailed my HOA President asking the same question. He immediately emailed back saying I had been badgering the mgmt company so they were not responding to me. He then said that letter automatically generates when one is overdue and that he would no longer respond to any emails from me because I don’t like the answers.

Questions....Does the covid non-foreclosure edict affect HOA foreclosures? Is it right that the lien letter also discusses foreclosure as well as attorney fees, etc.....i thought a notice of lien could only mention lien, and if the outstanding amount is not paid a lien is filed at which time foreclosure discussion begins? Also, is the lien dollar amount supposed to include a $40 fee for mailing the lien letter?



TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16953


09/09/2020 11:10 AM  
Sus,

A Lien is not a foreclosure.

A lien is the first step.
After some time, then one would foreclose on the lien.

Hence, the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) would not come into play. However, if it did, per section 4022 of that act, it only applies to federally backed mortgages, not other liens.

I'm not an attorney. Check with one to be sure.



Regarding fees, typically management companies do not have the authority to waive late charges. These must be waived by the HOA Board.

My Association didn't lien until one was 120 days late.
If your Association is the same, I doubt your board will waive the fees because it took so long to resolve.
However, if you have documentation that you responded to all late notices, you may find some symathetic ears on the board. Perhaps enough to waive the charges.

Don't expect filing or attorney charges associated with the lien to be waived as those were fund actually spent by the Association.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9870


09/09/2020 11:37 AM  
The affairs of an association must go on without consideration. Bottom line is the OP got behind. S/he can list all the excuses they want to but so be it. If anything the OP should have gone to the BOD and see if they could have made some arrangements instead of just falling behind.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16953


09/09/2020 11:42 AM  
Posted By SusM on 09/09/2020 10:19 AM

I had contacted both my HOA and management company letting them know i was anticipating getting behind due to money owed to me which required a court order forcing payment. Due to covid-19 the courts closed to these type of cases and my judgement letter went unsigned for months until a judge signed it outside of a hearing.





Based on the OP, notice of being late was apparently done.
When it was done is unknown
SusM
(Florida)

Posts:4


09/09/2020 1:19 PM  
Definitely spoke multiple times with the mgmt company and BOD prez regarding court mediation in the fall resulting in a win for me, and the delayed judge’s signature due to covid closing the courts. Never was I close to 120 days late. My dues are $295/mo. so I was half a mo overdue, and 1/4 mo if you subtract the fines inflicted in the last couple of months....fines are charged after 14 days past due.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9870


09/09/2020 4:01 PM  
Sus

You were behind. You owed. Anything else is splitting hairs.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:3105


09/09/2020 5:34 PM  
Yeah, Sus, I'm not seeing a way to judge this other than note you owed assessment, then fees, and then costs to collect - wait until the attorney fees start - I'd recommend pay up.
SusM
(Florida)

Posts:4


09/09/2020 7:29 PM  
I paid up immediately! I was never more than a month behind...thought i was paid in full bc i typically pay a year at a time. I got behind due to paying monthly rather than yearly, and then fees they charged when I made some payments late in the month. What I asked up there is 1)can they file a lien based on fees, 2)is it typical to send a lien letter when one is not a full month’s assessment amount past due, 3)is it typical during this pandemic for HOAs to charge those fees when the financial issues faced by a resident are covid related.

Also I think they’re supposed to send a letter, give you 45 days to pay, and if you don’t pay THEN file the lien...not start the foreclosure. Once a lien is filed I believe the clock starts ticking again before they can start foreclosure. They sent a letter saying they were filing a lien and in 45 days would foreclosure if not cleared....that’s seems like bundling it all together and leaving out the middle.

I may be splitting hairs, but in my situation I could easily pay my balance. What if someone is really struggling? What is the correct protocol? I think my HOA is wrong in how they pursue late payment and if so, couldn’t it end up costing the community in associated legal fees?
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:3105


09/09/2020 8:56 PM  
Sis,

Letter of Intent to Lien followed by 45 days, followed by the Lien.

Your issue does not sound like a C19 issue ... most folks don’t pay their assessments out of court proceeds ... they are normal living expenses ... connecting the two sounds a bit fishy.

I would not go to lien for that amount, but your association may have a lot of minor non payments that add up.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:3105


09/09/2020 8:56 PM  
Sus, not Sis - auto correct ... grrr.
JohnC77
(Washington)

Posts:136


09/09/2020 10:08 PM  
It sounds like the management company and not the Association who is calling the shots.
SusM
(Florida)

Posts:4


09/10/2020 3:40 PM  
George the court case was related to my husbands estate...He was a recipient of a family trust. When he died a cousin sued for his share which had been willed to me and passed via probate. Cousin lost, but as he is also the trustee he withheld trust income for 2 years while he fought for my share.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16953


09/10/2020 3:58 PM  
Lets keep in mind that income for many individuals have changed due to the pandemic.

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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Lien letter in Florida



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