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ABoyAndAGirl

Home Owner's Association Deceptive Accounting Practices

4 posts in this topic

Background

The person owns a primary residence property and a rental property. The person filed Bankruptcy (Chapter 13) in order to get out from under the rental property and release the property. During this time his legal counsel advised him to pay the HOA fees on the rental property.

 

Issue

During this time, he sent check through the HOA online portal to make payments. This check was then refunded. The online portal indicated a $0.00 balance for ten months. No payments were accepted by the HOA (refunded) and no further payments were made (after the third attempt).

 

Side note: The HOA representative on cite was in touch with the person's tenant. She informed the tenant to stop paying his rent because the property owner was in bankruptcy and was not entitled to rent. The property owner is currently suing the tenant for back rent.

 

HOA Business Practices

The HOA created a secondary account once the Chapter 13 was filed. The second account accrued debt and late fees for ten months. No contact was made to the person in question. However, it was revealed later by the HOA's lawyer that the HOA had been sending all correspondence to the rental property and tenant, not the owner's primary residence (the primary residence is on file with the HOA - it is mandated to be so, in order for the tenant to have access to the pool and clubhouse which the owner has to waive).

 

Current Status

The property owner was served a civil suit and eviction notice by the HOA (thus making him aware of the second account). The property owner tried to resolve the issue, but the HOA continued to drag out the process (losing emails, going on vacation, not having answers, etc.) in order to create more late charges and fees. The property owner was only given accounting of the second account in March of 2018 (the account goes back to April of 2017). When the property owner tried to make payment arrangements, the HOA refused.

 

At the preliminary hearing, the property owner began negotiations as prompted by the HOA's lawyer. This is when the lawyer revealed that the HOA had been correspondence with tenant and the unit, not the property owner That lawyer asked for a 60-day continuance and trial date in order to give his client time to put together a counter offer. The property owner offered to pay all back HOA monthly dues, but not the late fees. After a month, no counter offer has been made (or will be made) according to the HOA. 

 

The property owner has been unable to acquire adequate legal counsel. The property owner will be representing himself at trial in two weeks. Does he need to have legal precedence, case law, or other law to support his claims? Can he represent the evidence, the emails, screenshots of the portals, and the like in order to defend his case? 

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Does he need to have legal precedence, case law, or other law to support his claims?

 

Maybe,

 

Can he represent the evidence, the emails, screenshots of the portals, and the like in order to defend his case? 

 

If you mean can he present the evidence, then yes, if he knows and understands the procedure to do so.  I would recommend spending a lot of time studying local civil procedure in the law library before trial.

 

The property owner has been unable to acquire adequate legal counsel.  Unable or unwilling to pay for it?  Going to a trial without an attorney when the other side has an attorney is like going to a gunfight armed with a rubber knife.

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3 hours ago, ABoyAndAGirl said:

The property owner was served a civil suit and eviction notice by the HOA (thus making him aware of the second account).

 

If the HOA was aware of the bankruptcy, then filing suit is a violation of the automatic stay (it's a violation even if the HOA wasn't aware -- the awareness makes it an intentional violation).  Why didn't the property owner take steps to have the lawsuit stayed or dismissed for this reason?

 

 

3 hours ago, ABoyAndAGirl said:

The property owner will be representing himself at trial in two weeks. Does he need to have legal precedence, case law, or other law to support his claims?

 

If the parties are filing trial briefs, it may be that citing statutory and/or case authority will be prudent.  If there are no trial briefs, then it's unlikely that having statutory and/or case authority handy will be of any use at trial (especially if the case will be tried to a jury).

 

 

3 hours ago, ABoyAndAGirl said:

Can he represent the evidence, the emails, screenshots of the portals, and the like in order to defend his case?

 

I don't understand what this question means.  The verb "represent" makes no sense in the context of this question.

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