Community Association Legal Fees Explained
With respect to fees, community associations will generally pay no legal fees to Straley Otto for the sending of demand letters, the filing of claims of lien, or the pursuit of foreclosures. As stated in almost every association Declaration (of Condominium or of Covenants and Restrictions) or proprietary lease, a delinquent unit owner is responsible for the legal fees and costs incurred by a community association in the collection of that owner’s account. Straley Otto looks primarily to delinquent unit owners to pay the fees and costs incurred, which is only appropriate.
One exception occurs, though rarely, where a community association becomes the owner of a unit following its foreclosure of that unit. Such a situation occurs when a unit owner fails to pay his or her delinquency, including the foreclosure judgment, and no investor purchases the property at the unit’s foreclosure sale. In this circumstance, our firm does invoice the community association for the attorneys’ fees associated with the foreclosure, but courtesy credits are generally given to our clients to ensure that the association’s out-of-pocket expenses are kept to a minimum. Further, these expenses can often be easily offset should the association begin to lease the unit, which it now owns, to a tenant.
In addition to these affirmative collection efforts which our firm pursues, we also monitor and provide legal advice and options to our community association clients regarding accounts that are in bankruptcy or lender foreclosure.
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