July Volunteer Leadership Series
Delinquencies at Your Association
Attorney John Curtis spoke to a packed crowd at the July 9th Volunteer Leadership series lunch and learn at Ghertner & Company. Here are just a few highlights from the presentation:
Jon mentioned that he uses private process servers in most instances in lieu of the sheriff to serve people with suits since they are more assertive in finding people who he is trying to serve. Private process servers have more interest in locating and serving the defendant to grow their business and keep business, rather than the Sheriff.
Some delinquent payers are “professional non –payers” against whom Mr. Curtis ultimately serves a subpoena to come to court so he can find out where their assets are to garnish assets. Many are held in contempt when they don’t show up to court and the Court will ultimately send then the Sheriff to arrest the person if they fail to show at Court.
One particular national bank averages over two years on a foreclosure. Mr. Curtis said that associations could consider legal action against the mortgage company for “negligence to foreclose and maintain the property”. This is a possible option in the case where pipes burst in empty units because the bank failed to take possession in a timely manner. This will be a difficult road, but one option. This scenario was quite common in the winter months of this year when temperatures dropped for many days.
Collecting from owners who are in bankruptcy is more expensive now than in the past due to the extensive claim filing requirements, especially to increase the assessments. These costs will be recouped from the owner in the chapter 13 plan provided the plan is completed and there is no foreclosure, but the costs will be paid up front first by the association. There has been some “sticker shock” from associations on these new costs. Please make sure to contact the property manager to notify the trustee at least 25 days before the increase is to take affect to make sure the paperwork can be filed within the bankruptcy Court rules filing requirements. Please make sure to notify the legal department for any and all changes in assessments, insurance charges, or fines to get them added to the plan with the Court, otherwise there will be challenges to overcome for payment in full of the balance upon discharge.