A condominium association in the Milwaukee area was owed more than $2,000 in fines by one unit owner. For more than a year, the unit owner had been fined numerous times due to the same violations of the bylaws which the unit owner refused to correct.  While the unit owner paid assessments monthly, the unit owner ignored the fines and the association’s attempts to demand that the unit owner correct the violations. Continue Reading Unit Owner Bad Behavior – When Fines are Ignored

A condominium association had an owner that was uncooperative, didn’t like following rules and paid assessments on her own timeframe for more than 10 years. In the spring of 2009, another law firm started collection against the unit owner for unpaid assessments by filing a lien on the property.  During the next year and a half, the lien was foreclosed and judgment entered.  In November 2011, the property went to sheriff’s sale. At the sheriff’s sale the attorney for the association opened the bidding at $1 and the property was purchased by a third party for $2.  When the third party spoke with the unit owner, he felt sorry for her and sold the property back to her. Although the association’s attorney sought and was granted a deficiency judgment, the judgment was not collectible because the unit owner was retired and had no assets.  As a result, the association’s debt had increased to more than $22,000, which the association lost due to the purchase of the unit by the third party for $2.  Continue Reading Why Hire an Attorney Who Specializes in Condominium & HOA Law

A Wisconsin condominium association had a unit owner who was habitually delinquent in the payment of assessments. Neither the association or the property manager had ever spoken to the unit owner.  The association hired an attorney who filed one small claims action after another against the unit owner every time she became delinquent.  The association was awarded judgment each time, and was paid on the judgment debt each time through numerous garnishments  However, the attorney fees were awarded at the time of judgment, so the association was not able to recover the additional attorney fees it incurred for each garnishment.  After each garnishment the debt would again accumulate and the collection process would start over.  The unit owner was not paying assessments outside of garnishment. Continue Reading Why Foreclosure and Money Judgment at the Same Time?

First mortgage holders continue to be the largest impediment to Association collections, once unit owners fail to pay. This arises because the bank’s lien is superior to the association’s and therefore most associations decide not to proceed with a foreclosure if the bank has begun its foreclosure.  This is true even though banks frequently file foreclosures and then don’t proceed to the sheriff sale, adjourn the case indefinitely or very SLOWLY, or never seek to confirm the sale.  Accordingly, Associations must have a strategy to combat these issues.  Continue Reading Combating First Mortgages

When a Board or Property Manager sends a Unit Owner to its attorneys for collection, the Board or Property Manager should refer ALL communications from the Unit Owner relative to the debt, including the request for any pay off, to the attorney.  Discussion by the Property Manager or Board with the Unit Owner almost always leads to problems. Continue Reading Collections – Reconciliation of Unit Owner Ledgers and Conversations with Unit Owners

What happens when a fire caused within a condominium unit destroys that unit, some common area, and damages other units? It becomes an expensive situation for the association.  Even though insurance should pay for all of the damages, the association’s insurance premiums going forward could increase dramatically.  This is exactly what happened to a small condominium association in Wisconsin. Continue Reading Unit Fire Increases Association Insurance Premiums

If you are a condominium association who is preparing to complete a lien foreclosure on a Unit, you are sure to have many questions about what to expect if you become the owner of the Unit through the foreclosure process. Should the Association rent, sell or hold the Unit and what are the risks associated with each?  Should the Association pay the taxes? What about the mortgage? Should the Association deed the Unit to the mortgage company or start a quiet title action?  What will/can our property manager help the Association do? These are all questions the Association will have to answer.

This white paper will walk you through your options, banish common misconceptions associated with foreclosure, and provide you the answers that will help you adequately prepare and make the best out of a bad situation.