An association in southeastern Wisconsin is made up of condominiums that are also rented out for the owners (condotels). In this particular case, a unit owner, who lived in Illinois, was in financial difficulty and wanted to file bankruptcy and turn their condominium over to their bank.  The bank’s attorney prepared a deed in lieu and sent it to the unit owner, which the unit owner then had recorded.  The bank became the owner and was responsible for not only the dues from that date forward, but also what was owed by the unit owner.  The bank did not want to acknowledge this. Continue Reading Banks & a Deed in Lieu

An association in southeast Wisconsin consists of plots of land upon which the various unit owners can park a mobile home or trailer. Under the association documents, unit owners cannot be in the trailer more than 60 days between October and April or a $10,000 monthly fine will be assessed.  A unit owner owed more than $13,000 in fines in addition to unpaid monthly assessments.  When the unit owner continued to refuse to pay, the association started foreclosure on its lien.  Continue Reading Collecting Large Fines

A condominium association in Milwaukee has historically faced heavy delinquency issues. Through The Husch Blackwell Condominium & HOA Law Team’s assertive collection methods, the firm collected more than $290,000 in assessments, interest and legal fees for the association since 2013. A substantial portion of the $290,000 resulted from the sale and/or rental of 10 units that became owned by the association. Continue Reading When an Association Owns a Unit – Recouping Delinquent Assessments Through Unit Rental/Sales

At the start of 2012, a condominium association in Waukesha, Wisconsin faced serious collection issues as a result of mismanaged files and accounts by its former property manager and attorney. More than 35 individual unit owners (40% of the owners) were delinquent and the association was owed more than $50,000 in delinquent assessments. Continue Reading Aggressive Collections – A Method that Works

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

You might think that when a tenant breaks a rule, that you can simply fine him like you would fine an owner-occupant. Or, you might think that you can just notify and fine the owner/landlord for his tenant’s violation, since he’ll ultimately be responsible for the fine anyway, right? These assumptions are intuitive; however, anyone who has been around condominiums and HOAs long enough can tell you that the laws governing them are not always intuitive. In fact, sometimes it seems like the legislators threw common sense right out the window! Continue Reading Fining for Tenant Violations? You Might be Doing it Wrong.

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