Chasing Condo Fees

If you are a condo unit owner, you may or may not understand the great importance of monthly condo fees. Those who decide to neglect their monthly payments are directly affecting the association’s budget, and in turn put all the collective unit owners in financial trouble. Due to the current state of the Massachusetts Real Estate Market and excessively high unemployment rate, many Boston Property Management companies need to take action against the increasing number of condo unit owners who have ceased paying condo fees. When it comes to a unit owner not paying monthly assessments, it is exceptionally important for Boston Property Management Companies to issues late letters, fines and fees within the allotted time stated in the master deed and rules and regulations. Most Boston Property management companies after sixty day’s will contact their attorney to be brought in immediately to issue a lien on the property. At J. Butler Property Management, LLC. we are exceptionally diligent on making sure that are attorney’s are forwarded a copy of the unit owners ledger and information upon sixty days of delinquency. Not only is it the management companies responsibility but their fiduciary responsibility to the board and unit owners. The debt owed by a unit owner can be comprised into two different types of liens; priority and non priority liens. Non priority liens do not include late fees, interest, or any special assessments. Unfortunately, due to the current economy and housing market, home owners (condo unit owners specifically) are seeing foreclosure as their only option. More commonly are unit owners stopping all mortgage and condo payments, and simply allowing things to take their course. Some unit owners seek bankruptcy protection in order to avoid paying. Interestingly enough, “On Death in Taxes” an article in May 2012’s Condo Media states that a unit owner can avoid paying past due assessments by passing away. As far as recovering the past owed funds, the Legal attorneys are generally able to recover priority liens when the mortgage holder sends payments, but non priority liens are a little more work to recover. If the unit owner declares bankruptcy, the remaining non priority liens would be absolved, but if the unit is sold the charges will automatically be paid. Unfortunately, associations who go forward with suing a unit owner for a non priority balance will face a multi step process. The association would first have to obtain a judgment against the unit owner and the bank, and then file a section action against the owner in District Court.

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