I ran across this property in my search for RE to buy that had delinquent HOA dues. After getting to know the owner of the property I became disturbed by the tactics the attorneys hired by the HOA are using and agreed to look into it for him.
The man had a stroke several years ago and has relied on his wife to take care of him for the past ten years or more (including the finances). His wife passed away about four months ago. And he has been on his own since. The HOA doesn't have the option of online pay and he claims he didn't even know he was supposed to pay it. His wife had most everything set up online, so he just accessed her email account and paid things that way. He claims he didn't get anything in the mail from the HOA. I tend to believe him because other bills that weren't set up online and came through the mail, he paid.
The HOA hired an attorney to collect the debt. The attorney nearly doubled the debt with collection and attorney fees. They won't accept partial payment and won't allow him to pay the monthly bills accumulating now. So the bill is just growing out of hand. They have threatened to put a lien against his property in thirty days. He is willing to pay the debt but is on a fixed income and can't afford to pay it all at once. The contact person is very difficult to deal with (with a name like Missy G and the attitude to go with it, I can't tell if I'm dealing with a law firm or a street thug) and hasn't been open to allowing the man to make payments.
I'm all about people paying their bills and being responsible, but this just seems like bullying to me. This guy doesn't have the capacity nor the means to deal with these people on their level and it seems they are taking advantage of that. This isn't my area of expertise by any means, so was just looking for some advice on how to help this guy out. I realize there might not be anything I can do. I would just hate to see this guy lose his home like this after all he has been through.
Surely he could make partial payments. He should be able to get an attorney to clear this issue up, if its all like you said it is I dont see how he couldnt get this taken care of.
He is on a very fixed income and doesn't have any savings. Maybe you could recommend a way for him to access cheap legal help. I don't know any attorneys in the area that charge less than $250 an hour. Rite now he says he cant afford more than $100 to $150 added to his monthly expenditures. Doesn't have any family to help him out. Sold his car when his wife died to help pay for final expenses and is still making monthly payments to the funeral home. I called and asked if a payment plan for the HOA fees was possible and was told any partial payment would be returned.
Go to the local newspapers , makes a good human interest story . Guilt the HOA to back off
Yeah, that's BS. Attorneys are fully able to accept partial payments and you can play hardball but if you can't squeeze blood out of a stone. I would have him go to an HOA board meeting (you can go with him if you're feeling generous) and plead his case to the board. The attorney works, after all, for the association and takes direction from the board so they have the power to accept payment plans. All payment plans are typically sent to the board for approval anyway. Let me know if I can provide any further insight, this is what I do for a living and I can't stand stuff like this.
As a matter of fact, if you'd like to PM me the name of the association, I'll see what info I can dig up on the board members. Maybe I can get some info to where he can reach out to them directly. I don't need his address or any personal info, just the name of the association.
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