Housing is a basic human need. Home is not only where we find refuge from the word, but where gather with friends and family. For most individuals and families, housing is their single largest monthly expense. Dishonest or unlawful behavior by mortgage lenders, homeowner’s associations, condominium associations or landlords can be devastating events that can negatively impact nearly all aspects of an individual’s or family’s life.
There are many laws which govern housing related matters such as the Federal Truth in Lending Act, The Florida Residential Landlord Tenant Act, the Florida Homeowner’s Association Act, the Florida Condominium Act, the Florida Consumer Collections Practices Act, and the Federal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. I have litigated cases with issues arising under each of these statues.
Whether you own or rent, when your home it at risk it is important that you seek legal counsel at the earliest possible moment. Understanding your legal rights and responsibilities can keep small problems from spinning out of control. Please don’t delay in obtaining competent information if you are struggling with a house related matter. I offer a free 30 minute consultation during which we can discuss your situation and possible remedies.
Disputes between homeowner’s associations or condominium associations and homeowners often spin out of control, leaving the homeowner vulnerable to demands of excessive, and often unlawful, fees and charges in addition to the threat of foreclosure and loss of their home.
The laws and contracts governing condominium and homeowner’s associations are complex and require detailed reading and sophisticated analysis. Homeowners who attempt to represent themselves in disputes with their community are usually at a profound disadvantage, and may make the problem worse, because of the complex legal issues that arise in these disputes.
Common problems that arise include:
- Failure of the community to properly credit homeowner payments for assessments.
- Imposition of unlawful administrative fees.
- Imposition of unlawful fines.
- Failure to comply with the law and/or governing documents when imposing fines, individual, or annual assessments.
- Imposition of excessive attorney or legal fees, including “stacking” of flat fees, such that the homeowner is double billed for legal fees.
- Violation of State and Federal Debt Collection laws.
Many of these unlawful practices are usually not apparent to a homeowner, although they may provide a strong defense to stop a foreclosure or other lawsuit. If you believe you are being treated unfairly or unlawfully by your condominium or homeowner’s association, it is important that you consult with an attorney as soon as possible.
David H. Abrams has litigated condominium and homeowner association cases in both State and Federal Court, as individual and class action cases. He has successfully defended homeowner’s facing foreclosure lawsuits brought by condominium and homeowner associations.