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cfortunato
cfortunato, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
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Experience:  Bankruptcy professor.
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In filing chapter 7 I own a condo in a condo association of

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In filing chapter 7 I own a condo in a condo association of 19 units of which 5 units were owned by an investor who rented the properties and stopped paying the monthly association dues on all 5 units for over 1 1/2 yrs all 5 properties were foreclosed on by the lenders and resold at significantly lower prices . The board charged the 14 other unit owners a special assestment of $586.00 each to make up for the investor not paying, not because the money was needed for any repairs the units are only 4 years old, the board just wanted the reserve to be back up to feel all warm and fuzzy. I refused to pay the special assestment because I did not believe the board had the right to make us 14 owners pay for the owner of the 5 units not paying. The board filed a lien for $586.00 plus 200.00 late fees plus lawyers cost of 337.00 in Jan.09 . In May of 2009 I sent a letter to the board demanding my outside hardiplank siding that they were aware of repairs needed for over a year be fixed, they had repaired my neighbors the year before and the board was aware that mine also needed repairing, I had been trying to sell my unit and the appearance of my property was important. The board also did not approve weeding of the properties beds and the blacktop was in desperate need of blacktop sealing but again the board would not approve it even though there was $16,000-17,000 in the account . I addressed my concern in my May letter to the board and told them I was giving them till July 1st to have my repairs done or I would not be paying my July/09 monthly assessment of $140.00, they to date still have not done any repairs and I have not paid them since last June 2009. Then the board passed rules and regulation that stated if an owner is 120 days late on paying the dues the board could evict the owner and take over the property for rent to collect the dues. I still don't know if this is legal since it was not voted on or made part of our By-Laws, only a memo sent, this went into effect I believe 1/1/10. So I paid April and just paid Mays in fear of them being able to evict me. I went to my bankruptcy lawyer yesterday and he said that the amount of the lien which was just for the special assessment would not be discharged but that the amount I had not paid since 7/09 for the regular would be discharged but that I would have to start paying again after the discharge. This is not what I just read on the US BANKRUPTCY COURT website, under items that can not be discharged the last thing it list is condo fees... so why is my lawyer stating they would be????
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  cfortunato replied 4 years ago.
HiCustomer
The "exceptions to discharge" rule states that HOA dues that accrue after the bankruptcy petition is filed are not dischargable. Those dues that accrued before the petition is filed are dischargable.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for that info but, part of my question was also did the board have the right to charge the 14 unit owners for what the one investor owner of 5 units did not pay just to build up bank balance . I thought special assessments could only be charged when there were necessary repairs to be done that the reserves were short in funding. This was not the case, I refused to pay the special assessment and they as I stated in my first letter have placed a lien on my property for that., and the other part of my original question concerned the board making a rule and regulation stating that they could evict an owner if 120 days late on dues, would that not have to be voted on by the association and would it not legally have to be registered and recorded as part of the by-laws, not just a rule and regulation? Thank you again in advance for your answer
Expert:  cfortunato replied 4 years ago.
I did not see that question in the original query, but will opt out because I do not know HOA laws.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Good morning Christina, I will be accepting your 1st answer and it appears that you are a bankruptcy expert. I do have another bankruptcy question, I have been trying to rent my condo since the economy is bad and we had the 5 foreclosures in the association the property values have drasticaly decreased. My plan was to rent the property for 2-3 years till the economy recovered and then possibly sell at that time depending on my financial situation. I would have to clear $1,100.00 mo. to cover mortgage, association dues , property taxes , insurance and homeowners warranty plan cost . I as of yesterday have an very interested family (no pets) which is a requirement who want to rent my condo for 2 years or more for $1,500.00, they would like to move in by June 1st , the only problem is my lawyer whom I just retained last tuesday has not offically filed the chapter 7, I assume that will be done this week, but he did mention to me when he asked why I was not including the mortgage in the bankruptcy I told him I could make $400.00 month making it rental property. He then said I couldn't rent it till after the bankruptcy was filed/discharged. Is this true and which is it after the filing or after the discharge? and Why? I need to cover my mortgage which I am currently only 1 month behind and only because I have since last Aug. been trying to have my mortgage lender BanK of America do something to help me out and after 8 1/2 months of numerous 2-5 hours of be left on hold and transfer to dept. after dept. only to be disconnected or not help I was finally told that the reason I didn't qualify for any program was because I was current on my mortgage... I told them I could change that immediately and did not pay April's payment. I have been selling my stocks to pay my monthly mortgage since I lost my job. So back to the question can I rent my property and when ? and if not why not. I realize this is another question and your time is valueable so I am willing to pay the fee for my additional question. Thank you again, Jane
Expert:  cfortunato replied 4 years ago.
HiCustomer
No need to pay for an additional question. The first one was easy, and this one is not much harder.
I am not sure why your attorney told you to wait to rent the condo, and I don't see any benefit to doing so. That rental income has to be included in the petition whether it is rented before or after filing, because one of the questions on the petition that has to be answered is, "Describe any increase or decrease reasonably anticipated to occur within the year following the filing of this document". This statement is at the bottom of Schedule I (Current Income), and refers to all income of the debtor.
cfortunato, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
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Experience: Bankruptcy professor.
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