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Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 32155
Experience:  16 years of legal experience including real estate law.
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I live in WA state and unfortunately worked with a counseling

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I live in WA state and unfortunately worked with a counseling agency that was equally poor as the bank. The foreclosure happened March 22 ,2013.
During this time we were starting to move things in with my daughter till we figures out what we were going to do. During this time the HOA management agent came in and removed expensive personal items ,because this had just happened the week before and the homeowners were very very far behind in there dues. We were current and had no back dues or fines.
She called me and said during the move the items were broken and one was accidentally sold.
She will work with us" within reason".
What rights do I have? The amount of items was approx. 5100K
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Tina replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX my goal is to provide you with excellent service today. I am sorry to hear of your difficult situation. Before I can give you an accurate answer to your question, please provide the following additional information:

Why does the HOA allege they entered your property and took some of your belongings?

I look forward to assisting you as soon as I have received this information. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

She said in an email that she was trying to protect the HOA

Expert:  Tina replied 1 year ago.

I see. Thank you for the additional information, Angela.

This appears to be a situation where the HOA had no right to take possession of the belongings, so they could be sued for conversion of assets, wherein you could seek the value of the assets wrongfully taken by them.

Small claims court is normally the most cost-effective venue in which to pursue legal action against the entity, and since the value of the items they took are roughly $5,000 (the maximum one can sue for in small claims court), this type of case could be pursued in that court without an attorney since it is structured to permit litigants to represent themselves, saving you the cost of retaining an attorney.

Here is a link to the Washington State small claims court web page:

http://www.atg.wa.gov/ConsumerIssues/SmallClaimsCourt.aspx#.UYHNNpx0z74

You could report this matter to the local police since they technically engaged in criminal activity since they had no right to seize your belongings. Because there is a contractual relationship between you and the HOA, the prosecutor may decide not to pursue criminal charges. It would typically be worth filing a police report in any case though.

I hope this helps clarify the situation for you. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Thank you!

Tina

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Because she acted on behalf of the HOA is there some responsibility with them. My guess is that they may not be aware of the situation

Expert:  Tina replied 1 year ago.

Hello again,

Yes, if she was acting within the scope of her authority, they could also be held liable under the doctrine of respondeat superior, which holds that employers/principals are liable for the actions of their employees/agents.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Sorry for the delay,the site as having problems .


I am really upset that the management company did this...If I retain an attorney do you have a very rough idea of costs & time. I have emails that show a timeline and accepting responsibility.

Expert:  Tina replied 1 year ago.
The cost and time is very difficult to say. It does appear that the HOA knows they were in the wrong since they have offered to "work with you", it would hope it should not take more than a few hours of the attorney's time, which should keep costs down. If they were to contest liability or a reasonable settlement though, it could go into the thousands I'm afraid. I would not expect that as it does appear they are liable and if they are informed by counsel, they should be willing to settle the matter for a reasonable amount.

I will report that you were having technical problems to the site. Thank you for letting me know and all the best to you in resolving this situation.
Tina, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 32155
Experience: 16 years of legal experience including real estate law.
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