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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 89589
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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I closed on my property purchase in July of 2010. The house

Resolved Question:

I closed on my property purchase in July of 2010. The house we bought in Anne Arundel County Maryland had a homeowners association. (West Haven Homeowners Association)

When I purchased the property, the seller casually mentioned that they were trying to build a pool. What he forgot to mention (and so did the HOA in any financial disclosures) that they had sold $230,000.00 worth of pool bonds, and had spent $130,000.00 of that money on legal fees defending the lawsuits that arose. The welcome letter we received dated 03JUL10 stated that they were not party to any pending lawsuits or litigation.

I believe this link states otherwise: http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us/inquiry/inquiryDetail.jis?caseId=070200163452009&loc=28&detailLoc=DSCIVIL

A lawyer at the meeting last night told me that because it entailed a land variance it was not in fact litigation. I told him that the decision was finalized in the Maryland Court of Appeals in 2012, and it was reversed in the HOA's favor.

I now have three choices, and all of them require me to pay money based on a lawsuit that I was not aware of: Purchase a pool bond and pray the pool gets built, the pool falls through and now the individuals who paid money will get it back via a special assessment, or I do nothing and just let the HOA come after me (eventually i'll have to pay.)

These all constitute an unacceptable outcome for me due to the fact that when I bought the house it was not disclosed to me. Who is liable here? I signed a notarized contract to buy the house and the house is in the HOA, so the statute of limitation should still be good to go (6 years). I asked the HOA last night at our meeting and they assured me that the bonds were not a debt until the pool is not built. I am moreso focused on recovering damages for not disclosing the pending litigation when I bought the home.

I intend to accomplish everthing in small claims court and i would literally seek the damages i'm required to pay to the HOA as a result of not telling me about the litigation. (Special assessment of 400 a year for 10 years= 4000.00)

Essentially i'm asking, do I have a case here. Who is liable from my closing and what should I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

Ultimately you are going to have to pay as you said. If you do nothing and they sue or place a lien on your home and foreclose it will cost you even more than they are seeking to get you to pay.

Your recourse here if there was no disclosure by the seller is you would have to seek to sue the seller for misrepresentation and seek to get them to pay the money for the bond that you must pay based on their intentional misrepresentation.

However, other than suing the seller, if you sue the HOA you are likely to lose as it was the seller's liability and duty to disclose and ultimately you and the other homeowners pay the association legal fees to fight your suit.



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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The HOA was involved in a lawsuit and sent me a signed letter with my welcome package claiming that they were not. There's no way the seller could have known the outcome or the legal fees of the pending lawsuit (It didn't close until two years after I bought the home.)


 


 


 


 

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response.

I understand they failed to notify you of the suit, but it was legally the seller's duty and that is who you really should be going after for intentionally not disclosing the suit. It is just your proper remedy is against the seller here more than the HOA.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I'm not even sure what law the homeowner violated.


 


I know what law the HOA violated, The Maryland HOA Act.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
The owner violated the mandatory disclosure laws as pending suits is something that is required to be disclosed.

You can sue both the seller and HOA, if you have proof this was actually pending litigation at the time as the HOA was supposed to give notice of pending litigation.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for everything thus far, every part of my question is clear except for the part where I determine whether or not the West Have Homeowners association did in fact have pending litigation when I closed on 6 JUL 2010.


 


http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us/inquiry/inquiry-index.jsp


 


I found a few cases where Westhaven Homeowners Association was the defendant when I was closing. Lawyers within the HOA (residents) are claiming that because it was over a land variance it doesn't constitute litigation or a lawsuit. I see a bunch of people suing them for 1750.00 during the time my closing was happening.


 


Is the lawyer who did my closing liable as well?

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
If there were any unsatisfied judgments or pending lawsuits against the HOA, they were supposed to notify the owners and prospective buyers. If they were not a defendant in this lawsuit, they would be right that it was the Seller that should have notified you of this matter.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us/inquiry/inquiryDetail.jis?caseId=02C10149288&loc=60&detailLoc=CC


 


There is the case that I believe was ongoing while I closed. I have no idea what the dates mean. They're claiming that it isn't litigation and my case will be that it is. If it's not, then I dont have a case. Please let me know if that would be considered ongoing litigation or a pending lawsuit.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
When I go to that link I get the general site and no case records. When I put in Westhaven, I get nothing coming up on the court site, so I do cannot see what you are seeing.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us/inquiry/inquiry-index.jsp


 


If you go to search for a company it should be under "west haven" (two words)


 


There are three potential cases that fall within the 7/3/10 date that is on my letter. I just do not understand the types of cases they are.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
The one suit from 2010 is an administrative appeal not a regular lawsuit where it seems like they are appealing an administrative decision and it is not where they are being sued for money judgment. The other 2010 suit was satisfied so that means it was not pending. Thus, their claim it was an appeal of a zoning denial would mean they were not a defendant in litigation where they could be liable for money judgment, they are playing the line very fine, but the fact that a bond would have to be put up should have been disclosed by the seller.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 89589
Experience: Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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