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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 34813
Experience:  16 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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I am a property owner in a HOA in Georgia. .My private

Customer Question

I am a property owner in a HOA in Georgia. .My private financial information (which was derogatory) was intentionally leaked by a Board Member or Officer of the Corporation in order to embarrass me and damage my credibility. This information was published on an open Internet blog. I served on the Board for 3 years. During this time I became aware of some financial inconsistencies. I called for an a forensic audit at the last open Board meeting. The people who do not want an audit are behind the character assassination attempt on me.
I own approximately 25 properties in the Association and fell behind on some of my property dues in 2015.
Has the Board/officers of the corporation committed any crime that the Association can be held accountable for.
Did the Board Members/officers of the corporation fail to do their fiduciary duty?
If so was this criminal?
Thank you in advance for your help!
The HOA/POA is a 5500 acre complex with 4770 property owners. Annual budget is over 4 million dollar.
Do i
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 11 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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Is there anything in the Bylaws of the Association that states that customer accounts are confidential?

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What was leaked...the fact that you were delinquent on your dues?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
to question n 1
It is a gated community!
All information is considered private.
If you call in or go to office and ask for any information on a property owner it will be refused.Yes on #2.
It was published on a non protected blog!
Expert:  Barrister replied 11 months ago.

Ok, I am not sure what the fact that it is a gated community has to do with the situation..

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If there is a Bylaw that you can identify that states that all owner information is to be kept confidential, then you would have grounds to sue the person who published your personal financial information for violation of your privacy rights as well as breach of contract because the Board owes a legal duty to the owners to comply with the Bylaws that govern the Association.

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But as for a fiduciary duty, there is none because a Board member doesn't have the same relationship with an owner that an attorney does with a client or a doctor with a patient so that anything that is relayed to them is confidential and they owe a duty to owner over their own interests... There is just a contractual duty imposed by the Bylaws and CCRs that both parties are bound by.

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And no, whether the Board member violated a duty of confidentiality or not, this is a purely civil matter as no criminal laws have been broken here.

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The problem here is that if you can't identify who leaked the info, you may have a hard time in holding that person liable as the Board could always claim that it is possible that another owner obtained it and leaked it. But if you can prove that the Board was the only entity that had access to that information, you could claim that they were negligent in allowing it to be leaked in violation of the Bylaw that states that all owner financial information is to be kept confidential.

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thanks

Barrister