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Michael Gonzalez
Michael Gonzalez, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 532
Experience:  Managing Member at Perez-Mena & Gonzalez, LLC
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I purchased a condo in Missouri with out an active HOA. Now

Customer Question

I purchased a condo in Missouri with out an active HOA. Now they have re-activated the HOA with the state. They did nothing to pay dues for for at least 5 years. Now they are taking me to court to get back dues for the last 5 years. Is this legal, and what can i do to argue this
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Michael Gonzalez replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

Presuming that the HOA is now in good standing with the state, the payment of association fees is now back due. If you have any evidence that you are being targeted and forced to pay while other members of the HOA are not, then you may have a defense of "selected enforcement." Typically, an HOA must enforce the payment of dues (and other rules) against all members equally.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK during the time of the un active association, we mowed the grounds, plowed snow and helped with clean up days in the community, on many occasions. I do not understand why I should pay dues for this period when we helped to do their responibilties
Expert:  Michael Gonzalez replied 1 year ago.

Understood and I am sorry you are in this predicament. You would probably still be responsible for the past due amounts assuming there is not a defense of "selective enforcement" available. That said, you may be able to mitigate the total amount owed by proving the repair and improvements to the HOA performed by yourself. I would strongly recommend hiring a local attorney to defend your interests in this matter and you should advise him of the repair/improvements/services in kind that you have provided when the HOA was inactive.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok it sounds like the association is god. Is there no defence to a situation like this
Expert:  Michael Gonzalez replied 1 year ago.

Ha. The Association is not god. Aside from the defenses referenced above, other defenses to liens (and eventual foreclosures by an HOA) include but not limited to:

1. The HOA Did an Incorrect Accounting or Overstated Charges

2. Failure to Follow the Assessment Lien Foreclosure Statutes

3. The Assessment is Not Authorized by the Governing Documents

4. Misapplication of Payments

5. Improper Recording of the Assessment Lien

Consult an attorney with Community Association experience to protect your interests.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have not gone to court yet. although I did notice they filed a lien back in 2013 and I never went to court then. My court date is coming up. Have you ever heard of a case where the individual won?
Expert:  Michael Gonzalez replied 1 year ago.

"Going to court" is not the watershed event. You sound like you are currently in litigation. Please consult a local attorney immediately. To answer your question, yes, homeowner's do prevail against the Association.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was just served and doing my homework. I consulted an attorney, he said that if I could find a similar case, that would help, otherwise not much hope
Expert:  Michael Gonzalez replied 1 year ago.

"Homework" should be done by the attorney you consulted. You are not an attorney and are not legally trained to defend yourself. Ask your lawyer to defend you or find another attorney that will.

Expert:  Michael Gonzalez replied 1 year ago.

Please accept my answer when you can. Thank you.