Attorney fees as a threat and weapon

February 12, 2014Comments Off

There is nothing fair in an HOA where owners are mid income or less. I would bet Attorneys BEG to get these lucrative contracts. The constant intimidation of “attorney fees” could not be more threatening. Most owners in the Huntington Continental do not have the fund to hire an attorney. So, even if they are clever or educated enough to file their own legal action, if they lose, by law the Judge awards “attorney fees”. You can be fighting simply to put up your American Flag or fighting the fine for some garbage can that was not yours; the issues are endless and it can cost you $50,000 if you slip up in court. The whole process is like using an elephant to kill an ant. You are the ant and this is why the laws that protect you are so important.


I would bet that in more prosperous Homeowner Associations like Big Canyon in Newport Beach, or the Vintage in Indian Wells you have more “fairness” as the Board does not want to try to wrestle with owners that can pay millions for attorney fees to fight a foolish or evil Board. However, at the Huntington Continental, and most other associations in California the HOA has a million to one advantage. You don’t have a chance unless you want put up your condo as collateral for your lawsuit because civil attorneys in this situation WILL NOT TAKE YOUR CASE ON CONTINGENCY. So what do you do when you don’t have the cash for an attorney?


For those of you who are not familiar with the threat level and just how bad this is, here is my favorite quote from Huntington Continental’s collection attorney’s website:


You can read it here for yourself – HOA COLLECTION PROCEDURES


“The major disadvantage to judicial foreclosure is that, as compared to the private sale, the judicial foreclosure is easier to contest. The owner need only file an answer. Of course, the prevailing party may recover attorney fees. Not too long ago, our office litigated a case where the attorney fees awarded and paid (trial and appeal) were more than $60,000 in a suit over $3,000 in assessments.


I just love the part… of course the prevailing party may recover attorney fees, and I was just awarded $60,000 in a itty bitty lawsuit over just $3,000 in assessments – para phrased of course! Who benefited? The attorney or the HOA? So, don’t you think the HOA should have just sued the poor homeowner in small claims court or tried to work it out? Can you imagine $60,000 in attorney fees for a $3,000 collection? This could be you!


So… why are collection attorneys in business? To make money of course. How do they make money? They make money by REFUSING partial payments so they can litigate and pile on additional fees and costs! So, its either an “evil” lazy Board of Directors who votes to use the attorney’s and kill the ant with the elephant, or attorneys who “recommend” to the Board using them is the “best” way to go. We need to find out what has been going on here at the Huntington Continental.


More to come.