If an HOA is trying to collect over $7K in fees that are not accurate, we must pay?

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If an HOA is trying to collect over $7K in fees that are not accurate, we must pay?

I was sent a letter from an attorney, on behalf of my HOA. They are stating that I owe them over $7K in fees and assessments. The attorney informed me that I must contact him to make payment arrangements. The issue is, the fees are not accurate and I have had an issue with the HOA not fixing my leaking roof for months causes over $3300.00 worth of damage. The lawyer does not want to hear it or work with me on adjusting the fees. What do I do? I can’t afford $7K.

Asked on February 11, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you can't--or won't, because you feel they are wrong or unwarranted--pay the fees, you have two options, which are not mutually exclusive:

1) You can try to settle for  something that is mutually acceptable, affordable, and fair. Providing evidence to support your position (e.g. about offsetting damages) helps.

2) You can refuse to pay, forcing the other side to sue you if they want the money. In that case, at trial you could present evidence to either refute the claim entirely or reduce what you owe--or even to interpose you own counterclaim. Having a lawyer would be advantageous, though you are allowed to  represent yourself.

You can try to settle; if that doesn't work, let them sue you; then depending on how matters go, you and they may later work out a settlement before the actual trial.


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