If I get a lawyer to help me collect back-due condo fees from the other owner of two-family condo conv will I also be able to recoup legal fees?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I get a lawyer to help me collect back-due condo fees from the other owner of two-family condo conv will I also be able to recoup legal fees?

I live in a two-family condo conversion. The other owner is late on two months of condo fees. He keeps promising to pay, but nothing yet. How long do I wait before hiring a lawyer? Will I also be able to recoup legal fees incurred from him as well? If he can’t pay the condo fee, how can he pay the legal fees?

Asked on June 25, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

Lisa Sigman or Eric Sigman / Sigman Law Office, P.C.

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Massachusetts General Law Chapter 183 Section 6 allows a condo association to initiate a collections action for past due condo fees after 60 days deliquency.  Section 6B states that the unit owner is personally liable for all sums assessed including penalties, interest and all costs of collection - which includes attorney's fees, costs & charges.

If the unit owner has a mortgage, the lender should be notified and likely will pay for the collections amount and costs, as the association has the right to place a lien on the unit should the owner fail to pay.  This lien will be superior to the mortgage, which the lender will want to avoid.

Contact an attorney who hs experience in this field as soon as possible.

J.V., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Although you can always collect and hire an attorney to do so without a valid contract between the creditor who in this case is you and the debtor you normally cannot recoup attorneys fees. In general a collection matter is done on a contingency basis with a certain percentage of the recouped amount going to the attorney. There is also a matter of costs being due to cover service, purchase of an index number and other administrative costs. This can sometimes be recovered and it depends on the court itself. I am not admitted in MA but know in NY you can recover costs when you get a judgment but in CT you oftentimes cannot so it differs from state to state.

If you call a local attorney they will review costs with you and than you can decide if it is cost effective to proceed legally.  You may also be able to set up a payment plan with the debtor without proceeding to judgment and in essence save the money it would costs for those fees associated. If you have any additional questions please feel free to post them here. Thanks.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption