And Doesn't Even Show Up in Court
September 22, 2011
Is This Gross Incompetence?
In a number of new "firsts" at Edgewater Isle, the Master Association board of directors has sued a homeowner for delinquent dues. In the past, the Master Association has recorded assessment liens and foreclosed on a unit, but this is the first time the Association has used small claims court as its method of pursuing payment.
This time, the Edgewater Isle Master Association, through its brilliant and efficient agent, ASAP Collection Services, filed a small claims case, served and substitute served the defendant. The defendant showed up in court, but no one for the Master Association did, leaving Commissioner Susan Greenberg no alternative but to dismiss the case.
Edgewater Isle Master Association Board is a Bunch of Idiots, Hires Idiot Agent
Why did Edgewater Isle Master Association hire a collection agency to collect delinquent dues? Did they want the dues collected? One presumes so. Then why did A.S.A.P Collection Services in San Jose file this small claims case in the Association's name and then fail to appear in court? Why didn't one single board member appear in court to prosecute their case for the dues? Why didn't the property management company, Common Interest Management Services, send someone to prosecute the case? Why didn't Common Interest Management Services REMIND someone from the Board that one of THEM should attend? Wow. How many people dropped the ball here?
Or does the Board of Directors even know about this? Are they asleep at the wheel? The Master Association board of directors has previously been rabidly aggressive and notified all 324+ homeowners in the association of a different small claims case. (And with a common thread of Jim Newell and Barbara Finnegan as board members.) Could that have been a personal vendetta? Hum. Yes, it was.
(Note to Master Board, particularly Barbara Finnegan and Jim Newell, the common denominator board members: Revenge is sweet, children. Eat it cold. Go whine to your lawyers now and throw more good money after bad. You're so good at it.)
Why Would an Association Use Small Claims Court Over Foreclosure?
After having foreclosed on 2029 Vista Del Mar in April of this year, the Master Association attempted to use a different collection method, small claims court, to pursue unpaid dues from a homeowner.
The benefits of using small claims court over a foreclosure or lien are:
- The association can secure a judgment against the homeowner. Once the Association has a judgment, an Association can receive a Writ of Execution which allows them to garnish wages, seize assets (i.e., take money out of your checking account, and they know where that is because at one time the owner probably did make dues payments).
- The judgment follows the owner, separate from the condo. If the condo has little or no equity, or is under water, the Association can still use the judgment to take other assets, including a car.
- Judgment liens can appear on an owner's credit report, which is often a motivator to avoid non-payment of the judgment.
- A small claims court judgment is not held inferior to a mortgage holder's lien on the property.
But after all this effort and expense, the Association couldn't be bothered to show up for their own case. They'll probably re-file and try again, but good luck serving the defendant again. With a notice of default filed for this condo, it appears the defendant has moved out.(BTW: How is this NOT gross incompetence on the part of the Edgewater Isle Master homeowners association board of directors?)