Salem, MA HOA sued me over $140 in late fees; put lein on condo; threaten to foreclose

Ron J. Tempe AZ
May 16, 2016
Todd Wetzelberger, Baltimore Maryland
May 16, 2016

Salem, MA HOA sued me over $140 in late fees; put lein on condo; threaten to foreclose

After living in this Salem condo for 13 yrs, never running more than 2 mos late with monthly dues, and paying almost $10,000 for a special assessment, the trustees of the Hamlet charged ahead with a frivolous lawsuit against me, claiming I owed them $140 in late fees, PLUS an extra $5000 it cost them to engage their lawyer in this ridiculous action.

Despite my numerous letters, emails to all of the board members, the property manager (Crowninshield), the owner of the property management firm, they ignored everything in their aggressive pursuit of injustice.  Every state legislator I contacted, the AG office, the BBB, our state reps, the mayor of Salem, realtors I contacted,  all agreed this was ridiculous action on the part of an out of control board of trustees, nobody had heard of such a thing, and since there are NO STATE LAWS TO PROTECT CONDO OWNERS IN MASSACHUSETTS,  basically HOAs have unlimited power to do whatever they want whether illegal, immoral, unethical AND NOT BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS!

They all advised me to get a lawyer, go before a judge so that justice would be served.  Unfortunately, the judge hearing my case wasn’t paying attention to my lawyer’s legal citations, was visibly enamoured by the HOA’s lawyer,  and  ruled 100% in favor of the HOA, which included claiming I owed 3 months of  condo fees (I OWED ZERO CONDO FEES, WAS TOTALLY CURRENT), along with the $140 late fee, plus another $5000 plus for the HOA’s attorney to pursue this frivolous lawsuit. He granted them permission to place a lein on my condo and pursue foreclosure action to “collect their debt”.

After owning 4 previous homes, this was my first, and will be my last, condo. With all the foreclosure and financial ruin insanity being caused by the banks, condo owners must be made aware that unethical, out of control, power hungry HOAs have the same power to destroy lives, their towns, their states, ultimately the country, and get away with it.

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