Monday, November 26, 2012

Arizona Lawsuit Alleges Problems With HOAs, Management Firms That Use Inflated 'Tack-On' Fees Coupled With Foreclosure Threats To Rip Off Homeowners Who Miss Periodic Maintenance Dues


In San Tan Valley, Arizona, KTVK-TV Channel 3 reports:

  • As a single income household, Robert and Kristy Leatham find themselves spending a lot of family time at home.

    Kristy is a nursing student and Robert is a law enforcement officer. While they still find time for their two kids, Robert says an ongoing dispute with his homeowners association could cost him his home. “This is our home. This is where we want to raise our children,” he said. “I don't want to lose it.”

    It is common for HOA’s to contract with community management companies to oversee their day-to-day business dealings, like collecting HOA dues.

    Earlier this year, the Leatham's management company, a Tempe business called Associated Asset Management, placed a lien on the Leatham's San Tan Valley home after the Leathams fell behind on their HOA dues.

    Robert contacted AAM was shocked to learn his $150 in back payments had ballooned to more than $1300.

    According to Robert, his balance jumped to more than $1,300 because AAM had tacked on a number of fees including filing fees for the lien and attorney fees for the law firm AAM hired. Robert says the balance isn't fair at all. “The law firm and the management company making money off the back of homeowners is ridiculous,” Robert said.

    Robert hired his own attorney, Roger Wood, who told 3 On Your Side that he's discovered thousands of liens and lawsuits that he claims were wrongfully filed against Arizona homeowners, like the Leathams.

    As a result, Woods recently filed a class action lawsuit against AAM, claiming it, and 26 other management companies, violated fair debt collections practices by charging illegal and exorbitant collection fees.

    “That act is set up to help consumers, to help people like my plaintiffs in this case to protect themselves from unjust, unlawful predatory collection practices,” Wood explained.(1)
For the story, see Class action lawsuit filed against some Arizona HOA's.

For the lawsuit, see Crame, et al. v. 360 Management, LLC, et al.

(1) For other posts on the use of inflated fee rackets that transform miniscule debts into sizable amounts, coupled with the associated foreclosure threats, to squeeze homeowners who have fallen behind on their periodic maintenance assessments, water bills, real estate taxes, etc., see:

No comments: