Boards Underwater Can Associations Float When Units are Sinking?

Global financier JP Morgan Chase owes the Keys Gate Community Association, Inc., in Homestead almost $20,000. The bank foreclosed on the borrower of a condominium unit and took title to it, then paid no maintenance fees for almost two years.

Ben Solomon, managing partner at Association Law Group, a Miami-based law firm specializing in collections, says JP Morgan Chase recently “dumped the unit at its own foreclosure sale (at less than 25 percent of its original loan amount) to an unsuspecting purchaser, who will now be held jointly and severally responsible with JP Morgan for the past due amounts,” Solomon says.

The association sued the bank. When JP Morgan Chase did not respond to the association’s lawsuit, the association asked the court for a summary judgment. The request is pending.

A recent article in the Palm Beach Postdetails a situation involving a foreclosed condo belonging to Wells Fargo bank. Wells Fargo Bank is responsible for a West Palm condo unit that they foreclosed on because of an unpaid $197,000 mortgage. The bank took ownership of the empty condo last year. As in the above situation, the bank never paid the $260 monthly maintenance fees to the association. And to make matters worse, the physical condition of the bank’s empty condo deteriorated.

A mold issue developed due to a faulty washer-dryer hookup, according to association president Alan Meltzer, who has made a point of going after the bank to fix the unit. “We had to gut the apartment,” Meltzer told the newspaper. “It was a big job. They had to go in with hazmat suits.” The Forest Condominium Association filed a lien against the bank, estimating that the mold repairs and the accumulating monthly maintenance fees owed by Wells Fargo to the association was $23,210.

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