Q: My condo asstn. has been misappropriating funds & or ignoring request for audit info for years. Do I have any recourse?
My condo association has used scare tactics and harassing tactics to squeeze money out of homeowners. Some have filed bankruptcy not not knowing the management company that has been receiving payments for the last 13 years, has been cancelled by the state. Yet they have still used a law firm to threaten and scare people into paying this phantom company association dues. But when documents are requested, they get ignored replies like, i was never informed are rebuffed. What options do i have for this type of fraud and harassment? I was threatened with lien and foreclosure on behalf of the association despite the management company being cancelled nearly 15 years ago.
A: The articles of incorporation are often cancelled for failure to pay annual fees. The corporation can have the articles reinstated and ratify the conduct by a shareholder's meeting. As a shareholder, I believe that every owner is a member of the association, you are entitled to receive the records and financial records of the corporation. If they fail to deliver you can recover $100.00 for the first day and $10 per day until compliance.
R.C. 1701.37 states:
(C) Any shareholder of the corporation, upon written demand stating the specific purpose thereof, shall have the right to examine in person or by agent or attorney at any reasonable time and for any reasonable and proper purpose, the articles of the corporation, its regulations, its books and records of account, minutes, and records of shareholders aforesaid, and voting trust agreements, if any, on file with the corporation, and to make copies or extracts thereof. Any written demand by an acquiring person to examine the records of shareholders for the purpose of communicating with shareholders of the issuing public corporation in connection with a meeting of shareholders called pursuant to section 1701.831 of the Revised Code shall be deemed to have been made by a shareholder of the issuing public corporation for a reasonable and proper purpose.
R.C. 1701.38 States:
(C) Upon request of any shareholder made in writing or by any other means of communication authorized by the corporation prior to the date of the meeting described in division (A) of this section, the corporation shall send a copy of the financial statements laid or to be laid before the shareholders at the meeting to the shareholder by mail, ***.
R.C. 1701.94 states:
(B) If any officer charged with one of the duties specified in division (A) of this section fails to perform such duty after written request by any shareholder, the officer shall be subject to a forfeiture of one hundred dollars, and to the further forfeiture of ten dollars for every day that such default continues, beginning in cases under paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4) of division (A) on the same respective days as are provided for in division (A), which amount shall be paid to each shareholder making such request. The right of each shareholder to enforce any such forfeiture is in addition to all other remedies.
A: If enough homeowners are dissatisfied, they can call a special election, remove the current board members and elect a new board of directors, hire a new management company, hire new attorneys, and get all the financial records. The unhappy homeowners can join together and use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local real estate attorney to review all the circumstances and guide them through the process.
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