Marietta, GA asked in Bankruptcy, Real Estate Law, Arbitration / Mediation Law and Collections for Georgia

Q: My condo association and I are at odds over assessments, fees, and interest. For water and association expenses,

I declared bankruptcy in 2016. I received a ledger from Lazega & Johanson, a collection law firm, very away after receiving my bankruptcy discharge. It stated that I owed them an absurd sum in association dues, which included fees and interest.

I discovered after looking at the charges that I had previously given the company the requested sum for the evaluations. I have all of my banking institutions' automatic pay system receipts.

A few days later, I got a letter telling me I had 30 days to pay up or the association would start foreclosing on my house with a lien. This is what I perceive as an attempt extort me for more money.

2 Lawyer Answers
Cristina M. Lipan
Cristina M. Lipan
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Wantagh, NY

A: Per Bankruptcy Code 523(a)(16), these debts are probably not dischargeable in bankruptcy, so you would continue to owe them. Whether they represent an accurate balance of what you owe is a different issue.

I suggest clearly breaking down all charges and payments made (like a statement), include all support showing payment, and present to the collection law firm. Collection firms do the work on a volume basis, so it's possible they won't pay attention, but at least you have a record you notified them. Make sure you have a copy of what you sent them and receipt of delivery (certified mail or fedex etc). If they begin foreclosure proceedings, you will present your evidence of the payments you made to the Court.

This is not legal advice. I suggest you retain an attorney to help you. You may be able to get the Court to order they pay your attorneys' fees, if you can prove you told them you already paid, and they ignored you.

Timothy Denison agrees with this answer

Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Jacksonville, FL

A: You can perceive anything you like, but what you have is a basic dispute over money. You claim you are paid up, the association claims that you are not. If you can prove that you paid the assessments on time that the HOA claims you did not, that would be a pretty good defense to the foreclosure suit. If you stopped paying after the bankruptcy OR if you did not include the HOA as a creditor in your petition, you may have issues. Retain a good foreclosure defense lawyer.

Anthony M. Avery and Timothy Denison agree with this answer

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