What do you do if your Home Owners Association (or Condo Owners Association) has sent you to collections and the collection attorney has collected multiple times and still says there is a judgment outstanding?
There are a number of concerns that need to be addressed in this particular case. First, let’s address the proper process to appeal the alleged judgment that has been placed against you for this property. We will address why I used the term “alleged” in a moment, but for now, let’s walk through the appropriate process for appeal.
Appeal the Judgment.
The amount of time allotted to notify the court that you will be appealing is 10 days from the date of the judgment. At this time, you would be required to “perfect” the appeal. This simply means paying the appeal bond which consists of the full amount of the judgment, 6 months of interest and court filing fees in the circuit court. Understandably, these costs can add up quickly and can sometimes be a challenge to pay, especially since the court gives you only 30 days to pay the full amount with no extensions. Depending upon the amount of the judgment, 30 days to pay could be a blessing or a curse. That is why there is an option to actually get the district or the circuit court to waive the appeal bond. In order to do this, you will need to file a motion stating that you would like to waive the appeal bond. Depending upon your financial need and the viability of your appeal case, the court will decide whether or not to waive your appeal bond.
Now that we know how to appeal a judgment, let’s address whether or not there is even a judgment to appeal in this case. You mention that you have paid the HOA attorney multiple times, only to have more fees attached. You also mention that you have already paid off the judgment in March, yet the attorney tells you that he has obtained a judgment against you. There is clearly some false information here, which is why this judgment is “alleged” as I mentioned earlier. Based on the information provided, the attorney either fabricated his claim about the money due, the judgment or both. Either way, he is in violation of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). This definitely warrants an investigation.
Hire An Attorney
There are many variables to consider in this case because it has many layers. You need to consult an attorney knowledgeable on the FDCPA and review your options like the potential need to appeal and determine what may or may not even be a judgment. Either way you look at it, you have a firm case against this attorney, just on ethics alone. Hire an attorney that can help you prove it in court.
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Krumbein Consumer Legal Services, Inc.
5310 Markel Rd.
Richmond, VA 23230