Intriguing Massachusetts Court Decision

I’m not smart enough to figure out all the implications of this decision. It has to do with collections of HOA and Condo fees by law firms and how they may violate the letter of federal law governing Fair Debt Collection.

If you’re as attention deficit disordered as I am, you can quickly skip down to the section entitled “Implications of the McDermott decision to get a general sense of what this decision could mean nationally.

If this decision spreads to other states, it might be a ticklish time for HOA lawyers to get into the collection business. They just might find themselves hit with massive damage suits.

Two for the Price of One? The First Circuit Holds that a Violation of the FDCPA is a Per Se Violation of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Statute | JD Supra



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Ward Lucas is a longtime investigative journalist and television news anchor. He has won more than 70 national and regional awards for Excellence in Journalism, Creative Writing and community involvement. His new book, "Neighbors At War: the Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association," is now available for purchase. In it, he discusses the American homeowners association movement, from its racist origins, to its transformation into a lucrative money machine for the nation's legal industry. From scams to outright violence to foreclosures and neighborhood collapses across the country, the reader will find this book enormously compelling and a necessary read for every homeowner. Knowledge is self-defense. No homeowner contemplating life in an HOA should neglect reading this book. No HOA board officer should overlook this examination of the pitfalls in HOA management. And no lawyer representing either side in an HOA dispute should gloss over what homeowners are saying or believing about the lawsuit industry.

2 thoughts on “Intriguing Massachusetts Court Decision

  1. Cynthia

    Thank you to MD for sharing this a few days ago. Please pay attention to the focus and wording in this press release!

    Re: HOAs – Massachusetts – 06.28.15 – MASSACHUSETTS LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
    The Massachusetts Legislative Action Committee (MALAC) drafted and filed three bills for the 2013/2014 legislative session that will have a positive impact on condominium associations throughout Massachusetts. As the bills progress through the legislative process, the LAC is going to need assistance from each of you, and will be providing updates as to how you can help. To start, please call and/or email your State Representative and State Senator to voice your support for these three bills. When calling or emailing you should inform the Senator or Representative that you are his/her constituent, a member of CAI, and that these bills are important to you. Below please find a brief description of the three bills.
    Senate Bill 602 – An act to clarify chapter 183A of the general laws Filed by Senator Brian A. Joyce and referred to the Housing Committee. This bill seeks to accomplish two goals. First, the bill will clean up a contradiction in the Massachusetts Condominium Act regarding the process for granting easements and limited common areas. Second, the bill will add a new provision to the Condominium Act stating that if condominium documents require the consent of mortgagees to amend the documents, and the mortgagee does not respond to a written request for such consent within sixty (60) days, consent shall be deemed given. Given the difficulty in obtaining a timely response from the large national banks, this amendment will save Associations significant time and expenses associated with trying to obtain mortgagee consents.
    Senate Bill 603 – An act to clarify condominium priority liens Filed by Senator Brian A. Joyce and referred to the Housing Committee. This bill seeks to clarify the fact that a condominium association’s priority lien for common expenses is not limited to one six month lien period, but shall include all six month lien periods established in accordance with the statute. This bill is critical to ensuring that associations can continue to enforce multiple priority liens over the first mortgage. Given that the common expenses are the life blood of a condominium association, the need to adequately protect an association’s lien for common expenses is essential.
    Senate Bill 726 – An act relative to construction defect claims by condominium owners Filed by Senator James B. Eldridge and referred to the Judiciary Committee. This bill would clarify that the tolling of the statute of limitations and statue of repose for construction defect claims against a developer by the condominium association would not begin until the developer has turned over control of the condominium association to the unit owners. This bill would correct the serious inequity that currently exists whereby a developer retains control of the association for an extended period of time effectively preventing any remedy for the unit owners against the developer for construction defects.
    For more information on any of the bills and how you can help please contact CAI at 781-237-9020 x13.
    Related link shared:
    05.08.15 – Senate leader seeks ethics inquiry of Brian Joyce
    Rosenberg push comes amid pressure on Joyce


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