A Big Victory for Associations Struggling During Foreclosure Crisis
FORT LAUDERDALE, June 11, 2013 Alden Hotel Condominium came out the big winner in a judgment awarded on May 10th, 2013 by the Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Circuit in Miami-Dade, Florida – CASE NO.: 2012-21212-CA-01 (02). “Many associations aren’t willing to fight against the banks because they assume companies like Fannie Mae are the authority. We were willing to make an aggressive argument on behalf of our client and we prevailed,” said Mauri Peyton, partner at PeytonBolin and lead counsel on the case.
According to court documents, Fannie Mae had taken title to one of the Alden Hotel units through bank foreclosure and refused to pay the past-due assessments. They claimed that they were the first mortgagee entitled to safe harbor protection, but the bank foreclosure was brought by an entirely different bank.
“This Association, like so many, really needed the money and Fannie Mae tried to take advantage of their desperation by refusing to make any payments until the Association agreed to a steep discount. The board members who volunteered so much of their time to this case deserve a huge thanks for their willingness to persevere on behalf of the condo,” added Peyton.
PeytonBolin was able to show that the evidence provided by Fannie Mae was unreliable and didn’t prove that Fannie Mae ever had an interest in the loan. During the trial, EverHome Mortgage Vice President and FNMA key witness Alan Proctor admitted to submitting a false affidavit in the bank’s foreclosure action. The judge ruled in favor of the association for all assessments, interest, late fees, and collection costs accruing from 2007.
“Most associations do not have the funds to afford litigation against much better capitalized, for-profit banking institutions” said Alexander Moskovitz, CFO of Association Financial Services (http://www NULL.associationfinancialservices NULL.com/). “Fortunately, with collaboration and the trust that exist between The Alden, Association Financial Services, and Peyton Bolin, a positive outcome for the community was reached while also preserving the economic cash flow for the association. ”
The Community Association Manager, Raphael Gutierrez, described the difficulties Alden has endured, “It’s sad to come across situations like the one the Alden Hotel and Condominium has had to endure as of late. Thankfully, because of the case presented by PeytonBolin, the Miami-Dade County Circuit Court sided with Alden in this David vs. Goliath battle. We hope by sharing our experience, we can give hope to those who face similar circumstances.”
A notice of appeal was filed on or about 6/6/13. Stay tuned for updates on how this case develops and the impact it will have on association law. For a copy of the final judgment click here.
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PeytonBolin, PL is a Florida-based law firm focused on the practice of Community Association Law, providing legal services to associations and individual owners. Partnering with condominium and homeowner associations throughout Florida, PeytonBolin PL provides collections services, covenant enforcement, and guidance to boards to successfully manage their community affairs. Representation for both associations and individuals encompasses the key areas of insurance, construction, contract disputes and debt collection.