Hello Superstars - have you had any success with negotiating HOA payoff when it is handled by Business Law Group PA out of Tampa. My short sale listing is approved by both lenders and if we were to pay only delinquent fee the file can close. Attorney fees more than double balance due and take the entire payoff in $30,000 figure which makes closing impossible. Business Law Group told me they do not negotiate the payoff and HOA board said they are bound by the contract with BLG and there is nothing they can do.
Over $15k in attorney fees? Sounds like maybe they bought the lien, not just hourly work even though the HOA attorneys tend to bill about 4-5 times the amount of a mortgage plaintiff attorney.
All the cases I'm aware of in Palm Beach county, the ruling seems to be that 720.3085 is treated as retroactive to all mortgages, but the statute doesn't state that, and different attorneys have different opinions, of course. That particular association needs to realize the error of using this particular firm, it seems.
Business Law Group is tied closely to LM Funding that buys the debt from these HOAs and takes over collection efforts. The HOA gets paid a small portion of what is owed to them right away when they engage Busines Law Group and LM Funding in exchange, they sell the collection rights to the law group. The HOA isn't in a place to discuss the debt and will refer you to the law group. The law group will say it's up to the HOA so you will have a difficult time getting anywhere with either entities. Check out LM Funding's website so you can learn about how they market to HOAs that are cash starved. I've had a couple deals with Business Law Group and couldn't get anywhere with them. Nobody would take responsibility for being able to make a decision and kept pointing the finger at someone else. I wouldn't expect the law group or the HOA to settle for less than the full balance. Only chance of getting it done would be to get the buyers or sellers to cover the difference for the HOA debt.
I have one where the seller had a huge pay drop before the condo was completed. He tried to lose his $30,000 deposit but not close as he knew he couldn't keep the condo in Naples, FL as a second home. This was in 2006. He has never seen the condo. He has tried to work out something with the HOA's (there are two) to no avail. I have been trying to get the exact amount from the attorney for the HOA's since February of this year. I have sent in requests I was given a response from one of them in June from a assistant saying it make take some time but definitely not more than 15 days as that was the law. Still no answer. The seller has saved some money to work with the HOA's which I have told the attorney. He asked me what was the big rush the bank hadn't done anything since last September. I told him that the bank definitely has done something as the servicer was changed several months ago to SLS. But, no one seems to care. It looks like someone at some point lived in the condo as I found hangers in the closet and other signs. No one knows anything about that. The bank wants to know what is going on. There is a buyer for the unit but for how much longer I don't know. The attorney originally told me the HOA's were over $45k. But, they just keep going up adding in the club fees, the golf fees, the cable fees and so on for a unit the owner has never seen completed. Help anyone have any ideas? I want to help my client but I don't have anymore ideas.
I am dealing with them now on a bank owned REO foreclosure... I know Florida law only allows the attorney to collect 12 months of past due HOA fees on a foreclosure... per FL statute 718.116(1)(b)
The attorney responded with this to us:
"Section 718.116(1)(b), Florida Statutes, provides for a limited exception known as safe harbor. In order to qualify for the safe harbor exception, an entity must bring the foreclosure action, name the Association in that action, be the owner and holder of the Note and Mortgage, and be the first mortgagee, its successor, or its assignee.
If you believe that your client qualifies for the safe harbor exception, please provide the following documents:
Once the attorney has all of those documents, we can make an accurate assessment of your client’s qualification for the limited safe harbor exception."
I would think Business Law Group is in violation of Florida law if they are not following this statute.