A harsh reality with particularly poignant impacts in the world of condominiums is that absent financial resources, virtually none of the association’s operations can proceed. For virtually all associations, the only source of revenue is the assessments levied against the units. Absent collection of these funds, the association will be unable to meet its financial obligations and, in turn, unable to provide proper services to the community. Thus, enforcement of association liens is an issue of paramount importance to their successful operation.
Fortunately, in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire, the legislatures and courts have afforded consistent and strong legal protection for the liens established through assessments. In both states, the association has the explicit right to collect all such assessments as well as the legal fees and costs associated with the pursuit of the funds. The law of both Massachusetts and New Hampshire also provides for the association to perfect a limited priority lien that takes precedence over even the first mortgage on the unit. Ultimately, if the issue is not resolved, a Massachusetts association may foreclose on a unit and sell the same to a high bidder via a foreclosure auction. In similar fashion, a New Hampshire association may ultimately transfer interest in a delinquent unit via a Sheriff’s Sale.
The process of enforcing condominium liens involves both state and federal debt collection law in addition to state condominium law. Since it is a statutory process, success requires proper attention to detail as well as timely action at each phase of the case. The team of attorneys at Winer & Bennett is well-versed in all aspects of the process. With decades of time and tens of thousands of cases worth of experience, our attorneys are the professionals to turn to for enforcement of liens. In fact, our attorneys do not just know the law, they help to shape it. Winer & Bennett attorneys have been involved with the Community Associations Institute’s Legislative Action Committees in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Attorney Daddario provided multiple terms of leadership to the CAI Attorney Committee and prevailed in a case before the Massachusetts Appeals Court that secured Superior Court jurisdiction for cases involving the enforcement of condominium liens. Our attorneys also publish articles on the topic of lien enforcement and teach seminars for various trade organizations including Community Associations Institute and Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education. They will also afford a private audience for lien enforcement programs to clients and property management companies at no charge.
While the Winer & Bennett team provides the expertise of our attorneys, we also provide skilled staff. Like the attorneys, our lien enforcement staff members each possess more than a decade of experience in this area of law. In order to ensure continuity of knowledge and convenience regarding communication with clients, each lien enforcement case is assigned to a particular attorney and staff member from start to finish. Further, in order to completely maximize results for our clients, Winer & Bennett combines our impressive team with comprehensive technology. With the addition of our new Tyngsboro location, Winer & Bennett engaged a software consultant to create a customized computer system capable of managing all lien enforcement cases. From tracking to reporting and including all aspects of case management, our brand new system offers state-of-the-art technological assistance to the team members handling your cases. The result is the maximization of efficiency, results and cost-effectiveness.