Discussion in 'The Green Room' started by Forbin, Feb 25, 2017.
Might be something to bring up during the next election then.
My wife spent her lunch trying to get hold of our title insurance agency from 25 years ago. Finally got thru to the company that bought that company yaddayadda. Thankfully they're aware of the situation and have a lawyer assigned to the case. All we have to do is send them our info to be included. The thing that had us nervous was that the class action suit had a 30-day time limit to "respond", or it would be assumed that we didn't object, and wouldn't be able to argue. This supposedly covers or butts.
There's also going to be a lawyer at the angry villager meeting to advise us.
The sheer number of people negatively affected by this nonsense is staggering. Not the just the 1,620 residents, but real estate companies, mortgage, title insurance agencies, lawyers, people who are trying to buy a house in the town, people who are trying to sell a house in the town...
This is an infuriating situation. I hope you find justice.
Somebody turned up a letter the Lake Association sent to its members in 2006 where they admitted there were a lot of problems with things like record keeping, finances, etc. They admitted they never passed out shareholder certificates or kept records of membership passing from one homeowner to the next. Other things that went over my head. The folks on the anti-lake association facebook group think this will be a major "gotcha" against them. We're hoping.
Meanwhile we chatted with a neighbor who started paying the ransom when the first "bills" went out in 2012. They say they don't mind, since they occasionally used the lake in the past. They're stuck paying forever now, we suppose, since they gave in. But then he suddenly had the thought that since they go away for several months every summer, why should he keep paying when he's not even in town? Oh well...
And now somebody came up with an actual shareholder's certificate that says, right on it, "must be transferred to new homeowner by a lawyer." Never happened.
Meanwhile, we heard the town council meeting was cablecast on channel 77, so we tuned in. A couple of frightened people (who apparently haven't been on the facebook group) came forward to ask the mayor why they got summonses, why they're being sued. One poor old fella was worried if this meant they could take his house away! The mayor reassured him no, but then just kept deflecting, saying she couldn't help, go contact your title insurance agency. Another man got up and opined that with so many (thousands!) of people being negatively affected, he wishes the town could step in and... The mayor interrupted, kept deflecting, saying she couldn't help, go contact your title insurance agency. He asked if the town could come up with some legislation to prevent this kind of thing happening in the future. A councilman said no, such legislation would be at the state level.
My wife kept muttering "See if we elect any of you useless assholes again!"
So yeah, the town will be no help.
My wife emailed the title insurance company to clarify a question we had: Is their involvement only to confirm the total lack of anything in the title that says these assholes can compel us to send them money? Their answer was nope, they will be providing legal defense, free of charge, right up until the court makes a final decision on the case. Then we got snail mail from a law firm in Chicago that will be handling the case, at the insurance company's expense.
That poor old scared guy at the council meeting? We heard when the meeting ended, three people in the gallery came to him and offered to help him get his paperwork squared away. Nice to hear something nice in this mess.
My thoughts after reading all this are...
Isn't this exactly what Title Insurance is for?
Mind you, I'm not a lawyer or a real estate professional, so no idea.
^Apparently so, 'cause they promise to handle the whole thing at their expense.
Just gotta send scans of the title insurance and the deed to the lawyer in Chicago.
The title ins guy says he can't imagine this ever going as far as a trial. I guess just a hearing before a judge - hopefully the same judge from the prelim hearing who seemed to think they were crazy.
That would be great!
Okay, this is hysterical - last week the Lake Association sent out a letter trying to explain to us all why they were doing what they were doing, why they HAD to sue everybody, what they needed the money for, please don't be mad... and they attached a sign-up form in case you wanted to forget the whole thing and agree to start paying your dues right away.
Today we got CCed an email from our Title Insurance company's lawyer TO the Lake Association, reminding them that the court directed them NOT to contact the people they're suing at all, reaming their asses for sending the letter, which included suggestions that can be construed as legal advice, and statements that are politely characterized as "could not be further from the truth." And demanding they send a follow-up letter retracting everything they said in that one. They've already spent (reportedly) $13k on mailings for the law suit.
One person on the facebook group thought the Association's letter might constitute contempt of court.
These people are their own worst enemies.
There was an anti-lake assoc meeting last night in a hall in town. So many people showed up (the hall holds 150), that they scheduled a second meeting later that night, and turned away a few hundred people.
One guy posted a video trying to find parking - 2.5 minutes rolling along local streets up to the hall, solid cars both sides of the road. Then the parking lot jammed solid with people looking to get in.
News 12 NJ did a piece on it last night. Audio of the lady doing the suing, saying "If they want to enjoy the benefits of the lakes, they need to step up and take some responsibility for their maintenance!" Then a counter point from one of us asking what about the people who live 1 - 2 miles away from the lakes, never use the lakes, never even heard of the lakes, don't give a shit about the lakes...
The anti group is going dark now they have lawyers involved. No more facebook updates, strictly email contact.
Best of luck to us all!
May the odds be ever in your favor.
Just discovered that the security dept at work requires us to notify them if we become involved in a law suit. I guess they're worried about us being compromised or blackmailed into revealing company secrets. I explained the suit to our security chief. His reaction: "You can't make this shit up!"
I don't tell my security dept a god-damned thing. No sense drawing attention to yourself - you just open up the floodgates to incriminate yourself.
There was a hearing on 5/10, which we're told was largely "administrative" and lead to no final decisions. Homeowners have been given an extension until July to file their opposition. The judge ordered that the Lake Association can NOT demand any money (I think the wording was "assess a fee") from us until the suit is settled (yay!), and it may slog on for years.
There's video in a news item of one lawyer on our side saying "The bylaws specifically state, in black and white, that shareholders are NOT responsible for debts incurred by the Association." Which sounds promising. Someone else may have come up with a possible instance of the dues being quoted as voluntary, not mandatory, in writing.
The possibility of a motion to dismiss was mentioned, but I guess they need more court bullshit to happen before they can do that officially.
Got CCed on an update from one of the law firms representing some of us. The lawyer said the Association admitted in court that dues were always voluntary, until they decided to make them mandatory in 2012 when they ran out of money. That CAN'T look good for them.
And I seem to live right at the edge of the 700 acres involved. The folks 8 houses up the road didn't get a summons, and the folks two blocks north didn't. Somebody who saw the plot map said the area looks ridiculously ragged and arbitrary.
Thanks for the update. Between this going dark and the resolution of the Great Roommate Adventure the Green and Blue rooms had lost all sense of anticipation.
In the ongoing vitriol on the anti-RML facebook page, someone who actually lives on the lake chimed in. We asked her if she agreed with the association suing us for dues. She said absolutely not. Even as a resident on the lake, she said her dues have always been said to be voluntary. She said over the years the lake has flooded her house out several times, and the association has never lifted a finger to help her. So she stopped paying dues.
So even people ON the lake are pissed at this group!
Nah. No forward motion that we know of.
It's so dead, people on the FB page are starting to come up with conspiracy theories about the law firm that's helping us. Why are they so anxious to help? Why do they want $375 from each of us?? (talk about answering your own question!)
Isn't the law firm helping you funded by your title insurance?
Mine is, yes. There are two categories there: 1) People who found their title insurance documents and are having title insurance lawyers handling them for free; B) People who can't find their title insurance and need to hire their own lawyers. A local reputable firm has stepped up to take care of those people, for a fee of $375 per household.
And supposedly that firm has won a similar case before, so we're hopeful.
Word is the lawyers have filed a motion for dismissal. I'm not sure if this is significant of some turn in the case, or if it's just SOP.
Nope, neither. One of the law teams on the case decided to file for dismissal. Our title insurance lawyers let us know they were not, because they thought it would be a mistake, and RML might file a counter-motion (at which point my eyes crossed from the ensuing legaleze repercussions).
Mind you, it sucks that you're having to go through this. But, I enjoyed reading all of it at once rather than having to sit and wait for months on end. It's like I got to binge watch a whole series rather than settling for just one episode per week.
Fun on a bun. This shit is why HOAs need to be outlawed.
In the midst of what will probably be years of no forward motion, two stupid events:
1) The Lake Association asked the court if they could rephrase (or reapply, or re-something) the initial suit, and actually claim to be a real homeowners association in the paperwork. Methinks the judge was not amused.
2) They sent out another round of bills, trying to hit us up for "back dues" to the 2012 date that they started sending bills. Anyone who actually pays will be acknowledging they're a shareholder and trapped into paying forever. The advice of the legal team is to ignore it. When I asked if the association should be allowed to issue bills in the midst of a lawsuit, i was told the defense attorneys agreed it didn't do any harm. The first page of the mailing was slathered with whiny excuses as to why they felt they had to sue the entire town.
Separate names with a comma.