WORRIED ABOUT LIENS/MUST READ
I’m sure you we have all received our annual demand for money and threat of lien notice from the Burning Tree Master Association. You will have found enclosed three pages, if you have refused to pay their unlawful assessments. The first page is a NOTICE letter from the Burning Tree Master Association stating that in Sept. 2012 they placed a lien on your property for the assessment year 2012-2013.
This letter is not truthful. Let’s look at the facts as stated by the Tulsa County Clerk’s Office, Department of Land Records. There is not a lien on your property. What the Burning Tree Master Association has filed is a NOTICE OF ASSESSMENT LIEN in the amount of $250.00 for the assessment year 2012-2013. As you will read below there is a great deal of difference between a Notice of Lien and a Lien. A Notice of Lien merely stays with the property until it is sold. At that time most sellers will just pay it in order to complete their sale and do not present the facts that they do not owe this money. The Burning Tree Master Association has for years counted on this method and only on a rare occasion actually brought suit for a judgment against a homeowner. When they did bring suite for a judgment they spent over $11,000.00 to collect $11,000.00. Total wash out as far as monetary value to the Burning Tree Master Association coffers was concerned. Just a big show of authority. If these defendants had presented the actual facts they might have won their cases. Burning Tree Area #4 Association, Inc. DOES have the necessary documents to help any residents win their case if the Burning Tree Master Association again tries to take lot owners to court for non-payment of assessments. JUST GIVE US A CALL IF THIS HAPPENS.
The second page is a demand for money and threat of lien assessment notice of $250.00 for the assessment year 2013-2014. The third page is a copy of your Customer Ledger at the Burning Tree Master Association, Inc. This page states the amount of past dues you currently owe. It does appear that the Burning Tree Master Association has charged a late fee of $40.00 to each one not paying the unlawful dues.
According to the Burning Tree Master Association minutes they were given a presentation by Marshall Dyer, an attorney, about collection of past due accounts. They also state that they have hired an attorney to soon begin to collect delinquent accounts. Perhaps they hired this gentleman to whip us into shape. It may be hard to do when the legal documents are presented in court. It is my contention that this attorney does not know all the legal facts.
FACT: Before a lien could even be put on property Oklahoma law requires certain steps must be taken. The BURNING Tree Master Association, Inc. has not been doing this.
O.S. §, 12 706 Creation of Lien. A judgment shall be a lien on the real estate of the judgment debtor within a county only from and after a Statement of Judgement has been filed in the office of the county clerk in that county. The Burning Tree Master Association board of directors has skipped the steps that allow members “due process”. Burning Tree Master Association has simply slapped Notice of Assessment Liens on property!! This action has deprived homeowners of their legal right to a hearing to defend themselves in court and never allowed a judge to look at the documents which very clearly show that homeowners are NOT the members! (See the links at the bottom to see much more about this subject.)
Read on to see why this action can have serious consequences for the Burning Tree Master Association board of directors who do so.
ATTORNEYS LETTERS SENT TO THE BURNING TREE MASTER ASSOCIATION (SUMMER 2011)
- First attorney’s letter to the then Burning Tree Master Association president advised that “unless the Master Association has authority to make such assessments against the lot owners in Burning Tree South, then, the filing of any lien for failure to pay the assessment would be unauthorized and unlawful. Filing of an unauthorized lien for failure to pay dues would constitute slander of title. Both the Master Association and you could be liable for treble damages, court costs and attorney fees in such a situation. “(Note this letter was sent to the BTMA President and when it says “you” in that last sentence it was referring to her, not to the homeowners.)
- Second attorney’s letter stated: “Please provide the Burning Tree Master Association’s authority for filing liens against property located in the Burning Tree South Addition. If no authority exists, this letter is a demand that the Burning Tree Master Association cease and desist the filing of such liens and that it file releases of any such liens currently recorded. If the Burning Tree Master Association fails to comply with this demand, the affected lot owners may be forced to file a Quiet Title action to remove the cloud on their titles. In any such action, they would likely seek all available damages, including their attorney’s fees and court costs.”
TO DATE, BURNING TREE MASTER ASSOCIATION HAS FAILED TO PRODUCE ANY DOCUMENTS THAT SHOW THEY HAVE THIS AUTHORITY! (The only two documents they have are the Articles of Incorporation and their By-Laws. Should they go to court to attempt to put liens on homeowners their own Articles of Incorporation state the members were to be the area associations, after the Declarant (61st and Memorial, Inc, which is now inactive) approved them. The Oklahoma Secretary of State does not show the associations were ever approved to be members.)
TAKE AWAY POINT
Oklahoma law provides that before any lien can be placed there are several important steps that the Burning Tree Master Association is required to do. This includes, but is not limited to, notification to “members” of any upcoming court date thus allowing “members” the right to defend them. (Besides “members” money may already be protected, from garnishment, under Federal and State laws.)
Depending on the outcome the Burning Tree Master Association could end up paying all court costs and attorneys fees, for each and every homeowner they attempt to lien.
GOOD NEWS FOR HOMEOWNERS: Should Burning Tree Master Association go ahead and put liens on without any authorization, attorneys have stated that in addition to Burning Tree Master Association being held liable board members could be also!! And remember they said the Burning Tree Master Association board could be liable for treble damages, court costs and attorney fees in such a situation. “might be paid to the homeowner they have done this to.
HERE ARE THE STATUTES THE ATTORNEYS WERE REFERRING TO:
Oklahoma Statutes Title 21. Crimes and Punishments
§ 1836.1. Execution of Deed to Remove Cloud Any person, firm, or officer, representative, or agent of any firm or corporation, who has at any time violated the provisions of the above section shall, upon the written request of any person who has and holds any right, title, or interest in such real estate, immediately execute and deliver such deed or conveyance as may be requisite to remove from the record the cloud on the right, title, and interest of such owner to the title and possession of said real estate.
§ 1836.2. Failure to Comply With Demand – Damages Any person, firm, or officer, representative, or agent of any firm or corporation, together with such firm or corporation, failing to comply with such demand to remove the said cloud upon the right to title and possession, shall be deemed to be guilty of a tort, and shall be held to respond in damages to the owner of any right, title, interest or right to possession of the real estate involved in a suit to quiet the title to said real estate in the amount of the cost, reasonable attorney’s fees, and other damage suffered on account of the said tort.
- www.hoatalk.com on Liens Scroll down to the Oklahoma post.
- Homeowner Association Law in Oklahoma