Carolina Common Elements Legal Disclaimer
This blog discusses topics of interest to homeowners’ association board members, residents of communities with associations, and community property managers, across North Carolina and South Carolina. Comments shared here are general in nature and are not intended to provide legal advice for readers.
About Kirk Palmer Thigpen’s Community Association Practice
Through representing over 700 community associations in the Carolinas, our team is uniquely positioned to provide guidance to our clients on every aspect of condominium and community association law. Our firm’s services cover the entire spectrum of condominium and community association law, including legal treatment of the following:
- Creating and organizing homeowners’ associations.
- Interpreting, enforcing, and amending restrictive covenants, bylaws, and other governing documents.
- Collection of unpaid dues and assessments, including liens, foreclosures, and bankruptcies
- Attending homeowners’ association meetings and advising HOA boards on governance, compliance, and other related issues.
- Real estate transactions, title disputes, and condemnation proceedings.
- General litigation and dispute resolution.
Collection of Delinquent Dues
Although there are various methods that can be used for the collection of dues, experience has taught us that the claim of lien/foreclosure process is the most efficient and cost-effective. We have systemized much of this process, and as a result of these efficiencies are able to render these services on a “flat fee” basis rather than billing by the hour, keeping costs down.
General Counsel Services
In addition to collections, we also serve as general counsel to homeowners’ associations. These services may include matters such as researching and rendering legal opinions on interpretation of the declarations and bylaws, state and federal laws; association and board governance issues; dealing with violations of restrictive covenants or rules and regulations; condemnation/eminent domain proceedings by local and state governments; attending board and association meetings; and assisting with amendments to the declarations and bylaws.
Our practice also covers the representation of HOAs in bankruptcy court. The most common Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief sought by HOAs, the motion for relief from stay, must be filed prior to commencing any collection activities on dues that become due after a homeowner files for bankruptcy. Often the fees can be recouped from the debtor’s Chapter 13 plan.
We have a woman who filed as the registered agent in 2004 in SC for a homeowners association for a neighborhood. She has a bank account that has her as the sole signer. There are no bylaws and no officers, etc. She holds this document up and property owners believe she has power. What can be done since many property owners will not understand that we in fact do not have an association. She says it is an ad hoc association run by committee, but no one knows who the committee is. She says anyone can form a committee for any purpose they choose. If it is not her committee then she bullies the idea away.
The Registered Agent for a corporation has no authority whatsoever over the functioning or decision-making of the corporation. The Agent is simply the person that the corporation has designated to be served with any legal notices that need to be served on the corporation. Only the board of directors (elected by the members), and the officers appointed by the board, can exercise any authority on behalf of the corporation.