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Condo Collection Moratorium Found Unconstitutional Associations May Now Proceed to Recover Unpaid Common Expenses

Editor’s Note: During this crisis, New England Condominium magazine will be passing along information, tips, and FAQs submitted by our network of industry professionals, including attorneys, managers, and other subject matter experts. The views and opinions expressed are those of the contributors, and as the situation evolves in the coming days and weeks, those views and opinions may evolve as well. We encourage readers to be mindful of this; check posting dates, make note of contributors’ locations and industries, and above all, consult with your own community professionals as you and your neighbors navigate this challenging landscape.

The Attorney General Regulation instituted on March 24 of 2020 that imposed a 90-day moratorium on debt collections has been declared unconstitutional by the District Court sitting in Massachusetts -- meaning that associations may now proceed in the ordinary course to recover unpaid common expenses. As a result of this decision, there are no longer restrictions banning threats of legal action in communications with owners. Associations and their managing agents may now inform owners that if their account is not resolved, it will be turned over to counsel for legal action. Additionally, an association is no longer precluded from filing a legal action or enforcing its lien. The prompt payment of common expenses is vital to the continued operation of associations, and this case validates the important rights of creditors to be able to continue operations. We are pleased that the Federal Court has reached this decision validating association rights, and we still encourage associations to work with owners during this unprecedented time to resolve unpaid common expenses. 

For the full text of the decision, [click here].  

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