Monday, July 10, 2017

Undisclosed Past Due $145 HOA Fee Owed By Prior Owner Purportedly Grows To $77K For Central Florida Woman Who Recently Purchased Condo Out Of Foreclosure; Claims Made Accusing Debt Collector Of Running Racket To Squeeze Victims Out Of Their Homes

In Winter Park, Florida, WFTV-TV Channel 9 reports:
  • A Winter Park woman claims a past-due homeowners association bill for $145 has turned into an astounding demand for $77,000.

    Ranya Hamza blames a debt collector that bought old association debts then, she claims, demanded homeowners pay sky-high fees.

    Hamza said these are scary times and she fears a debt collector may try to take her home. “This is killing me," she said. "I can't sleep. I cannot do anything.”

    She bought a Winter Park Villas condo in foreclosure but didn't know the previous homeowner owed $145 in association fees. Then, Hamza claims, out of the blue, LM Funding in Tampa sued to collect the debt that now totaled in the thousands.

    “They put a lien on my property just like that, just like that,” she said.

    HOAs often hire attorneys to collect unpaid dues, but Hamza faces something new and far more threatening.

    The condo association had been struggling so, like many other HOAs, it signed an agreement with LM Funding, which is a debt collector.

    LM Funding advanced the association money to cover maintenance bills and in exchange it took over right's to collect delinquent dues, like Hamza’s debt.

    But since she first disputed it, Hamza said LM Funding fees soared and now the company claims she owes $77,000. “And nobody is stopping them,” Hamza said.

    Several condo associations are trying to block LM Funding through a recently certified class-action lawsuit. The suit accuses the company of deceptive trade and illegally high interest rates.