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Maine Alliance for Road Associations

Filing a 2nd Notice of Claim

  • 11 Mar 2021 10:38 AM
    Message # 10185331
    We send out our bills on a quarterly basis.  We will be filing a Notice of Claim on Bill #1.  In April Bill #2 will be come outstanding. What is the amount that we should claim- the accumulation of Bill #1 and #2?  or Only Bill #2 plus of course the other costs?
  • 11 Mar 2021 11:01 AM
    Reply # 10185393 on 10185331
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We always include all past due amounts each time we re-file a Notice of Claim, so that we don't have to renew the old claim and the new claim at different times.  But we only bill once a year.  If you are billing quarterly, you might want to consider the cost (plus the bother) of filing each time vs the additional amount owed.  If the quarterly payment is small, it might make more sense not to file a notice every quarter, and risk losing a one-quarter payment if the property sells. 

    Personally, I'd find it a pain to have to file more than once a year!  That's just my opinion, and of course the amount owed is a factor.  If your annual dues were only $100 with quarterly payments of $25, it wouldn't make much sense to pay the filing fee for a new NOC every four months.  But if your annual dues were $1000 with a quarterly payment of $250, that would make a lot more sense.

  • 12 Mar 2021 11:09 AM
    Reply # 10190250 on 10185331

    Thank you, Just to clarify, This is for winter plowing and sanding fees.  We pay 4 plows at a time so people can afford to keep up. This person chooses not to.

    Yes, one annual would be simpler.

    So to confirm, The 2nd NOC can be an accumulation of the 1st and 2nd bill?

  • 12 Mar 2021 1:09 PM
    Reply # 10190671 on 10185331
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Yes - just word it so it's clear that this notice is an update that includes the previous one rather than being added to it.  I'd mention the previous one by book and page number.

  • 13 Mar 2021 10:20 AM
    Reply # 10192866 on 10185331
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On looking into this further, it seems I was mis-remembering what I thought Mary Denison had said at our conference.  I looked up the form for Extension of Notice of Claim that we have posted in the Resources section, and it does NOT seem to add the new claim to the previous one, it simply extends the original one.

    The rest of the MARA Board also feels that each claim should be kept separate, although they do agree with me that filing a new claim every quarter might be more burdensome and costly than it's worth, and that you might consider not filing every time.   (Although you can add the filing fee to the amount they owe you.)

    It occurred to me that the attorneys have pointed out that in many respects, road associations operate similarly to town governments.  So I went to our Registry of Deeds website and looked up someone that I knew had not paid his property taxes for more than one year in a row a while back, to see how the town handled that.  Sure enough, the second year filing made no mention of the outstanding debt for the previous year, and when the person paid off the liens, they had to pay each one separately and get a separate discharge for each lien.

    So I'm sorry for misleading you.  I hope you have not already sent it out.  But if you have, I don't think it's a fatal mistake, as our road association has been filing cumulative notices, and those that have paid, have paid in full.

    Last modified: 13 Mar 2021 12:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • 13 Mar 2021 2:38 PM
    Reply # 10193379 on 10185331
    Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Emily Ecker wrote: 

    We send out our bills on a quarterly basis.  We will be filing a Notice of Claim on Bill #1.  In April Bill #2 will be come outstanding. What is the amount that we should claim- the accumulation of Bill #1 and #2?  or Only Bill #2 plus of course the other costs?

    It sounds to me as if you are considering recording a second Notice of Claim (NOC) on the next quarter bill, Bill #2, that will be 90 days delinquent in April. You may be planning to record a NOC as necessary with each bill on a quarterly basis. If this is your plan, then you would be recording multiple NOCs on the total maintenance fees to be paid by each owner approved by the owners at a single meeting of your association. I believe this would indeed be stretching the limits of the Private Ways Statute.

    Section 3101 details the call of meeting with 30 day advance notice to owners of the "meeting's agenda and all items to be voted on, including, ... all proposed budget items ... that will determine the amount of money to be paid by each owner". Regarding Penalties and Process, section 3104, "the commissioner or board may cause to be recorded in the county's registry of deeds a notice of claim for money owed pursuant to section 3101, 3102 or 3103 that is more than 90 days delinquent and may add to the amount owed the recording costs..."  These three sections emphasize the importance of manner of calling a meeting and the powers given the commissioner or board to authorize collection of monies approved for maintenance by the owners.

    If I may restate the above:  After fees approved by the owners at a duly called meeting are 90 days delinquent, a commissioner or board may place in the registry a NOC for said fees and recording costs against the property of the delinquent owner on behalf of a road association.

    One NOC per meeting for each delinquent owner.

    I doubt that the statutes would allow recovery of the recording costs for quarterly recordings of NOCs against the property of an owner on the fees approved at a single meeting. This would not be fair to the delinquent owner, not to mention the work involved in preparing and mailing four 20-day collection notices and recording four NOCs.

    If possible, once all approved fees have entered required  delinquency, I suggest that you target the total maintenance fee to be paid by each owner for the recording of a NOC, being sure to give the delinquent owner 20-day collection notice, waiting then 30 days after serving such notice before recording the NOC, and recording all necessary extensions within 18 months from the date of recording of the NOC or last extension.

    If the total fees involved are just too large or unwieldy for the membership, then I would recommend recording two NOCs, lumping 2 quarters, once both quarters' fees have entered required delinquency, keeping the amounts separate for follow-up recording of extensions. An owner majority vote accepting this policy would be a good indication that the policy is fair and equitable.

    Last modified: 15 Mar 2021 7:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • 21 Apr 2021 3:59 PM
    Reply # 10336255 on 10185331

    Update and question:  The person who has been delinquent partially pd. his bill.  Can we initiate a claim on the balance of what is due after 90 days.

    Last modified: 24 Apr 2021 10:59 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • 21 Apr 2021 4:52 PM
    Reply # 10336322 on 10185331
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Based on the information in your update and question. Yes, I believe you can.

    Last modified: 21 Apr 2021 4:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

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