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Maine Alliance for Road Associations

18 month extension of a notice of claim (lien)

  • 24 Feb 2020 6:39 PM
    Message # 8767629

    A notice of claim expires 18 months from the date of recording unless extended prior to expiration by recording of a notice of extension of the notice of claim. I checked with the county registry of deeds office. They do not have any guidance on this extension other than it requires notarization and a filing fee. My question was whether the extension of the notice of claim can change the amount of the original notice of claim to include the additional filing fee for the extension and notary fees. Has anyone had experience with this issue?

  • 25 Feb 2020 7:36 AM
    Reply # 8768510 on 8767629
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I am about to record a "Notice of Extension" in the Registry. I plan to add the filing fees and cost of mailing to the amount of the original assessment on the Notice of Claim. You may add fee for Notary as a cost of collection. I will use my bank "Notary" for free and mail a copy  of the recorded Extension to the member in default by Certified mail, Return Receipt Requested. 

    Last modified: 27 Feb 2020 5:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • 25 Feb 2020 12:13 PM
    Reply # 8769265 on 8767629
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    One thing I'm unclear about is if you can add the subsequent year's unpaid dues onto the claim when you renew it, or if you have to file a separate notice of claim for each year?  Or, if you miss renewing the claim before it runs out, can you file a new claim that includes both the old claim and the current year's dues?

  • 26 Feb 2020 2:28 PM
    Reply # 8773772 on 8767629
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Our Association has filed several Notices of Claim and, as well, Notices of Extension.  When we have filed the extension notice, we have noted the accrued interest (allowed by our Bylaws) and additional small costs such as the fee for filing the extension.

    We did have one instance where we missed the 18 month deadline for filing the Notice of Extension.  To address this, we simply filed a new Notice of Claim and, in the body of the notice, mentioned the filing date of the original Notice of Claim (including the Book and Page number).  I think that should be sufficient as long as the owner hasn't sold the property in the interval between the expiration of the 18 month extension and the date of the filing of the new Notice of Claim.

    I have these documents and, if helpful, would be glad to share the specific language we used to address these issues.    

  • 26 Feb 2020 6:41 PM
    Reply # 8775314 on 8767629

    If you wouldn't mind sharing the basic language in your refiling of the original filing after 18 month expiration, it would be helpful. I was told it was lost if extension not filed within 18 months but could not get any guidance as to where the interpretation  of the statute could be found or information as to refiling a claim. Kept being told to consult real estate attorney - fees would cost more than the claim.

  • 26 Feb 2020 7:54 PM
    Reply # 8775401 on 8767629
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Since each association meeting where owners approve a member assessment has its own due date and default date 90 days later, I believe each assessment is best carried forward in the collection process as a separate entity associated with its own fees, interest penalties, and costs. We currently have one owner who refuses to pay. If we had more than one, the following protocol would apply to each delinquent owner.

    I use a separate "advanced collection" folder dedicated to the delinquent owner for each meeting. Annually, I send a letter to the owner that lists past delinquent assessments separately and adds present charges in sum total. Our Association hopes to recover delinquent assessments when the property is sold (a distinct possibility) or remortgaged. The $2500 currently outstanding does not seem worth the turmoil of direct legal confrontation.

    On the topic of  the "missed 18 month deadline", I'm not an attorney; I basically agree that the above solution should work with one possible addition:

    The original Notice of Claim (NOC) has fully expired. Since the mailing of a "20-Day Notice" and withholding the recording of the associated NOC until 30 days thereafter are closely linked in 23 MRS §3104, I would issue a new 20-Day Notice prior to renewal of the expired NOC to be on the safe side.

    Because the lapsed NOC was no fault of the delinquent owner, I would not charge for the costs of renewal. 

     


    Last modified: 03 Mar 2020 7:45 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • 28 Feb 2020 7:59 AM
    Reply # 8781497 on 8769265
    Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Anonymous wrote:

    One thing I'm unclear about is
    ...if you miss renewing the claim before it runs out, can you file a new claim that includes both the old claim and the current year's dues?


    Keep the old claim and the current year’s dues separate.  

    1. Renew the old claim by sending a new 20-Day Notice and follow up 30 days later by recording a new NOC. As suggested above, you could include a paragraph referring to “superseding and replacing” the expired NOC at Book and Page, etc.

    2. If current year’s dues are more than 60 days overdue, you can mail a 20 Day Notice and follow 30 days later with a NOC on the current year’s dues. 

    Please confirm the above with your legal advisor. 

    Last modified: 28 Feb 2020 1:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • 01 Jun 2021 6:49 AM
    Reply # 10579604 on 8767629
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I would like to rescind the above response. Attorneys Denison and Cunningham have agreed that once an Extension of Notice of Claim has expired after 18 months it cannot be "renewed" by another extension or Notice of Claim. See Discussion Forum post #10565714, May 27, 2021.

    Last modified: 01 Jun 2021 6:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • 02 Jun 2021 2:29 AM
    Reply # 10582593 on 8767629
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    However, they did say that all is not lost - you can still file for the entire amount in small claims court.  You just can't renew an expired Notice of Claim after the deadline has been missed. 

    But I find this whole process doesn't make sense when it comes to the long term non-payer.  If each year's claim has to be filed separately rather than as one cumulative claim, and each claim has to be renewed every 18 months to keep from expiring, (and they recommend filing after 12 months to keep from getting too confusing with the half year,) that means that for a person who has not paid in twelve years, I would have to make twelve separate filings this year.  And thirteen next year...

  • 04 Jun 2021 10:10 AM
    Reply # 10591124 on 8767629
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Roberta,

    If you and I are among the long-term tax payers referenced in your second paragraph, then I agree that, for us, keeping records on delinquent owners, recording claims and extensions, can be daunting. I do not find the process "senseless". Please let me explain.

    A claim arises from a duly called meeting when an assessment enters delinquency after approval by a majority of owners voting in person or absent and voting by proxy or absentee ballot. In our association records, each delinquent claim is given a folder to hold all related documents and receipts for costs of collection. Each claim then follows a distinct and separate process through to settlement. Placing myself in the position of the court, I fear any attempt at cumulative recording of multiple claims would hopelessly confuse time intervals, recording dates, and costs per claim at settlement.

    I would prefer a longer extension period (say, every 2 years). I see no evidence in Mary Denison’s above referenced response that recommends extensions be recorded annually to reduce confusion. That makes little sense to me and it is unfair to the delinquent owner who must eventually pay costs of recording. 

    To avoid confusion, I have a hanging file labeled, “Delinquent Claims, NEXT!” It contains a stack of papers binder-clipped in chronological order; copies of collection worksheets (see Resources Page), one for each delinquent claim, containing the owner's name, type of association meeting, date, assessment amount, and, penciled in the upper right corner on the sheet at the top of the pile, the upcoming date for recording the next notice of claim or extension. I put these dates in my calendar for the coming year. After the delinquent claim at the top has been recorded, I pencil in a new recording date 18 months hence, and place the sheet on the bottom of the stack. More details of our process may be found in this year’s MUDSEASON newsletter. This has worked well for me over the last several years.

    I have found it ungodly easy to make a mistake filling in the detailed information required on the extensions. Some of my recorded extensions have errors. I can only hope they are inconsequential in the eyes of the court. John Cunningham has warned me that a mistaken date or other entry on an extension can invalidate a claim. Our vice-president now checks the accuracy of my claims prior to recording. I hope this helps.

    Last modified: 08 Jun 2021 9:01 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

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