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Real estate Q&A: Condo association must defend against foreclosure lawsuit [Sun Sentinel :: BC-REAL-REALESTATE-QA:FL]

Q: A lender has filed a foreclosure suit against a condominium owner in our complex. The lender also has sued our association. It costs our community money to hire a lawyer, and I don't see how our association is involved, anyway. Can we just ignore the lawsuit?

- Lilly

A: It's never wise to ignore any lawsuit. If you do, the court may consider all of the allegations against you to be true, potentially causing severe consequences. If you've ignored the lawsuit, you'll find out about those only when it's too late.

Your community association is being sued because it has an interest in the property that the foreclosing lender is seeking to either minimize or eliminate. This is especially important because now that the unit owner is in foreclosure, he most likely will stop paying his association dues. You may be able to get reimbursed for your attorney's fees in defending the lawsuit. Also, your attorney may be able to speed things up with the court.

You should speak with your lawyer in detail about the consequences of being sued. If, for some reason, your association doesn't already have a business arrangement with a lawyer, this would be a good time to start one.

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ABOUT THE WRITER

Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. He practices real estate, business litigation and contract law from his office in Sunrise, Fla. He is the chairman of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is a co-host of the weekly radio show Legal News and Review. He frequently consults on general real estate matters and trends in Florida with various companies across the nation. Send him questions online at www.sunsentinel.com/askpro or follow him on Twitter @GarySingerLaw.

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