Former New York State Trooper David Silva’s $25 HOA Late Fee Has Turned Into A $47,554 Foreclosure
Former New York State Trooper David Silva didn’t believe he deserved the $25 late fee from his HOA. So he refused to pay.
Apparently, the trouble began when his condo switched property managers in June 2015. Silva’s maintenance check for June 2015 of $282.00was allegedly never deposited.
Silva paid the maintenance bill when he found out that August it was overdue. However, the late fee and the ones that came after it, which he refused to pay had metastasized into $50,000. The amount includes additional late fees and attorney charges for a two-day trial.
Silva told the Palm Beach Post:
I am disappointed in the judge’s decision. I believe that this case looked at with another set of eyes, would have resulted in a different decision. It is a sad day in America when the American dream becomes the American nightmare.
HOA attorney Jeannette Bellon said could not document he issued the check. The association even waived one month’s late fee. However, Silva refused to pay anything because he argued the entire matter was due to a change in property managers. Silva claims he was not notified.
Bellon argued Silva was notified multiple times:
The rules are the rules in this case. I’m a condo association owner myself. So I think people just need to be aware what their condo declaration states what the rules and regulations state and what your duties and obligations are. The defendant was a former board member. He was aware of the rules. He just decided not to follow them. At the end of the day, he never gave proof he made payment.
Retired New York State Trooper Rumbles With HOA President
Silva’s dislike for current HOA President Vic Bally only aggravated the situation as both affirmed in court. Bally once accused Silva of assault. Silva was acquited when a videotape of the incident was introduced as evidence. The two tended to videotape each other to keep a legal record of their encounters.
Silva wasn’t the only one who had trouble with Bally. The association has been through at least eight management companies in its 11 years. A few managers sent the association letters saying they were quitting because of the difficulty of working with Bally.
Palm Beach County Judge Rules Against The Retired New York State Trooper
Silva testified that he believed he had made his June 2015 maintenance payment electronically to the management association. He went on vacation and didn’t learn until after returning that the association had changed management companies and the payment hadn’t gone through.
Silva claimed that because the payment didn’t go through there was no record he sent it.
He made the maintenance payment in August. However, he insisted he shouldn’t be assessed late fees.
However, Judge Robert Panse ruled that the HOA properly assessed him. He also ruled Bally hadn’t selectively enforced the rules. The judge noted that Silva previously filed and lost a case against Bally for discrimination. Silva claimed Bally was treating him unfairly because he is Hispanic.
Panse’s ruling indicated the judge didn’t understand the details of his case and misinterpreted the condo rules, Silva said.
Silva’s attorney is preparing for a rehearing before the judge that he conceded he likely would lose. Silva also plans to appeal to the circuit court. A failed appeal could raise Silva’s bill about $20,000.
The retired New York state trooper in jeopardy of losing his $340,000 townhome. The Ventura Greens at Emerald Dunes Condominium Association is now threatening him with foreclosure if he doesn’t pay the debt in full.