Condo investors delinquent on association fees could face jail time for thumbing their noses at court-ordered blanket receiverships.
In a new first for distressed condo associations, a Broward circuit court judge last week commanded the sheriff, via a writ of bodily attachment, to physically bring owner Timothy Mohn to court to explain why he should not be found in contempt for failing to fork over rent to a receiver on two units he owns in the Villas de Venezia in Sunrise.
Mohn missed a court date last week prompting the writ. The likely reason: He's been sitting in Broward County jail awaiting trial on other charges since early December. His attorney could not be reached for comment.
Ravi Batta, a debt collection lawyer with Rosenfeld Stein Batta in Miami, said the situation is not uncommon. Writs of bodily attachment are issued when people fail to appear in court as witnesses, for instance.
But attorneys for Villas de Venezia condo association claim the writ demonstrates more than that — namely, the sharp teeth of blanket receiverships and just how serious judges are taking their enforcement.
The receiverships represent the latest legal strategy of struggling condo associations to collect rent from tenants whose landlords are behind on condo fees and subject to foreclosure by the association. They have become a critical tool in collecting maintenance fees from delinquent owners.
The fees pay the electric, water and insurance bills along with other critical expenses necessary to operate the buildings.
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