Why does an attorney have to file a Claim of Lien?

In order to protect the rights of all community associations in the collection of delinquent assessments, a Claim of Lien is authorized to be recorded against a property in accordance with Florida Law and the governing documents. The Supreme Court of Florida has determined that the act of preparing a recordable document for filing in the public records which “perfects” the lien rights granted to an Association is a legal document that must be handled by a licensed attorney.

How does Mankin Law Group file a Claim of Lien?

When you refer an account to our office for collections, we first verify ownership records, proper accounting, and that notice to the delinquent owner has been properly sent. We then promptly file a Claim of Lien and continue to aggressively pursue collection by many methods developed over the years, until the lien is paid and released.  We utilize all available tools as provided by Florida Statute and the Association’s governing documents as they apply to each individual case.

The lien follow up procedures include but are not limited to: communicating with management and providing status updates on request, follow up letters, monitoring bank foreclosures and bankruptcies, extraordinary communication and negotiations with delinquent owners and their representatives, handling disputes regarding the validity of the lien, negotiating with title companies and realtors, preparing and providing estoppels and pre-lien notices as necessary to foreclosing mortgagees, collecting rental payments from tenants, tenant evictions, and lien foreclosures.

If MLG doesn’t charge the Association, how are the fees and costs paid?

There is no cost or fee retainer required for the filing of a Lien or sending the statutory Pre-Lien Notice. Attorney fees and costs related to the collection of assessments are charged to the delinquent owner in accordance with the governing documents and Florida Statutes.  MLG guarantees your collection attorney line item expense is “zero.”  The Firm will hold the lien file open until paid by the owner and no invoice will be sent to the Association.  Once filed, the lien remains of record against the property until satisfied.  Please contact our office to obtain more detailed information on our unique fee structure.

Should an Association’s lien be foreclosed?

The filing of a Lien Foreclosure should be considered on a case-by-case basis. Initiating a Lien Foreclosure may result in the Association taking title to the property and a first mortgage likely will be foreclosed. Generally we do not recommend filing a lien foreclosure while a mortgage foreclosure is pending. This may result in the Association incurring unnecessary legal expenses that cannot be recouped. However, the Lien Foreclosure process can vary depending on the facts and circumstances of each case. MLG reviews each case independently when advising Associations on a recommended course of action.

What about stalled bank foreclosures? Is there anything that the Association can do to move along these cases?

Over the last few years, a back log of mortgage foreclosures have accumulated due to the robo-signing scandal and various other issues facing our nation’s largest financial institutions. MLG provides aggressive representation in the mortgage foreclosure at no additional cost to the Association, in order to expedite stalled cases. MLG’s litigation department carefully analyzes each mortgage foreclosure to determine what options are available to the Association and when those options may be exercised.

What are the advantages of using MLG instead of your general counsel?

Our unique business model was pioneered for association collections and has proven to be fiscally beneficial.  By not billing the association, as discussed above, our office can make independent and prompt decisions to quickly collect your delinquent accounts. We apply constant pressure on delinquent owners to get the Association paid. A team of legal assistants/paralegals and attorneys are assigned to your community. Our proprietary database allows each staff member and attorney to know the status of each individual account. More importantly, we are able to follow through on critical dates and communicate with you that the case is proceeding to resolution.