• Report: #833554

Complaint Review: Brown Law Group

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  • Submitted: Fri, February 03, 2012
  • Updated: Wed, April 11, 2012

  • Reported By: Matt — Florence Arizona United States of America
Brown Law Group
190 W. Magee ste. 182 Tucson, Arizona United States of America

Brown Law Group crooks Tucson, Arizona

*Consumer Comment: Sorry

*Author of original report: You are right

*Consumer Suggestion: Call their bluff

*Consumer Comment: Common occurance.

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I get a letter stating these guys are taking me to court over HOA dues not being paid.  The amount they were suing me for was the amount I did owe multiplied by nine!  I called and called leaving messages without a response.  Finally, I get a hold of an assistant and ask for settlement options to which they have none.  So, I present some options that the assistant tentatively agreed upon.  I then asked that these agreements be in writing and sent to me.  This never happened.  Next thing I know I get a summons.  Once again I call endlessly to no avail.  So, I hire an attorney and begin a counter suit based on the fact that the HOA breached contract first.  Although this is documented to be true and we had strong case, my attorney advised me that the cards would still be stacked against us & I should try and settle.  Nevertheless, after I threatened to counter sue, the Brown Law Group finally got back to me to settle.  The amount they were asking for was absolutely astounding compared to the $300 or so that I actually owed.  So, we couldn't reach a settlement that I could pay all at once.  Instead we agreed on installments, that look like a 30 year mortgage. 

 If they come after you, you won't know it until you're already being sued!  They will NOT try to reach you so they can continue to charge these exorbitant fees.  My advice to you is if you have the money, try to settle paying a lump sum, cause it would seem the legal precedents are such that you'll fight an uphill battle even with an airtight case.  If you have the same amount of money to put towards an attorney and the time to fight these crooks, then I wish you the best!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/03/2012 04:08 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Brown-Law-Group/Tucson-Arizona-85013/Brown-Law-Group-crooks-Tucson-Arizona-833554. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author 3Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Sorry

AUTHOR: MochaG - (United States of America)

I am sorry to hear about the situation. I agree that the law firm is playing all the tricks in the book to get more money out of you. They know loop holes in the law, and that's why you got no corresponding from them.

One thing I want to clarify with you about the HOA. The fee is counted as a whole. If whatever they claim they have done in your neighbour, it is counted toward you as well even though it may not be right on or near by your property. They may not be pulling weed from your property or around your neighbourhood but do something else that may affect others that are not living nearby you but are still in the same HOA, they can still claim that they do their job and you must pay.

Have you settled with them yet? What other options did your lawyer tell you? Even though you have a strong case, technically you could easily lose your case because you owed them while they attempted (claimed) to work out as much as they could on their behave. I doubt that the lawyer wants to represent you in court because he/she does not want to lose the case (it goes into their personal success rate record). Though, the court judgement may reduce the amount you need to pay as the other poster said.
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#2 Author of original report

You are right

AUTHOR: Matt - (United States of America)

Yes, of course you are right about never getting behind the HOA fees.  Of course, the HOA management company which is also named Brown (I believe the same entity) quit servicing the neighborhood.  Weeds were overgrown in all the common areas.  The pool had turned into a swamp and the equipment hadn't been working.  When asked about it, Brown stated that once the builders filed bankruptcy or vanished, they were left w/ a maintenance bill that they couldn't keep.  So, they could only afford maintenance for a portion of the property each month.  The residences asked if they could at least supply us w/ weed killer, so we could maintain the property ourselves.  That didn't happen.  My wife, 2 children under 7 @ the time, and myself picked weeds every weekend for a while.  So, I wasn't paying HOA.  Regardless of their breach of contract, I should've have continued to pay HOA.  However, my problem was that once I received notice from attorney, I called and wrote to try and settle the matter.  I wouldn't hear from them until I received a summons, and my wife 7 month pregnant, was notified at her work regarding a hearing for a garnish wages judgement.  She was in tears all day.  All this caused serious turmoil, which could've been avoided had they returned calls, emailed, or just mailed me responses.  They say they did, it's just odd that I never received any correspondence.  There was NO reason to be so quick to jump into court, or the outlandish legal fees and outlandish late fees.  $66/month for about 6 months had turned into almost $6,000.  That's roughly 7 1/2 years worth HOA fees.  Needless to say we haven't even come close to living in the property that long.
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

Call their bluff

AUTHOR: Larry - (U.S.A.)

Do not settle.  File an answer stating that you admit you owe the HOA fees.  The judge will then enter a judgment for the amount of the HOA fees plus attorney fees.  Here's the deal: By Arizona law, the judge can award the HOA only reasonable attorney fees.

Attorneys may charge their clients any amount that they both agree on.  If you owe, say $1000, the attorney may charge the HOA $3000.  If you try to settle, the attorney will demand the whole $4000.  If you let the court issue a judgment, there is no way on God's green earth that the judge will find $3000 a reasonable attorney fee  in an uncontested lawsuit for $1000.

You have nothing to lose and much to gain.  Even if the judge awards the entire amount of attorney fees, you are no worse off than if you had settled.  In determining reasonable fees, the court does not consider how much the attorney charged the HOA except that the court cannot award more than the HOA paid the attorney.

There are several law firms in Arizona that specialize in collecting HOA assessments and fees.  The fees these law firms charge are way outside the envelope of reasonable.  They use the threat of a lawsuit as a lever to get home owners to pay their ridiculous fees.  The average homeowner has no idea that letting the case proceed to judgment could cost them less.

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#4 Consumer Comment

Common occurance.

AUTHOR: Flynrider - (USA)

   If you blow off your HOA fees until they have to involve lawyers, of course you should expect the cost to skyrocket.   Who do you think pays for the HOA lawyers? 

" My advice to you is if you have the money, try to settle paying a lump sum,  "

   Better advice:  Don't stiff your HOA in the first place.  They have the kind of leverage that most creditors do not.  They can attach your property.

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