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Eric Blair

Why can't anything be done?

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I have lived in Chapala Haciendas for many years. My dues are paid until 2020.

I just got the newsletter that, among other things, lists people owing past dues of over $1,000,00.

I know that finally, the BOD put an interest/penalty charge on late dues.

For two years, I did my own "protest" and didn't pay because I was getting an interest-free loan. When the interest/penalty was put on, I happily paid my dues, not just current, but for the full year, and will continue to do so.

The part I am not understanding, and maybe there is someone here from a BOD in some fracc, who can educate me, is why can't a lien be put on a property and when so much time has passed, the property put up for sale. My only reference is from the U.S., and  I know that is not applicable here. Isn't there some procedure for collection and enforcement on past due fees?

Let's not make this personal please.

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Actually you are bringing up what is the biggest disadvantage to owning in a fracc in Mexico.  Unlike the U.S. where condos/HOAs (U.S. version of fracc) have a lot of leverage to collect, in Mexico it can be almost impossible to get the cheaters to pay up, particularly if they only own lots with no services.  Some fraccs are able to use water supply for leverage (La Floresta) for example) but to my knowledge every fracc has collection problems.  You didn't indicate how long the non payer list is in Chapala Haciendas is but I'll wager it is quite long.

Very little you can do about it.  Condo apartments have the same problem which is why you see so many of them in GDL obviously lacking common maintenance.  In that case the owners who don't pay shoot everyone in the foot because this causes the property value to decline.

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I am forewarning everyone who posts here that ANY personal attacks on the OP will earn an immediate time out.  

 

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The sanctity of the home is of prime importance in Mexico, and in some other cultures. In the USA, that is not the case and evictions and 'sheriff's sales' are fairly common, sometimes putting people into a homeless situation. 

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2 hours ago, Mainecoons said:

Actually you are bringing up what is the biggest disadvantage to owning in a fracc in Mexico.  Unlike the U.S. where condos/HOAs (U.S. version of fracc) have a lot of leverage to collect, in Mexico it can be almost impossible to get the cheaters to pay up, particularly if they only own lots with no services.  Some fraccs are able to use water supply for leverage (La Floresta) for example) but to my knowledge every fracc has collection problems.  You didn't indicate how long the non payer list is in Chapala Haciendas is but I'll wager it is quite long.

Very little you can do about it.  Condo apartments have the same problem which is why you see so many of them in GDL obviously lacking common maintenance.  In that case the owners who don't pay shoot everyone in the foot because this causes the property value to decline.

Beware the "water solution"! The reaction to a supply reduction seems to be "pirate" your neighbour's water.

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Moral of story:  Be aware of such issues before you buy.  Unlike the U.S. there are a number of "buyer beware" matters that neither the seller nor the real estate agents are obliged to tell you.

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3 hours ago, Mainecoons said:

Actually you are bringing up what is the biggest disadvantage to owning in a fracc in Mexico.  Unlike the U.S. where condos/HOAs (U.S. version of fracc) have a lot of leverage to collect, in Mexico it can be almost impossible to get the cheaters to pay up, particularly if they only own lots with no services.  Some fraccs are able to use water supply for leverage (La Floresta) for example) but to my knowledge every fracc has collection problems.  You didn't indicate how long the non payer list is in Chapala Haciendas is but I'll wager it is quite long.

Very little you can do about it.  Condo apartments have the same problem which is why you see so many of them in GDL obviously lacking common maintenance.  In that case the owners who don't pay shoot everyone in the foot because this causes the property value to decline.

The list is pretty extensive, 81 names, 2 or three duplicates, several vacant lots and the longest period of back due is 271 months. Several are marked "Abandoned/cut off." A few are noted as "Paying."

Later, I have another post on a legal point that may help some here.

 

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I think that the only time when it becomes an issue is when the owner of the lot/house wants to sell the property.  Then he/she/they have to pay up past dues to the Fracc.   I believe it is up to the Notary to check this out and ensure that all unpaid dues are paid before closing, securing a certificate from the Fracc. stating that all dues are up-to-date.    When we bought a lot in the Raquet Club many years ago, the owner was behind in dues and had to pay up before the closing of the transaction occurred.  I had heard at subsequent meetings of the owners in the RC that they were having their lawyers take the worst offenders to court to obtain payment, and were quite successful in obtaining a lot of $$$ in past dues.  If it is a small Fracc. though, it may be more difficult, because lawyers are expensive and fees may go up as a result of the process.

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Don't know anything about the rules of fraccs at Lakeside. I was on the BOD of our condo building in PV. We had one owner, American, who was pretty past due. All of us Board members went to see an attorney and took all of our condo regime papers with us. The attorney examined them and said we had total recourse including putting the unit up for sale. Certified letters, time frames and amounts due and days past due were all covered in our regime and he told us exactly how to proceed. He ended up voluntarily putting it up for sale and all amounts were paid to us at closing before the Notario remitted the balance to him. If your fracc did it right in the beginning it's straight forward. We didn't even have to put a lien on and wait forever for him to sell. After doing everything correctly a judge could have, and would have, forced a sale. When we explained to the owner what was going to happen he decided to just work with us.  Good luck that CH did it right in the beginning or was wise enough to have amended things later.

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3 hours ago, RVGRINGO said:

The sanctity of the home is of prime importance in Mexico, and in some other cultures. In the USA, that is not the case and evictions and 'sheriff's sales' are fairly common, sometimes putting people into a homeless situation. 

That has absolutely nothing to do with this topic and is simplistic to say the least given the large numbers of homeless and near homeless in this country. 

To refresh your memory Eric is bringing up the prevalence of fracc members not paying the dues for common maintenance.  We are not talking about poor people here, this practice is known to be quite common among the well off in this country and occurs even in the most expensive fracc or condo communities.

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Get your a different lawyer, one  understands fracc law he can put a lien on them after a period of time and have the court  take their furniture etc put it in storage till they pay

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Sure hasn't stalled construction in Chapala Haciendas. I can think of about 15 major new constructions, and 5 major rehab just driving my way out here. This was first real estate community built to attract foreign homebuilders. A lot of Mexican people bought lots as speculative investments. Like the rest of Lakeside, this boom never materialized, and the bargain hunters have swept in. Also, after talking to a few Mexican home and property owners, there is a feeling that the board has always sided with the newcomers, while they are expected to pay for their decisions. Fees on an undeveloped lot are approximately 1,000 pesos per month, to cover security, roads and lights.

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Chapala Haciendas is using the water supply as leverage.  They drastically reduce the amount of water supplied to the non-payers.  It is my understanding, there is not the option of placing a lien on the property as in the US.    There is process of foreclosure here even for taxes.  The government does not do this and, frankly, I think it's a good thing although really unfair to those of us who do pay the dues.  They do need to pay up at the time of sale.

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47 minutes ago, CHILLIN said:

Sure hasn't stalled construction in Chapala Haciendas. I can think of about 15 major new constructions, and 5 major rehab just driving my way out here. This was first real estate community built to attract foreign homebuilders. A lot of Mexican people bought lots as speculative investments. Like the rest of Lakeside, this boom never materialized, and the bargain hunters have swept in. Also, after talking to a few Mexican home and property owners, there is a feeling that the board has always sided with the newcomers, while they are expected to pay for their decisions. Fees on an undeveloped lot are approximately 1,000 pesos per month, to cover security, roads and lights.

To the OP- If you notice, the morosos all have Mexican surnames. Chillin is exactly right that "there is a feeling that the board has always sided with the newcomers, while they are expected to pay for their decisions", meaning our Mexican neighbors do not always agree with the decisions made by an all extranjero board. Personally, I'm not that crazy about some of their decisions either, however I'm not willing to get involved in running the Fracc and too proud to see my name on a list of deadbeats. The BOD and the office are doing all that is legally possible to collect from the morosos and that is as much as I expect.  

 

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3 hours ago, pappysmarket said:

Don't know anything about the rules of fraccs at Lakeside. I was on the BOD of our condo building in PV. We had one owner, American, who was pretty past due. All of us Board members went to see an attorney and took all of our condo regime papers with us. The attorney examined them and said we had total recourse including putting the unit up for sale. Certified letters, time frames and amounts due and days past due were all covered in our regime and he told us exactly how to proceed. He ended up voluntarily putting it up for sale and all amounts were paid to us at closing before the Notario remitted the balance to him. If your fracc did it right in the beginning it's straight forward. We didn't even have to put a lien on and wait forever for him to sell. After doing everything correctly a judge could have, and would have, forced a sale. When we explained to the owner what was going to happen he decided to just work with us.  Good luck that CH did it right in the beginning or was wise enough to have amended things later.

Thank you for sharing your experiences

Yes there is a process for pay up or we will apply a lien and sell it.

For some reason, I guess based on "culture" Mexican Board Members seem very reluctant to pursue this route. One issue which seems to complicate the process is getting the cooperation of the Municipality. I know that the Raquet Club board has cut deals with the city of Joco..sharing a percentage of the recovery monies etc in order to complete the process before the new elected administration comes on board. At a recently called special meeting , a line item on the finacials showed 11mil past due dues!!!! Remember the RC is 35+ years old

An other complication with the older established Fraccs, records of ownership go back to manual writing and recording and in many cases  is not correct , people died or moved from the area 

In particular the Tapatios who have 2nd homes at Lakeside seem to think they are due a free ride at he expense of the other home owners. For example the Raquet Club ( and I believe La Foresta Fraccs) have a collector in Guad who is paid 15%? for visiting those owners and collecting their dues

If there is Hardship, Sickness or Loss of Job etc.,  then yes lets work out what you can pay, until you have recovered.

Many of the fraccs  try to "shame" the particular owners by posting a delinquent notice on the entrance gate..some of the Pesos owned are substantial .... to little or limited success

I guess a lot will depend on the Policy of the respective Boards..If you are a "new" fracc and strictly  follow a no default rule..or you have inherited a pile of debt that was started many many years a ago

 

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A good lawyer could possibly help greatly. Often just a communication from a lawyer suggesting a meeting with the BOD and maybe w/the lawyer present, could turn the tide.

I believe too many lawyers Lakeside, who speak English, have turned into "form fillers," which can be very lucrative, and don't know or want to learn more.

There are actually a few Mexican attorneys around here who speak decent English and you can always use a translator.

I'm going to put up another thread that will, in small part, touch on the issue of lawyers.

In parting, while I have a lot of respect for volunteers who take their time and energy to be on a BOD, it's difficult if they don't have some knowledge. You don't want am architect in charge of bookkeeping, or a bookkeeper in charge of maintenance.

Moving on  ----------

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Eric Blair why don't you go to a meeting and ask. Sometimes things aren't as black and white as the paper you have received.

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17 hours ago, pappysmarket said:

Don't know anything about the rules of fraccs at Lakeside. I was on the BOD of our condo building in PV. We had one owner, American, who was pretty past due. All of us Board members went to see an attorney and took all of our condo regime papers with us. The attorney examined them and said we had total recourse including putting the unit up for sale. Certified letters, time frames and amounts due and days past due were all covered in our regime and he told us exactly how to proceed. He ended up voluntarily putting it up for sale and all amounts were paid to us at closing before the Notario remitted the balance to him. If your fracc did it right in the beginning it's straight forward. We didn't even have to put a lien on and wait forever for him to sell. After doing everything correctly a judge could have, and would have, forced a sale. When we explained to the owner what was going to happen he decided to just work with us.  Good luck that CH did it right in the beginning or was wise enough to have amended things later.

Very good point.  That is the problem in a nutshell.  It seems many fraccs and condos are not set up right to begin with.

Cutting off water to a vacant lot isn't going to have a lot of impact.

19 hours ago, Gerry said:

Beware the "water solution"! The reaction to a supply reduction seems to be "pirate" your neighbour's water.

Had a thread here some time back where this was exactly the problem.  It happened in La Floresta.

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There is a huge difference between a Condominium  and a Fraccionamiento. A completly different set of laws applies to each. A Fracc is governed by corporate law. Many attorneys will quote condo law when asked about fracc questions. They are wrong. 

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13 hours ago, WideSky said:

Eric Blair why don't you go to a meeting and ask. Sometimes things aren't as black and white as the paper you have received.

I have asked several times over the last 3-4 years and I get vague responses such as, "We are working on it." "It's a complicated process and takes time." "We are sending out letters to the people who owe dues."

These were in conjunction with my suggestions about putting leis on the property, etc.

And yes, I know they add up and must be paid if/when there is a transfer, but money is needed now, not down-the-line.

IMO, all the BOD needs to do is consult an attorney who knows fracc. laws.

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13 minutes ago, Eric Blair said:

I have asked several times over the last 3-4 years and I get vague responses such as, "We are working on it." "It's a complicated process and takes time." "We are sending out letters to the people who owe dues."

My understanding is that most, if not all, of the fracs within the municipality of Chapala have not been granted concessions, so their ability to enforce their bylaws is a very limited.

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Most of these properties are vacant lots. The best have already been sold. One Mexican owner has built a beautiful house right at the entrance of Haciendas 1, he apparently owns another 13 lots. The lots will eventually sell, they have to payoff fees before closing. Someone on the board is calling the Haciendas "central lakeside". At first I had the same groan reaction as hearing the "golden zone" in Ajijic, or the "Mexican riviera", but with all the new and planned development  on the Libramento (hospitals, malls, resort style condos, etc.) it is kind of true.

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10 minutes ago, CHILLIN said:

Most of these properties are vacant lots. The best have already been sold. One Mexican owner has built a beautiful house right at the entrance of Haciendas 1, he apparently owns another 13 lots. The lots will eventually sell, they have to payoff fees before closing. Someone on the board is calling the Haciendas "central lakeside". At first I had the same groan reaction as hearing the "golden zone" in Ajijic, or the "Mexican riviera", but with all the new and planned development  on the Libramento (hospitals, malls, resort style condos, etc.) it is kind of true.

No question, the house that seems to be finished, at least the exterior, don't think the inside is done, is quite something.

With all of the building I have seen in the last 5 or so years, the Ajijic/Chapala area is in for some  major changes, and some may not be pleasing, such as higher COL, and more people coming in and overloading the already strained infrastructure.  IMO, right now, it is very much a sellers' market.

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The Tapatios visiting and buying here fall in love with clean, fresh, green air of Lakeside. Such contradiction to the dust, noise and grime of Guadalajara. As long as residents here become conscious of this huge asset, and agree to protect it at all costs.

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58 minutes ago, WideSky said:

 

My understanding is that most, if not all, of the fracs within the municipality of Chapala have not been granted concessions, so their ability to enforce their bylaws is a very limited.

This applies to the Haciendas by my understanding. Lawyers or not, the law is NOT on the side of enforcing bylaws because of the lack ot this "concession" and they aren't free.

 

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