SJC Overturns Lower Court Decisions in Drummer Boy v. Britton


GSL congratulates condominiums on the long awaited decision of the Supreme Judicial Court which overturned three lower court decisions in Drummer Boy v. Britton.    In a decision which has enormous significance to condominiums in Massachusetts, the SJC ruled that condominiums do have the right to file “rolling liens” for each six month period wherein common area assessments are unpaid.  As stated by the Court “our interpretation of the statute is consistent with the Legislature’s long-standing interest in improving the governance of condominiums and strengthening the ability of organization of unit owners to collect common expenses, thereby avoiding a reemergence of the serious public emergency that developed in the early 1990”s.”  Simply stated, protecting condominiums is of utmost importance in today’s world.

This decision represents the final chapter in the long battle to uphold the rolling lien led by Tom Moriarty of MEEB together with the support of GSL and Perkins & Anctil who drafted and filed the amicus (friend of the Court) brief on behalf of CAI-NE.

Additionally, we want to thank Avidia Bank, Brookline Bank, Mutual of Omaha Bank, North Shore Bank and Rockland Trust Company (whose amicus brief was drafted and filed by Alan Lipkind, Esq. of Burns & Levinson) for recognizing and supporting the importance of the rolling lien.  A final thank you to REBA for filing an amicus brief drafted by Diane Rubin, Esq. of Prince Lobel and Clive Martin, Esq. of Robinson & Cole.

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In Limbo with Incomplete Foreclosures?


Is your association finding frustration when a lender begins a foreclosure proceeding on a unit and then seems to stop? Even worse than that, do you have units that are vacant because their owners have simply abandoned them, stopped paying the common fees and the common area and units suffer damage from burst pipes caused by lack of unit maintenance or heat?

Row of hands making notes

There is a potential remedy. The Consumer Financial Protection Board (CFPB) may be able to help. If the mortgage is held by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, they may be forced to take actions that will preserve the unit. If the mortgagee foreclosure hasn’t been completed, the lender may be fined. Of course, there is no guarantee this will work but it is another tool in your tool box.

If you are facing this challenge CAI has prepared a link for you to file the complaint. Simply Click here for additional background information and simple instructions to file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Board (CFPB) or if you prefer we will be happy to assist you.

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