MCA violates state law — assessed illegal late fees

The night before the July meeting I did some research on the web and apparently the MCA is violating numerous provisions of Arizona state law.  It got so late, I didn’t even feel like attending the meeting.

I’ve also been reading up on rules and regs for home owner associations and it’s shocking to see that the MCA board does not follow ANY rules.  The board has been running the MCA as if it was a private country club.

So here is my email to the MCA about the violation of state law, illegal late fees and lack of any rules:

8/8/12

Attn:  All board members

I hereby request that you add the following items to the agenda for next Saturday’s board meeting:

1) Compliance with ARS Title 33, Article 16,  PLANNED COMMUNITIES

Tom O’Keeffe repeatedly stated at previous board meetings that the STATE determines how the MCA operates.  Obviously, the board members have been aware of the law.

Why is the board ignoring the law?

http://www.azleg.gov/arizonarevisedstatutes.asp?title=33

2)  Immediate refunds of all late fees charged in violation of the bylaws and state law.

The bylaws did NOT allow for any late fees other than interest on the unpaid balance until the members voted on the amendment in May 2012. Additionally, state law prohibits late fees in excess of $15 or 10% of the unpaid amount pursuant to ARS 33-1803.  These illegal late fees subject the MCA to lawsuits by members who were charged those fees.  I request that the board IMMEDIATELY recall all accounts from the collection agency, refund the late fees and offer a one year credit to all members who were subjected to these illegal charges to mitigate potential damages (lawsuits).

3) Making all procedures and MCA rules available to the members and potential members at the MCA website.

That includes deed restrictions, architectural guidelines, enforcement policy, document review, agenda of board meetings, minutes,  financial statements, etc.

4) Determining which rules the MCA follows.

Most organization follow the Roberts Rules of Order: http://www.robertsrules.com/

After attending several MCA board meetings it is clear that the MCA is NOT complying with the Roberts Rules.   For example, the MCA never provided the agenda to the members and the MCA did NOT allow me to speak.

The 2012 ballot to vote to change the bylaws (late fees and collections) did NOT include the option to make no change at all.

The board should formally adopt the Roberts Rules.

As my previous emails have been ignored and since you might once again not allow me to speak at the board meeting, please be advised that I will not hesitate to ask a judge to order the MCA board to comply with the law and to hold board members PERSONALLY LIABLE.

I highly recommend you stop ignoring me — an MCA member in good standing.

Christine Baker

I will update with the response, if any, and I’ll post what happens at the Saturday meeting.

3 Responses to MCA violates state law — assessed illegal late fees

  1. Thanks for the work on this issue. I only found out about the fees when I called re paying two years arrears. . My mother’s death in Dec.2011making me the new victim of MCA “rules”.

  2. To add a note to my previous response… My parents paid their dues for 30 years!
    Add my name to any petition, complaint, etc.

    • Hi Pat, if you actually paid the late fee, you should get a refund.

      And if the board continues to ignore me, I will take the time to set up a new MCA blog and start collecting signatures to call a special meeting and vote on dissolving the MCA.

      I assume that like most MCA members, you’re not living near Meadview and it will take an effort to contact out of area members, but it will be worth it if we can get rid of this association.

      Recently a resident told me that several years ago they were here for Thanksgiving and she called to help with preparing food for the MCA dinner. The woman who answered the phone said how badly she needed help and how many potatoes she had already peeled and she asked the volunteer for her number. The volunteer gave her phone number, but she needed her MCA MEMBER number. The volunteer was turned away because she was not an MCA member.

      This really shows what kind of organization the MCA is and why so many residents (members and non members alike) hate the MCA with a passion. Meadview has NO community spirit whatsoever because the MCA creates this divisive athmosphere.

      Please check back here for updates!

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