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Condominium Collections: The Court Process

Legal Expenses

Legal expenses incurred by the Condominium Corporation are usually the responsibility of Unit owners, and we seek to have those amounts paid by the owners. There are some court-approved guidelines as to what those amounts can be. In some instances, the court, the lender, or the owner, may object to the legal fees, if the matter became more complex. In those (hopefully rare) cases the Corporation is obligated to pay the legal fees.

Timelines for Completion

The foreclosure process can, in some circumstances, be quite lengthy. The court imposes several timelines on the parties to a foreclosure action. It takes approximately one year to conclude a foreclosure action, assuming the Unit Owner does not dispute it. We note as well that the COVID-19 pandemic increased considerably the length of time it takes to conclude a foreclosure action. We are hopeful that these timelines are returning to normal in the near future.

Generally, the steps we will undertake on your behalf and the length of time these steps take are:

  • Preparing a demand letter and delivering same to the owner(s) and mortgagee, if any, with time for the owner/mortgagee to respond (15-25 days),
  • Preparing and issuing a statement of claim (5-10 days),
  • Awaiting expiry of the owner's deadline to file a statement of defence (20 days),
  • Preparing redemption order application and affidavit of default in support (20 days),
  • Awaiting expiry of the redemption period (6 months),
  • Preparing application for judicial listing and sale and affidavit of value in support (5 days),
  • Awaiting receipt of offers to purchase and acceptance thereof (3 months),
  • Preparing application confirming sale and vesting title and affidavit in support (5 days), and
  • Awaiting the closing date (20-45 days)

We note that additional steps may be required. Some circumstances in which they might be required are:

  • Where personal service or service by registered mail are not practicable or possible (owner avoiding service), we must obtain a substitutional service order;
  • If a Unit Owner files a statement of defence, we must obtain an order for summary judgment;
  • If a Unit Owner does not allow entry to the Unit for the purpose of appraising it, we must obtain an order compelling the Unit Owner to provide access.

These are just a few of the additional steps that may be required to conclude the foreclosure action. At this early stage, it is impossible to predict all the steps we must undertake on your behalf.

Process and Fee Guideline

Below is our typical process for condominium collections, from the beginning until the end of foreclosing on the property, including a guideline of our legal costs. These costs have been approved by the Courts as "typical" and will generally be granted. The process can be amended to suit each particular project and costs are subject to change depending on the complexity of the file. We note that the fees below are for an ordinary foreclosure in which the Unit Owner does not defend the foreclosure action.

Step 1: All steps up to and including filing caveat and serving demand letter ($550.00)

  1. Receive instructions from Manager to proceed with demand letter;
  2. Obtain ledger and any supporting documentation from Manager and review same;
  3. Search and review title;
  4. Review bylaws to confirm interest payable and ensure no surprises in terms of enforcement;
  5. Prepare caveat and submit it to Land Titles;
  6. Draft demand letter and send to Owner and Mortgagee, if applicable, which makes demand for payment of legal fees and disbursements incurred to register the caveat;

Step 2: Steps from filing the Statement of Claim to Noting in Default ($1,500.00)

If we receive no response within 10 days from the date of our Demand Letter:

  1. Communicate with Manager and seek instruction to proceed;
  2. Prepare and review statement of claim and certificate of lis pendens, have the same filed;
  3. Register the certificate of lis pendens at land titles;
  4. Service of statement of claim;
  5. Prepare, review and file affidavit of service, if applicable;
  6. Review statement of defence or prepare and file noting in default;

Step 3: Steps following noting in default to completion of first substantive application ($1,500.00)

  1. Prepare, review and file relevant documents, including but not limited to affidavit of default and other necessary supplemental affidavit;
  2. Obtain and review new title search and tax search;
  3. Service of filed documents to the Owner and Mortgagee, if applicable;
  4. Prepare, review and file affidavit of service;
  5. Communicate with defendant or solicitor for defendant on form of order being sought;
  6. Prepare, review and file order;
  7. Service of order to the Owner and Mortgagee, if applicable;

Step 4: Steps taken to facilitate judicial listing ($750.00)

  1. Hire a realtor and make listing arrangements;
  2. Review offers;
  3. Seek instruction from client regarding offer acceptance;

Step 5: Steps following an order confirming sale (Standard Conveyancing Rate)

  1. File will be relayed to our conveyancing department to facilitate sale;

Step 6: Receipt of payment for arrears ($250.00)

  1. If at any step, payment is received from the Owner or the Mortgage, we deduct our account and send the balance to the Manager;
  2. Discharge the caveat on title;
  3. Discharge of certificate of lis pendens on title, if applicable;
  4. File discontinuance of claim, if applicable;
  5. Prepare reporting package;

General Litigation Services

Our firm is also able to assist with general litigation services in respect of all condominium matters. We have a great deal of experience in condo litigation as well as litigation generally. Please call us to discuss your matter; we are happy to offer some preliminary commentary and discuss the billing process as well.

David van Leenen
Barrister & Solicitor, Managing Partner
Direct: 780 917 6933
Email: dvanleenen@sharekco.com
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