Important Update – SJC Issues Decision in Drummer Boy Case

Written by Staff Attorneys at P&A

Perkins & Anctil, P.C. is happy to announce good news for condominium associations throughout the Commonwealth.

On March 29, 2016, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued its decision in the case of Drummer Boy Homes Association, Inc. v. Carolyn P. Britton. In the long-awaited decision, the SJC reversed the lower court’s ruling and held that the Massachusetts Condominium Act (M.G.L. c. 183A) authorizes condominium associations to establish “multiple contemporaneous priority liens on a condominium unit by filing successive legal actions to collect unpaid” common expenses. Said differently, the Court’s decision permits associations to “roll liens,” which had been the standard practice for nearly two decades and is a crucial tool for ensuring that associations are able to recover a maximum amount of unpaid assessments.

The SJC’s decision will benefit all of our association clients by:

  • Facilitating prompt and full payment of all priority amounts from first mortgage holders;
  • Enhancing flexibility of resolution by allowing associations to enter into extended payment plans without jeopardizing priority recovery;
  • Potentially reducing the number of foreclosure actions and unit turnover; and,
  • Eliminating “gaps” in recovery caused by the inherent delays under the statutory and court process.

In summary, the SJC’s decision will benefit all associations by optimizing their ability to collect unpaid assessments and thus strengthen and maintain financially sound communities. We are pleased to have been a part of this important decision as co-authors of the Community Association Institute (CAI) amicus brief filed with the Court.

A copy of the complete decision is available by emailing Sanford.

Should you have any questions about the decision, or about pending cases or future actions, please do not hesitate to contact us.