The Real Deal Miami

Hialeah condo association seeks recovery with bankruptcy

Association mired in unpaid bills, delinquent maintenance fee collection
November 24, 2014 02:15PM

Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Faced with mounting problems, the Bella Luna Condominium Association in Hialeah is planning a turnaround after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The association’s multiple problems include court battles with creditors, a 25 percent delinquency rate among its residents on maintenance fees and a threat from the City of Hialeah to cut off water over $453,000 in unpaid bills. Attorney Richard Robles filed the paperwork in the Southern District of Florida, which was approved Nov. 12 by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Laurel Isicoff.

“They needed to be streamlined. There were way too many expenses,” Robles told the Daily Business Review.

Located east of the Palmetto Expressway on West 24th Street, the association was collecting only $15,000 monthly in maintenance fees from its 100 units, or 75 percent of normal. The association’s bankruptcy filing included a plan to raise maintenance fees to $250 and reduce delinquency to bring revenue back to normal in the first year and $21,150 monthly in the next year. Bella Luna imposed a $4,529 assessment per unit to pay its water bills.

Bella Luna had previously reached a settlement with secured creditor Association Financial Services Inc. for a debt of more than $326,000. The association claimed that fluctuating monthly payments of $3,000 to $7,000 were too high and sought a fixed amount of $2,307. Unsecured creditors also sought to collect almost $330,000 covering maintenance work, legal representation and guard services. [Daily Business Review]Chris Guanche