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Florida condo owner who asked to see association financial records. It sued, and now she owes $395,554 in legal fees.

Ron Hurtibise, South Florida Sun Sentinel on

Published in Home and Consumer News

When Eileen Breitkreutz filed a request to inspect her condo association’s financial records six years ago, she had no idea it would spark six years of litigation and a $395,554 judgment against her.

Now, the registered nurse and single mother is talking to bankruptcy lawyers to find out whether she’ll be able to keep her home.

“I don’t know how they can do this. I don’t know why nobody stops them,” Breitkreutz said about the Boca View Condominium Association’s legal fights against her and several other unit owners who have asked to see their community’s books.

While state law gives condo owners the right to inspect their associations’ financial records, they’re not protected from getting hit with crippling legal fees if their associations fight back, hire expert attorneys and win.

Last month, a Palm Beach County circuit judge ordered Breitkreutz to pay $395,554 that the association’s attorneys, members of the powerful Becker law firm — formerly known as Becker & Poliakoff — said she owes for the time they spent fighting her request. She still hasn’t seen the association’s financial records.

Welcome to what Breitkreutz calls “a living hell.”

 

Conflict and distrust simmer at this seemingly tranquil four-story, 72-unit complex, located just a few blocks west of the beach in Boca Raton. Multiple lawsuits and protracted disputes have erupted between residents and the Boca View Condominium Association’s governing board, turning the property into the worst nightmare of anyone leery of buying into an association-controlled community.

A ‘warning’

In the room where unit owners get their mail, a notice of a $395,554 judgment lien that the association filed against Breitkreutz on June 3. She said she’s never seen any other liens or notices of fines against unit owners posted in the room before.

Breitkreutz feels it was posted there by association president Diana Kuka as “a warning” to others not to challenge Kuka’s authority.

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