Another class-action lawsuit was filed Monday over Nevada homeowner association debt-collection practices.
The latest target is Alessi & Koenig LLC, which says it is a law firm with offices in Las Vegas, Reno and in California.
An attorney for the Estates at Seven Hills homeowner Stacy Calvert filed suit in U.S. District Court alleging violations of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
The suit, seeking class-action status on behalf of similarly-situated homeowners, says Alessi & Koenig sent Calvert a "pre-notice of default" letter in December seeking payment of $3,870 in delinquent HOA assessments and threatening to foreclose on her home.
The suit says this letter violated the federal law by failing to disclose to Calvert it was a letter to collect a debt and that any information obtained would be used for that purpose.
The suit also alleges "consumer fraud" based on Nevada’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act. This is based on assertions Alessi & Koenig is not licensed or registered as a debt collector with the Nevada Division of Financial Institutions.
The suit seeks unspecified damages.
A message for comment was left with an attorney who represents Alessi & Koenig in other litigation.
Monday’s suit is just the latest in a flurry of litigation that has erupted in Nevada during the past few years as the recession boosted both foreclosures and HOA assessment delinquencies.
Besides being sued by homeowners, HOAs and their collection agencies have been sued by investors in foreclosed homes and a Bank of America subsidiary.
Those suits challenge what the investors and Bank of America call inflated and unauthorized fees and liens filed against foreclosed homes – liens that have to be cleared before new owners take title.
The homeowner associations and collection agencies say they’re in compliance with the law and that it’s important past-due assessments be collected so HOA budgets can be balanced.