Court of Appeals of Texas, Second District, Fort Worth
Appeal from the 342nd District Court Tarrant County, Texas
Trial Court No. 342-295889-17
Sudderth, C.J.; Gabriel and Kerr, JJ.
Linda Silverman complains of the trial court's judgment
in favor of appellee Clairemont H.A., Inc., a property
owners' association (the Association), on its claims
arising from Silverman's repeated failure to pay her
property owner's dues and accordant penalties and
interest assessed by the Association. In four issues, she
challenges alleged deficiencies in the Association's
delinquency notices and asserts any amounts assessed in 2013
are unrecoverable as barred by limitations. Because we
conclude Silverman's issues have no merit, we affirm the
trial court's judgment.
2002, ICI Development L.L.C. developed a gated residential
subdivision in Colleyville-the Clairemont Addition. To
preserve "the values and amenities in said
community," ICI created the Association in a dedicatory
instrument (the Declaration), which also established
covenants, conditions, and restrictions for the development.
The Declaration provided that "[e]very Owner of a Lot
shall automatically be a member of the Association." It
further authorized the Association to collect regular and
special assessments, including assessments for annual
maintenance. If a property owner failed to pay an assessment,
the Declaration allowed the Association to charge monthly,
compounding interest from the delinquency date until paid,
authorized the Association to charge special individual
assessments for a property owner's failure to comply with
the Declaration, and created a lien against the owners'
property for the unpaid amounts; the Association's rights
under such a lien were expressly granted by the property
owner upon acceptance of her property deed. ICI recorded the
Declaration in Tarrant County.
and her husband bought a home in the Clairemont Addition of
Colleyville in 2005. They divorced in 2013, and Silverman was
awarded sole ownership of the home.
April 3, 2013, three months after the 2013 yearly dues
payment was due, Silverman wrote to the Association and asked
for a "payment arrangement for my current HOA balance in
the amount of $1, 140.00" that would allow her to pay at
least $100 each month until the balance was paid in full. The
Association's board unanimously agreed to Silverman's
plan, and the board's vice-president and treasurer
notified her of its agreement and sent her a payment plan. He
clearly told Silverman in the notice letter that
"interest must be charge[d] on the unpaid balance per
the Homeowner Bylaws." Silverman denied receiving this
letter and never made any of her offered payments.
March 4, 2014, the Association sent Silverman a letter
expressing their "surprise" that she had made no
payments and notifying her that her 2013 arrearage and 2014
dues amounts were delinquent:
The Board tries to accommodate homeowners to a point and then
only when the homeowner makes a valiant attempt to meet his
or her obligations. When a full year has passed without that
year's dues being paid, a penalty of $300.00 is assessed
if not paid by March 15th of the following year.
Additionally, interest is applied to the unpaid balance and
accumulates each month. This is done in order to make the
homeowner aware of the severity of the non-payment of dues.
We are taking the time to notify you of the Prior Year Dues
Penalty before it is applied to your account on March 15,
2014. Enclosed is your current statement dated March
4th, 2014 showing a balance of $2, 659.91.
[The Declaration] states that additional costs could be
incurred by the past due homeowner such as Attorney and
did not respond to this letter, but she later testified that
she had been in a "very serious motorcycle
accident" in 2014 and was ...