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Geneva homeowners association dispute yields progress

Published: Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

GENEVA – Defendants in a court case between a Geneva homeowners association and a bank say they are hopeful that the two parties will reach a resolution with the help of a judge by mid-January.

The case between Old Second National Bank and the Prairie Ridge Townhome Owners Association was presented before a judge for the first time last week, and since then, both parties believe they have moved closer to a resolution.

The dispute is about which party – the bank’s third-party manager or an elected homeowners association that formed last year – is in control of managing fees from the subdivision’s homeowners association.

Homeowners in the subdivision at the corner of Bricher and Peck roads were unhappy with the way their subdivision’s association had been managed since Old Second National Bank had assigned a third-party affiliate, Arris Management, to run the association.

Old Second National Bank owns three partially completed homes and 52 vacant lots in the Prairie Ridge Townhomes Development because developer John Henry Homes Inc. had been foreclosed on before the subdivision had been completed.

Homeowners in the subdivision elected a board to handle the association fees and a bank account, and that board has handled the account for the past year. But bank representatives said that board did not form legally and had no right to control any funds.

The plaintiffs say homeowners forming their own association was not in accordance with the association’s declarations.

The two parties agreed Wednesday to allow the homeowner-run association to administer the bank account and advise a third party of all expenditures until the case reappears in court Jan. 15.

“Today is certainly a step in the right direction,” said attorney Mike McCaskey, who represents Old Second National Bank. “We look forward to continuing to work with current homeowners. We have much more in common than uncommon.”

Unit owner Julie Simpson was elected as the association’s president and is named as one of the defendants in the case. She said the homeowners association always has been willing to negotiate with bank representatives.

“Any time you have a dispute and you come to a resolution, everyone is better off,” she said. “For the short term, if we can agree on potential terms going forward, I think it’s better for everyone.”

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