Q&A: Seeking Financial Information

Q. Our current board president and officers have not complied with either written or oral requests for financials. This is Sept. 2015, and I have twice requested for 2015 income tax documents, Secretary of State registration, and 2015 end-of-year expense sheet. In May of this year, I requested the same documents, and also for beginning 2016 expense sheets and invoices. I have been ignored by a president who doesn't even live on the property. 

little history—I myself was removed from the presidency because we, the board, were issuing fines for bylaw violations. We only have eight units in our association. The current president rented out his unit four years ago without approval of either board or owners and left the property. In his run as president, he failed to file income tax and failed to register association with the state. We paid over $400 in fines for late fees. Several owners sold and moved out, and he in turn ousted me and the other officer. I don't have the money to hire an attorney. To whom can I turn for help? How can I proceed? 

          —Seeking Information in Palatine

A. ”If in Chicago, an owner is entitled to requested financial documents within a specific period of time. In Illinois generally, the Condo Act provides some of the same and other docs may be requested and they are due within a certain period of time,” says Attorney Sima L. Kirsch of the law office of Sima L. Kirsch, P.C. Without an attorney an owner can file suit on his own, getting help from the court filing desk, for breach of performance and damages for failing to provide records, if the request is framed according to these laws. An attorney is able to help an owner with the recovery of records issue and recover the attorney’s fees for the owner if the request is one permitted under the Condo Act.

Otherwise an owner should try to get the other owners to join in, call a special meeting to remove the president following the rules in  the operating documents, and following the rules in the operating documents, stop paying assessments to the president, open a new account, move forward, amend the annual report with new board members  and serve the removed director with a notice to turn over corporate documents.  Unfortunately, there is no special solution for these situations. An owner must avail themselves and follow either individually or through a lawyer the rules set out to redress this type of issue.  

 “The above answer is general in nature and the information is not provided as legal advice. You should consult an attorney in the field who can help you assess your particular factual situation.”

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