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 Deerfield News Connection

February 14, 2024

Fact-Checking Facebook: Dispelling Myths and Rumors – Part 1

A review of Facebook posts indicates that there may be some misunderstandings related to the Deerfield Resort HOA lawsuit. Below, are questions or statements made on Facebook, with clarifications. There are two Facebook page accounts from which

the questions or statements were pulled, Deerfield HOA Collaborative (formerly Team Deerfield HOA Collaborative) and Deerfield Resort on Norris Lake Homeowner Group. The time period examined runs from June 9, 2023 through January 17, 2024. 

  • There have been many comments about the role of the court-appointed receiver, “There was concern that our arbiter, [the receiver] is not communicative and doubt that he has a game plan, where we stand or what are the costs, etc.”

The Receiver will collect 2024 HOA fees, orchestrate an election of the first homeowner-inclusive

board of directors, and provide support and training for the newly elected board.

In a lawsuit involving a HOA board, such as the Deerfield Resort HOA suit, the court can appoint a receiver to oversee the corporation's affairs during legal proceedings to ensure that the corporation operates according to court directives and relevant laws. This receiver acts as a neutral party to safeguard the interests of both the corporation and its members. Tennessee law outlines the receiver's responsibilities and authority. In the absence of established bylaws and with limited Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CCRs), as seen in the Deerfield Resort HOA scenario, the receiver's responsibilities in facilitating the transition of HOA governance to homeowners is substantial. His role entails thorough evaluation of the HOA's current governance structure, crafting new bylaws and CCRs, seeking court endorsement for these regulations, and overseeing the implementation and enforcement of these documents.  As Fields Development Company has not yet transitioned the HOA to homeowner control, the receiver will orchestrate an election to establish a homeowner-inclusive board. The basis for voting will be a homeowners list. When confirming a homeowners list for voting based on "one lot, one vote" principle, the receiver will compile a list of eligible homeowners, verifying ownership, addressing discrepancies transparently, establishing eligibility criteria, overseeing registration and fee collection, and finalizing the voter list. The receiver will announce results, facilitate the transition to the new board, and provide support and training to the elected members.

  • Several Facebook posts mentioned the idea of seeking payment for 2024 fees independent of the court proceedings. In response to the email residents received requesting payment of Security & Maintenance fees a post reads, “The invoice requests for voluntary payment of the 2024 fees to keep our beloved  community operating has been overwhelming. All the invoices has been emailed. If you have not received your, please let me know."

As the custodian and fiduciary of the Deerfield Resort HOA, the receiver is required to account for all funds collected and expended.

No one, including parties involved in a legal action, has the right to disrupt the receiver's control over the HOA corporation, known as the receivership estate (i.e., Deerfield Resort Homeowners Association, Inc.). In derivative lawsuits in Tennessee, defendants are not allowed to disregard or override the decisions of the court-appointed receiver. The receiver's role is to manage the HOA corporation's assets and liabilities under the court's authority, and their decisions must be honored. Interfering with the receiver's authority may result in civil contempt or court charges, including jail time. Similarly, in a derivative lawsuit involving an HOA corporation held as the receiver estate, defendants may not bill for annual dues without approval from the receiver or the court. All decisions regarding the management of the receivership estate require approval from the court. By sending out invoices on behalf of a HOA corporation that is no longer under its control, Fields Development Company violated Tennessee law by reaching into the receiver estate. 

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